Fall, that is. And the crows. And maybe smoke.
The weather is still warm, but with a cool tinge, if that's possible. The afternoon shadows are longer. And the bunches of grapes - first time for these guys on our three-year-old plants - are turning from green to lavender and sweetening up, but the grape leaves are getting yellow. It's like the fruit is racing the fall to ripen.
Every evening at dusk, hundreds of crows take wing from their trees in these several suburbs, heading southeast. Apparently they're all heading for a convention or gathering of some sort. This evening Art and I tried to follow them. Maybe to an open area on a golf course? Maybe to trees along a slough? The crows were so numerous we figured it would be easy to find where they landed. We were wrong, though. At a certain point they all just vanished. As we drove back, we saw another hundred or so still headed to the gathering place. It must just be their secret. We decided that next summer, when the days are very long, we'll take bicycles and see if we have better luck.
Fires are burning in Central Washington. Art told me the sun rose flaming red this morning. And his eyes are itching. I said the wind never blows from east to west where we live. He said it did this morning.
We have a dozen apples on our two-year-old tree. I thinned them early in the summer and dumped a hundred or so of the gumball-sized apples into our yard waste bin. They were growing too close to the healthiest apple on the branch, so they got removed. I think I should make some applesauce. But I'll need jars and lids and about a case of apples. Maybe I'll do that next year at about this time.
Today I sent emails to three radio stations, reminding them that Veterans Day is coming up in just a couple of months and telling them I've got the perfect book to remember the day. I feel exposed, sending my name and phone number and email out like that. But no more exposed than in the book.
Next Thursday I'm scheduled to fly to Albany, New York, to attend a retreat for women who have a veteran in their life. It's just for us, this time. I wonder if anyone will remember to pick me up at the airport when I get there. I wonder if I'll be the oldest woman. I wonder if I'll remember the weekend as a life-affirming experience or as four legs of a five thousand mile flight.
Lots of wondering. Maybe that's what's in the air.