There is just a hint of fall in the Japanese maple leaves along the bridge in the woods. The blue skies of summer are a fading memory. There are more rainy days than not. Today we slip into the dark half of the year with nights longer than days. And on the other half of the world, people are waking to the half of the year with days longer than nights. It’s all rather awesome and no matter how many times it happens, it’s worth celebrating.
Fall is the time to enjoy the cone spires left when the cones of the noble fir disintegrate and leave their center spires sticking up toward the sky. By next fall, I will have forgotten about them, only to smile when I see them again. That’s the good thing about forgetting. You can see the same thing over and over again, and each time it is as fresh as the first.
I like that dogs live their lives in another realm, a world so different from ours. They continually find things I miss in the woods. Takuma has found something in the soft earth under a decaying stump. Whatever it was, it escaped. A mouse, a mole, some creature with a labyrinth of tunnels in the ground. Try as he might, Takuma was unable to catch it this time.
When he shoves his snout into the earth and inhales, Takuma’s brain must light up with a million different scents, experiencing scents which trigger emotions I can’t begin to fathom.
My time in the woods is always enjoyable. There are always new things to see. There is sadness too. The western red cedars are dying, not just around our house, but all around Puget Sound. The number of Swainson and Veery Thrushes is noticeably less than fifteen years ago when their eery songs filled the evening air. Can we change fast enough to not let it all slip away? We keep tugging out the threads of life that hold everything together. How soon will it before we pull one too many threads and it all comes tumbling down? At times is feels like it is all crashing down already.