It was one of those mornings that Oscar Wilde described as “And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.”Oscar Wilde
All around us were the signs of a long summer. The hills were brown, the flowers drooping, the earth parched and the rivers dry. Mornings came on bright, blue, and sunny; swiftly following dawn.
But one beautiful October morning last week, the clouds rolled in: the colors of sunrise streaked the skies, and we were gleeful for we got up early enough to catch it. There was a nippiness to the air, and we practically danced our way to the coat closet in the morning.
You see? I have mentioned Californian summers before. They linger on just a month or so after their time. You’d think October would bring the temperatures down nicely – they probably do in the rest of the continent. (Remember Anne of Green Gables saying she is grateful for a world with Octobers in it.) , but here in California, we just braced for another all-time high heat wave. Anyway, where was I?
I’m so glad I live in a world where there are OctobersAnne of Green Gables – L M Montgomery
Yes. The beautiful cloudy day bearing a hint of much-needed moisture in the air. I decided to take a little stroll around the son’s school after dropping the fella off. The children bobbed along noisily in the playground despite the chill, and the Brownian motion of their movements were a joy to watch from afar. As they made their way into their classrooms, a quiet descended – previously even their chitter and chatter seemed to penetrate the fog, but now the silence enveloped one. I pulled my jacket a little tighter, and relished the cold air, the first hint of fall in temperatures.
It was then I saw the birds. Right above me, flying between the pine and eucalyptus trees in the park was a beautiful woodpecker. A streak of red against its black and white spotted body. It attracted my attention with its swift movements and obstinate call of duty against the tree.
A little further on, a raven flew swooping triumphantly with food ( some sort of nut) in its beak. Just as I watched it swoop past me, it dropped the nut in its beak, and the pesky thing rolled underneath a parked car. I stood there feeling a little sorry for it, but within a minute, the raven had craned its neck, hopped around and retrieved the nut from under the car. Looking proud of itself, it took off again.
A short while later, it was the seagulls and cattle egrets flying overhead. I wonder: all of this birding activity is always there, I was just glad that the cold morning allowed me to catch it.
My spirits soaring just a but higher than usual, I made my way back to the old work spot, and like the woodpecker taught me that morning, hammered my way through the day.