The Golden Slant of Autumn’s Light

Autumn is here. As I work in my office, I can hear the rat-a-tat-tat of acorns as they fall on the roof. Sometimes it is so loud and steady that it sounds as though a mischievous tree-imp is throwing small rocks on the house.

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For the most part, the humidity is gone, and on nice days, the air is cool and dry. The nights have become so chilly that it won’t be long until we put down all the storm windows. Indeed, we have begun pulling the shades at night.

Autumn brings with it many chores to be done by winter. The chimney needs to be cleaned, and there is still wood to be stacked. Clif takes care of both of these things. At sixty-five—Clif’s birthday was Tuesday—he still feels spry enough to climb onto the roof with his long brush. Chim chimney, chim chimney, chim, chim, chiree.

In the fall, I cut down the spent perennials in the gardens. However, Jason, of the blog Garden in a City, doesn’t cut his down until spring. He feels there is more visual interest in the garden in the winter when the plants are not trimmed. I considered following his example, but spring is such a busy time that I was afraid it would add too much to my gardening chores. I am, ahem, not as quick or spry as I was in my younger years.

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It is also time to take in the hummingbird feeders, clean them, and tuck them away until next spring. Those fluttering beauties no longer fly with a whiz around the backyard. They have begun their astonishing migration to warmer lands.

Autumn, to me, feels like a time of subtraction. Yes, we have asters and golden rod, a delightful duo. But along with the hummingbirds, the thrushes have left. I have not heard their piping song for several weeks. Soon, the loons will be gone as well. The nipping frosts will come, turning the landscape to an austere brown.

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If it weren’t for the golden slant of light that autumn brings, this subtraction would be almost unbearable. But the light is so beautiful that it fills in for what we have lost.

And then there are the apples, another addition rather than a subtraction. For someone like me, who enjoys making pies and crisps, this aspect of fall is most welcome. No more apples from away, thank you very much. From now until April, all of my apples will come from central Maine.

While I am always sorry to see the passing of summer—farewell, my lovely flowers and hummingbirds—in truth I enjoy all the seasons. They all have their own beauty, from the exuberance of spring to the rich maturity of summer to the golden light of early fall to the glittering cold of winter.

The only season I don’t like is March. Yes, I know. Technically March is a month. But in northern New England this drear month feels like a season unto itself.

But never mind! March is nearly six months away. Right now, I will enjoy the thumping of acorns, the golden light, the bounty of apples, and cats in the garden.

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22 thoughts on “The Golden Slant of Autumn’s Light”

  1. I was outside moving plants and the acorns were falling over over the place, thump, thump. I made sure I had a hat on so I didn’t get beaned. πŸ™‚ Oh, you had to mention the chimney because we have to do ours too, but we go up from inside because we definitely can’t climb the roof three stories up. I’ve been eating fresh apples every day and enjoying the moment. Happy fall, neighbor. And, March could fall off the calendar as far as I’m concerned. πŸ™‚

    1. Until today, I’d never heard of a chimney being cleaned from the inside. In the span of five minutes, I’ve about yours and about another friend’s. Oh, the wonders of the internet. And happy fall to you, too. Love that light!

  2. Nice photos Laurie! I have to disagree with you and Judy about March. I love March, the lovely month that I was born way back then. If you don’t go through March, there is no April which I love too because Springs begins. Heck, I love all the seasons, they all have their beauty for all to enjoy. πŸ™‚

  3. Such lovely reflections and pictures. I truly enjoyed reading. I do love March, though, (also my birthday month :-)) as it is the magical time when the winter snow begins to melt, the days become noticeably longer, and the promise of glorious warm weather lies ahead. Have a great weekend.

  4. I agree that there is much to enjoy in all seasons, though I often feel I’d like to stretch spring and summer out a bit more. And I occasionally wish that winter could be shorter. I’m with you on the apple pies and crisps, by the way.

  5. A lovely post, Laurie. It’s hard to beat fall in New England. I’m enjoying the cooler weather, the cozy rainy days, and my favorite apples. The ticks are back, though. Aaarrgghh.

    1. Thanks, Brenda! Knock on wood, we haven’t been bothered by ticks in central Maine. But that could change, I know. Fingers crossed!

  6. A beautifully worded post, Laurie. You describe the season and our feelings about it so well! I’m feeling overwhelmed by all that has to be done before winter sets in. Will I ever catch up?

    1. Thanks, Eliza! Yes, many chores to do before winter comes. I’m considering not cutting back my gardens until spring. I’ve read how it is beneficial to butterflies and other beneficial critters. This would certainly lessen the fall work load. However, it would increase it in the spring. I’m going back and forth…

      1. I know what you mean. I vacillate, too. My biggest issue is voles and they love the cover. Since we have tons of field, I may cut my gardens and leave them to the edges.

      2. I’m going to try leaving the garden until spring. So busy with the book that it would be a blessing not to have cut everything down. If I regret it in the spring, then I won’t do it again.

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