Every month should be October in Virginia. I've got the first stanza of Keats' "To Autumn" stuck in my head...
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
The entry title, by the way, is not Keats. It's Walter Malone, from "October in Tennessee".
A couple of disconnected thoughts:
1. I need to remember to go to Carytown sometime in the next couple of weeks. The sweetgum trees will be shedding their leaves and the ground will be gorgeous with them.
2. I think it's probably too late to make acorn bread. I had found this site and this one about acorns and acorn bread and had hoped to collect them with Griff, process them, and bake bread, but our acorns are small, the kids in the house behind us have already picked up most of them (they beg to be collected), and the task seemed a little much for right now. I did taste an acorn while out with my dad yesterday. Bitter. I felt pleased that I knew this meant it was probably a red or black oak.
My friend Lynz asked people on our message board to post a few things that make them happy on a thread there. Here's a near-carbon-copy of my response:
Ok, a few cool things here that make me smile:
My dad found a praying mantis at our house yesterday and I caught it for Dan and Griff to see. Griff and I are having a blast catching bugs for it to eat and Dan is having a blast watching it hunt the bugs.
Dad and I had a nice day of battlefielding yesterday. Turns out that
touring battlefields means having pleasant chitchat while driving
around in the car and then having pleasant chitchat while taking nature
walks through woods, occasionally stopping to read plaques. It was a
gorgeous day. (edit: and I really enjoyed the time with Dad, and learned a lot, too...more on that later)
And speaking of gorgeous days, I love love love October. Love it. (edit: Woody Allen moment: "Love is too weak a word for what I feel - I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F's, yes I have to invent...")
Cait and Todd paid me an unexpected visit on Saturday and we just hung out for a couple of hours.
Dan and I are still really enjoying Lost, 1-2 episodes a night when we can swing it.
Reese keeps telling us "thank you" (dachoo) for things we give him or accept from him. He's also infatuated with my garden gnome. Bliss.
The weather is just too glorious. First the rains come and take all the humidity out of the air and pump it back into the soil, reviving scorched grass and beetle-eaten plants so that everything becomes lush again. All sorts of mushrooms suddenly appear wherever there is a bit of shade. Then the crispness sets in, so while the roses and zinnias and fungi are having their final hurrah, the leaves are starting to turn and the acorns start changing from green to blush to brown and plummetting through the branches of the oaks and thwacking the ground. Above it all is the clearest, bluest sky, and a warm slanting light that you don't get the rest of the year.
(It's all so beautiful that I'm willing to forgive the angle of the light for my migraines and the flourishing ragweed for my persistent post-nasal drip.)
Throw in my birthday (yup, just turned 31) and Halloween (mmm, candy corn), and another holiday whose awkward combination of jingoism and political incorrectness is perfect for an overthinker like me (thanks, Columbus), and you have what is quite possibly THE PERFECT MONTH.