by Curt Kovener
September is a glorious month in the wilderness…all except for the fall pollen that periodically sends my sinuses alternatively switching from plugged up to running like the water in the creek below the dam.
While this year the month has been warmer than memory recalls, the September cooler nighttime makes for sleeping with the window open a treat. We are lulled to sleep by all the night sounds (not including the occasional snoring by all of us). Crickets, tree frogs, the occasional bullfrog, whippoorwill and, on rare occasions barred, barn, and the eerie sounding screech owls join the nocturnal chorus.
Then in the morning, after I and the sun get up for the day, songbirds flitter and twitter about (not the social media kind) looking for a breakfast of seeds and insects.
As I sit on the front porch overlooking thee lake and sip my morning coffee, the slowly awakening sky reflects hues of pink and blue on fluffy clouds that this particular morning look like a fresh plowed field of marshmallow.
The phoebes, Carolina wrens, chickadees and nuthatches flutter from the tree to the ground dining on what’s available. As the sun gets higher, they join in another symphony of praise for making it to another day.
A soft, hollow tappity-tappity-tap comes from a nearby sassafras tree as a downy woodpecker sends out a Morse code message that he, too, is seeking a morning meal of insects these hidden under the bark of the dead sassafras limb.
Too much work, not enough energy and the summer heat resulted in much of the wilderness pasture not getting mowed this season. That bit of lazy is now paying off as flocks of wild turkeys meander about the field and dam dining on the ripening grass & weed seeds. If I sit very still they pay me no mind. But if so much as I scratch my itchy nose, it puts them on alert and the slowly disappear back into the forest.
Some of the leaves of the wilderness have already fallen while others are beginning to change their masks of green to their true hues of red, yellow, and orange. When they fall they will be mulched and vacuumed into a pile to compost into future seasons’ flower and vegetable plantings.
The coming autumn brings seasonal work of more than usual mowing and weed trimming, maintenance on the tractor and mowers, and cleaning out the always cluttered barn and basement.
But for now I fetch another cup of coffee and return to the front porch vista. Work can wait while I relish the palate of nature in September.