Friday, October 15, 2010

Time Out

Stepping back from the trials and tribulations of doing all the stuff a writer has to do to get the world to notice she's written a book and going to inhale the fresh autumn air and take a walk in the woods today.

That may not be the longest run-on I've ever written but it comes close and it has the added advantage of being immensely therapeutic. Amazon? Go away today. I'll tackle you tomorrow.

I love late autumn in the Rocky Mountains. Nights are cold enough that a warm comforter pulled up to my chin and snuggling down into the covers feels wonderful. It's frosting every night now and by the time the sun peeks over Granite Mountain, the temperature is hanging tight in the low 20s.

Feeding the goats means breaking ice in the water buckets each morning. It's not time yet to put in the electric water heating ring but it's getting closer. My feet make crackling, crinkling noises in the grass as I carry the hay and grain to the goat pens. In my wake I see footprints. In a few weeks, those footprints will be in snow. For now, they're just in frost.

By afternoon, temperatures are in the 60s, but in the shade, ice crystals linger in water puddles and if I forget to stretch out the hose, I hear crackling noises when I turn on the water spigot. The force of the water sends a cascade of ice tubes out onto the grass.

There are some dragonflies along the river and in the marshy spots in the field. Red ones and blue ones. I haven't seen the smaller green ones for a couple of months now. Mostly the red ones are left. They hover and light on leaves and skim across the surface of the river, chasing smaller bugs.

Two Mallards are still cruising the river. Maybe this year's ducklings. They're two females and don't seem in a hurry to head for warmer climates.

Spider lines are a sure sign of autumn. Released by the females of some species,they float on the air, filling the sky with silken tendrils until they come to rest on some surface where they attach. I've never seen the eggs they must transport. The railing on the footbridge over the river is host to many of these strands and I fan them away from me as I cross over.

Robert Frost is one of my favorite poets, and since I hail from New England, he's an appropriate choice. "Whose woods are these, I think I know." One of my favorite lines. My woods are not in the village, though. They're rugged, lonely, grand, and deep. Young trees grow among the fallen giants. Ferns and wildflowers fill the meadows. All the reasons I left the city behind so many years ago. Perfect for a writer. Perfect for anyone who loves nature and what she can offer in a world that's become so complex, so busy, and so impersonal.

Still rejoicing in the miracle of Chile. Still grateful for nature in all her glory.
Still hoping the world learns to care for her resources - the water, the air, the earth.


  1. Beautiful post, Karen. I feel as though I'm strolling right along with you to the goat pens or through the woods.

  2. Would be nice to take a walk together, wouldn't it? Saw two small yellow butterflies (maybe moths - I don't know the difference). Bear scat and coyote scat. Warm in the sun. Cool in the shade.

  3. Chile miners inspire the world. And it's good you enjoy the season a bit. I'm sure you will feel energised afterwards.

    My Darcy Mutates