The Haunted Election

Election Day this year is the night of the full moon and I just saw the first wolfsbane flowers in my yard.

 

Even a man who’s pure of heart

and says his prayers by night

may become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms

and the moon is full and bright

The damp cool autumnal weather certainly evokes a Halloween mood in my neighborhood.  We have our share of  jack o’lanterns festooning the house and the grandkids are already imagining their trick or treat loot.  But this year even Election Day has an unreal flavor to it.  Outlandish candidates like Fetterman and that creepy old ghoul haunting the White House add an Edgar Allan Poe tinge to even the political page.

Now am I claiming that werewolf John Fetterman will be lopsidedly prowling the woods of Pennsylvania in his stretched out hoodie tearing apart innocent Republican voters in his insane lust to become a United States Senator?  Well, read the poem and do the math yourself!  I’m going to add a little extra garlic to Camera Girl’s sauce this week and hope for the best.

Seasonal Activities

 

So today is the last official day of summer.  Tomorrow is the Autumnal Equinox but here in Dunwich fall is well advanced.  The crickets are hiding under stones and digging down to avoid the chill well before sundown.  Their chirping is becoming slower and weaker each day.  The frogs are still enthusiastically croaking and piping in the swamp but even they haven’t got too much longer to go.

We’ve gotten tons of rain in the last couple of weeks so the grass is green again and growing.  But the vegetable garden is on its last legs.  There are some peppers and eggplants almost ready to pick and a couple of butternut squash in a race to ripen before the death of the vines they’re on.  And the flower gardens are down to a few new cone flowers and some black eyed susans that haven’t given up the ghost yet.

Even the dragonflies are so lethargic that I think I could catch them with my hands if I tried.  Camera Girl saw a hummingbird a couple of days ago but they must be ready to head south already.  I haven’t seen any butterflies in the last couple of days so maybe they’re all gone.

So, it’s officially time to shut everything down and winterize the grounds.  All the lawn and pool furniture has to be stored away.  My fence repairs will have to be completed before the ground freezes.  And there are some incidentals.  I have to install a tree swing for Princess Sack of Potatoes.  I’ll use my weight as a test for the branch we’ve selected.  It’s in an odd spot because of a slope but it’s the only convenient branch.  I’ve also got to replace the transmission on my snowblower.  The parts are in but I’m hemming and hawing because I don’t want to do it.  It’s supposed to be straight forward but you know how that is.

Then there’s the rotten wood that needs to be replaced.  I’ve been stalling on that too.  Realistically I can skip this year but I promised myself I’d get the ball rolling and tackle one or two problems before winter.  At the least I should cover the problem areas with some tarps to avoid additional damage.  Maybe I’ll flip a coin.

The shorter days are already noticeable.  After dinner the sun is behind the hill in the west.  The light is gone by seven o’clock.  But the good news is that I mourned the end of summer on the last day of July.  After that I’ve already skipped ahead to thoughts of winter and any incidental good weather is all gravy as far as I’m concerned.  So here I am concentrating on Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas to get me through the end of the year and into the new one.

This year I have the elections to distract me from the shortening days and cooling temperatures.  The horror of Biden, Pelosi and Schumer along with their henchmen in the Deep State and the Media should provide stimulation that can’t be overlooked.  After all we could be looking at the official end of the republic as a legitimate political institution.  That’s got to be a noteworthy event to live through.  And even if we are saved by a shocking Republican victory I don’t think that will be something to sleep through.  And who knows, World War III might be in the wings if Biden keeps poking the Russian bear.

And I have a long list of tasks that I can perform indoors.  I’ve got a ton of pictures that need adjusting and all kinds of writing that has to be done so I’ll be anything but bored.

But it’s funny.  Once it gets chilly at night, say in the forties, we close the windows after dark.  And then there’s no outdoor sounds to hear.  No frogs, no owls, no coyotes even.  And that’s a big change.  You become detached from the natural world and plugged into the artificial one.  Electric light takes over and you tend to go to bed later and get up later.  Well, not Camera Girl.  She’s plugged into the dogs’ schedule and they’ll get her up at 6 am even if the apocalypse descends on us.  But I start to stay up later and read too much and watch too much television.

But that’s normal.  We compensate for the change of season as we do.  And there are family activities coming up.  Kids’ soccer games and birthday parties are in the offing.  And it’s almost time to drag out the Universal Classic Monster movies and introduce the youngsters to the hokey joys of Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman.  I think I’ll indulge in some popcorn for that film festival.

Okay, Autumn 2022, let’s see what you’ve got.

24NOV2021 – Another Autumn Poem

Autumn

I love the fitful gust that shakes
The casement all the day
And from the mossy elm tree takes
The faded leaf away
Twirling it by the window-pane
With thousand others down the lane

I love to see the shaking twig
Dance till the shut of eve
The sparrow on the cottage rig
Whose chirp would make believe
That spring was just now flirting by
In summers lap with flowers to lie

I love to see the cottage smoke
Curl upwards through the naked trees
The pigeons nestled round the coat
On dull November days like these
The cock upon the dung-hill crowing
The mill sails on the heath a-going

The feather from the ravens breast
Falls on the stubble lea
The acorns near the old crows nest
Fall pattering down the tree
The grunting pigs that wait for all
Scramble and hurry where they fall

John Clare

 

19NOV2021 – Another Autumn Poem

Sonnet 73

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.

William Shakespeare

A Golden November Day

Sun with no clouds, sixty-three degrees and a light breeze.  Well, you can’t stay in on a day like that.  Camera Girl and I took a walk in the woods today.  We haven’t since September.  It was quiet.  Then we saw why.  The streams that came off of the big lake had dried up.  The spillway from the lake was dry.  November hasn’t been completely without rain but the number of heavy rain days has drastically lowered from previous months.  So, it was quiet and that was fine.  Sun filtered more easily through the trees with only the conifers green.  We talked about the menu for Thanksgiving and we talked about leaves to be raked.  We noticed that none of the few people in the forest we met wore masks and I said that was a good sign.  She told me that very few people in the supermarket wore masks and most of those were elderly.  And I said that sounds good.  But before we knew it we were back at the car.  Just a short hour’s walk, up and down a few hills in the woods.  But it was a fitting tribute to God for gifting us a day this bright and warm, a week before Thanksgiving in New England.

 

AUTUMN (by Aleksandr Pushkin) (translated by Peter France)

A mournful time of year! Its sad enchantment

flatters my vision with a parting grace –

I love the sumptuous glow of fading nature,

the forests clad in crimson and in gold,

the shady coolness and the wind’s dull roaring,

the heavens all shrouded in a billowing mist

and the rare gleams of sun, the early hoarfrosts,

and distant grey-beard winter’s gloomy portents.

Aleksandr Pushkin (translated by Peter France)