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.