Pre Autumn Oaks
August fifteenth! It's a dark dawn this morning! Seems strange because the sky is clear. Then I realize that the summer is waning, that it’s only a bit more than a month till the autumnal equinox. The old ones know, and the squirrels, it's never too early to prepare for winter . . . Eleven oaks surrounding the house and this is the bumper year . . . acorns, like a hailstorm. fall like missiles, point first, semicircular husk trailing. I wonder how many squirrels die from being hit on the head. I see the striped squirrels hiding under the spruce and hemlock, racing out to grab a nut, then, just as fast, retreating to safety beneath the thick boughs.
August sixteenth! Another frog came in the house tonight. It trapped itself in a small box and I heard it jumping desperately trying to get the angle to clear the lip, but each time ramming into the sides. Surely it could have easily jumped out because when I tipped the box on its side it hopped away taking five and six foot measures with each leap. Now came the task of catching and taking it out . . . it couldn't survive here in the house. So I tracked it into the living room, then under the wood stacked next to the stove then out into the kitchen past the pantry into the laundry room down the stairs to the garage and finally cornered it. It squirmed and pushed as I took it into my hands, but I held firmly and comforted it by telling it that now it was going to be much happier outside in the leaves under the bushes. Then I went a little way out the back door, cover of darkness, and set it in the leaves, bidding my new friend a fond farewell. . . I love frogs!
August seventeenth! Still dark at 5:30 AM?! No clouds? Made coffee, then felt a craving for the fresh beets and carrots stored in the fridge. The beet greens were far too old to eat so I placed them in the compost bucket with the carrot tops. . . everything was parboiled, chilled, then shredded and made into a tasty late morning dish with crumbled goat cheese, provincial herbs, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and crushed pecans. A glass of Rhone wine made it perfect and I wished my love was here to share it with me. (She would appreciate the pairing!) I didn't clean up right away . . . I never do when I'm alone. I just sat down at my desk and worked for a while. Later, when I cleaned up and took the greens out to the compost pile, is when I found it . . . my frog friend . . . a few feet from where I'd released it . . . splayed out dead on the leaves . . . an acorn beside it.
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