I walked back to the Three Sisters yesterday afternoon...such a beautiful day to be outside. Granddaddy Kendall was mowing one of the great sleeping hills, the bush-hog whop-whop-whopping through thigh-high weeds. He was mowing because the sky was blue and the air was bright, and because he simply loves driving the tractor...but I like to think he was mowing especially for me. So much easier to walk when I don't have to goose-step over tall brambles!
In the springtime, the air is softly sweet with honeysuckle and wild roses. In summer, the fresh-bread aroma of hay baking in the sun's oven. But in fall, the scents are spicy, acidic, earthy, intense...delicious. Ripe leaf tannin, cured nettle, dried aster. And the colors? Nature is dressed for a revel!
There is an ironwood tree along the trail, back beyond the old green barn. Thomas told me about it a couple of years ago. "Ironwood? Which tree is an ironwood tree?" I asked.
Thomas explained, "Just past the gap behind the old barn, look to your left. It's on the edge of the tree line. You can't miss it - if it were an Ent, he would be totally ripped." He was right. I couldn't miss it. There stood a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, in tree form.
I haven't seen Ripped Ent all summer. He's been modestly cloaked in green draperies. But today, with all the trees riotously throwing their festival clothes off, there he stood like some buff body builder ready for a day at the snow beach. We throw off our clothes in summer heat, to better feel the slightest breeze: nature sheds her clothes in autumn, anticipating the icy winds of winter.
Acorns, acorns everywhere...the deer fatten. And the raccoons, Persimmon drunk.
3 weeks ago