Sunday, September 27, 2009

A BIT OF SEASONAL COLOR

There's always a bit of color to be found…
Even if autumn is only a few days old, according to the calendar, and arrived on a day which hit an unseasonably warm 82 degrees.
Even if, once the seasonal changeover was complete, it clouded up and cooled off almost immediately, as if on cue, began sprinkling a day after that, and continued sprinkling, off and on, for the next three days.
Even if it was still sprinkling when I woke up at 4:37 a.m. this morning, and through the opened bedroom window, could hear water pattering from the eaves as well as the steady, underlying hum of the river finding it way over and around rocks in the riffle a hundred feet beyond.
No doubt a bit of color could certainly be found…rain or not.
So I lay in bed until my usual getting-up time, listening to sounds of rain and river—then arose, made coffee and breakfast, and watched as a late and reluctant dawn eventually did its best to shed some light on the situation. Moon the dog went to the door and nose-bumped the small set of wind chimes which hang from the knob—her way of signaling to be let outside. I opened the door for her, took a moment to exchange coffee cup for a camera, and followed.
It was still sprinkling. Yet in spite of recent rains, the river was clear and low. The ducks were in the pool upstream from the cottage, heads underwater, tails pointed toward the thick, gray sky. What's a little rain to a duck? In the sycamores on the nearby island, I could see dark shapes amid the wet green leaves; the turkey vultures were still huddled on their roost, waiting for the rain to cease before flying off in search of the day's first meal.
Buzzards aren't big on rain…and neither is Moon the dog. She'll stay out in anything short of a downpour long enough to do whatever has to be done, but not a moment longer. Even if the rain is light. I'd have to be ready to towel her off and wipe her muddy paws if I didn't want a mess in the house. So if I wanted to find a quick fix of autumnal color, I had to hurry.
My first quick tour along the bank revealed nothing. The Virginia creeper was still green. A few leaves on the sycamores were brown, while only a handful on the box elder were an uninspiring rusty yellow. Not what I was looking for.
Moon had completed her duties. Now, head lowered, tail down, and ears stuck out, she was heading for the open front door. I whistled at her and she paused momentarily in her suffering to fix me with a withering look, which said…I know what you're trying to do and I'm not hanging around.
I threatened her. "Don't you dare step inside until I've cleaned you off."
She turned disdainfully and continued walking—but paused on the deck, rump aimed my way, having seemingly developed a sudden interest in staring at the river. A dog's way of saying…I'll give you a couple of minutes and stand here under the overhang out of the rain—but keep in mind the deck is wet, I can't sit down, and I'm not going to wait forever.
I hurriedly checked along the edge of the graveled drive. Ahh-h-h, just what I was looking for, what I knew had to be out here somewhere close—that bit of seasonal color. I made a quick photo. Then I looked up. Moon was nowhere to be seen .
Intimidation can only get you so far with a dog who knows you.

10 comments:

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

Oh my how I SO love your walk in the rain today with 'Moon-the dog'. ANd ya, she knows you oh so well and can pretty much do whatever - although she gave you the illusion of 'listening' This so speaks to your gentle loving nature, and so much so that I am sighing and smiling with great joy that gentle souls such as yourself are on this earth beyond my world. You transcend all that is unjust in this world and restore one's faith in humanity. In nature, in all God's living souls simply by how you live your life. I am honored to know you.
And the photo? Vibrant and proimising of days to come.

Love to you
Gail
peace.......

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

You've elevated me to a burdensome persona for a quirky, nonconformist—though I do appreciate the sentiment. While try and live with honesty and honor, I often need to plead for forgiveness and understanding. I can mess up with the best of 'em and sorely disappoint myself and others.

I am glad you enjoyed the "walk" and the photo. The real blast of color with begin appear soon…but sometimes I think it's these first notes—the hints of things to come—that have the most meaning.

Bernie said...

Loved the photo, and enjoyed the story of Moon, your heart is showing my friend....no friend any better than your dog. Enjoy your Sunday.......:-) Hugs

KGMom said...

Scribe--two observations. First, oh, I so know the kind of dog whereof you speak. We have one such--she fixes a baleful eye on us, and then does whatever she damn well pleases. I do feel I should train her better--I have failed on that score. The best I can do is tell her to sit and INSIST on it--it mostly works.
Second, I am intrigued that you found delight in two fallen leaves turned autumn red and gold. Many years ago, I scooped up a dogwood leaf I found in a wooded glade, and kept it for the longest time. It had sentimental meaning--not important here. But I marvelled at the deep ruby red of the leaf. The dogwood, such a simple and unassuming tree, produces delight in the spring with the cloud of blossoms, and joy in the autumn with deep color.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

I do indeed love my old dog…and we know each other so well that we both understand what the other is thinking.

I've had a pretty good Sunday—plus it even quit raining and the sun came out this afternoon.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Oh you give yourself that gruff nom-de-plume but you can't hide what a softie you are at heart! Even Moon knows . . . or perhaps I should say especially Moon knows . . . seems like she has you wrapped around her little paw. :)

Will be back soon to see more of your captures of color and hopefully some chinks of sunlight through crayola leaves.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Had I been serious in my threat, Moon would have obeyed. She is really pretty good about that, at least with me. She as sort of giant Jack Russell, with all the terrier traits…including an I.Q. unlike any other dog I've ever been around around. You can train her to do anything—and it's amazing the things she has taught herself.

Scattered throughout my library, I have autumn leaves stuck between pages of various books—especially big yellow pawpaw leaves, leaves of red oak, swamp maple, sassafras, "sarvis", and—dogwood. Some are now decades old. Mostly, of course, their color is gone, turned to brown…though ever so often I'll run across one in a book I haven't opened for a while, and it will still have a bit of color.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

Now you wouldn't be reading my posts (and I probably wouldn't be writing them) if I were your typical chest-thumping male with an Adonis complex…right? :-)

Carolyn H said...

Griz:

Baby Dog hates rain or water. She even hates to get her toes wet. She won't walk in a puddle. I even have trouble imagining a dog that doesn't want cleaned off!

Carolyn H.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Carolyn…

Moon will wade puddles, and she doesn't mind a bit getting muddy from her toes to her belly…but she does not like rain—I believe she doesn't like the droplets on her head.

I have got her trained to where she holds up paws to be wiped or, if she's muddier, to roll over so I can towel off her tummy.

Years ago I had a German shepherd who loved the water and had to be kept on a leash if you didn't want him swimming and diving in a creek or lake. He would actually paddle out in a pool and then go underwater and pick up baseball-sized rocks to bring to you. He loved to swim and loved to swim underwater.