Autumn Knocks Urgently

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This week’s Six Word Friday uses the word “knock”, and as we move into the last few days of September I’ve noticed for yet another year that:

Autumn knocks with urgency in September.

At the end of August, I took several hundred photographs of the butterflies and hummingbird moths in the gardens at Colonial Williamsburg.  They were gorgeous, numerous and very active.  I was standing right next to them and had a great time capturing their beauty.

They weren’t the only thing in the lantanas that day.  A predator was in there also and was quite successful in catching a meal.  This is often referred to as a corn spider.  Its actual name is argiope aurantia.  It’s as fearsome as it is beautiful.

A week later – A WEEK! – and I noticed that the butterflies in my garden were gone.  I went back to Williamsburg a few days later.  The butterflies and hummingbird moths were gone – totally gone – and all I found were a few small moths.  They’re pretty, but nowhere near as spectacular.

It wasn’t just the lack of butterflies though.  The geese have been flying overhead for a while.  The robins are gone as are the goldfinches.  We do have robins all year, but the ones migrating from further north haven’t arrived yet.  The bees have disappeared and the mosquitoes have cut way back.

During our drive out to eastern Virginia last week, my favorite boy toy and I could see the trees getting tipped with yellow.  There were even a few patches of red leaves on the trees.

Flower from the Norfolk Botanical Garden a week ago.

The days have cooled off, the humidity has dropped.  The nights are getting nippy, although we haven’t turned the furnace on – yet.  I did turn on my half of the electric blanket in the early hours of the morning yesterday.

The great thing about the change in the weather is having more energy.  I just feel better when it’s not so hot and humid!  Even the dogs are more wild energetic.

I’m not a farmer and at best, a mediocre gardener.  The biggest urgency at this time of the year is to be putting food away for the winter.  I’m not doing much food preservation this year as we have so much left from the last few years, but it’s time to start cooking and freezing winter squash and possibly dehydrating some apples.

Autumn is knocking urgently at the door and winter isn’t far behind.  Already we’re nine months into the year.  It seems like just yesterday we wished each other a Happy New Year and set goals for 2012.  Christmas will be here before we know it.

James River, taken today from the bridge to Belle Isle.

But for now, for today, I plan to enjoy this season as much as I can.  I want to squeeze every moment of life from it that I can.

The illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called Time,
rolling, rushing on, swift, silent, like an all-embracing ocean-tide,
on which we and all the universe swim like exhalations,
like apparitions which are, and then are not.
Thomas Carlyle