Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The weather has been restless since Sunday. Sweeping winds, blowing leaves, grey clouds
rushing across the sky and then parting to let in an almost feverish sun.

Although the snap of the camera's shutter freezes a view in place, the leaves are anything but a quiet carpet of gold. The wind lifts them in swirls and they rise to spin with those being swooshed from the branches of the maples.

Drifts of leaves lie in front of the porch as the wind is blowing from the south.

One yellow leaf.

Caught a second later as it lifts in the wind.

These stems of cornflower were whisking in the wind, swaying and bobbing.

The stiff stems of the monarda are unbowed.

Leaves dance across the back yard.  I have swept them out of the outside cellarway for there is a storm drain at the bottom which needs to remain clog-free in the event of rain with the wind.

Leaves caught in the box hedge outside the bedroom window.
Chester, the skittery cat, watches the effects of the wind from a safe windowsill.

A rugosa leans away from the wind.

Willis chases leaves--there are too many and he is distracted by the possibilities.

                                                      Sally, an autumn-colored kitten.

Leaves are caught in all the border plants.
While we slept through the gusty night, pears dropped from the old tree.
I am headed down the field to pick up such as have not been smashed beyond use.
The sky is darkening.
J. has been keeping watch of the Dopler weather map via his computer.
We've had phone calls this morning from family in WY wondering if we are in the path of the very fierce winds and torrential rains which have thus far stayed north of our area.
The wind draws me outside where I bend into it, my face whipped by hair that cannot be secured even with two elastic bands and two barrettes.
Elemental. Way beyond our knowing, let alone our control.
Wind---restless, portentious, dramatic, just on the edge of fear.

I've just pulled out a favorite old book, the first of the "Eliot Trilogy" [A Bird in the Tree] by English author, Elizabeth Goudge.
An autumnal storm sweeps in at the climax of the story, set in Hampshire, a place I have never been, but the portrayal of the storm is almost universal in feeling.

"The warm, still blue days, and the quiet nights bright with the harvest moon, had left them.  There was a fresh south-west wind today and brilliant masses of sunlit cloud passed like a pageant before it, their shadows sweeping the earth beneath them. Far up, beyond and between their mighty shapes, stretches of sky shone like aquamarine and crystal, cold and tranquil.  The distance was hard and clear, a brilliant royal blue, and the nearer landscape a flung quilt of colour with the bright emerald of the well-watered pasture lands, the pale buff squares of the shorn cornfields, the dark swaying masses of the trees and the cottage gardens blazing with their dahlias and hydrangeas."
And a few pages on: "He got up and went outside and wandered up and down the grass verge of the steep little road between the cottages.  The wind had risen a good deal and the sky was packed with hurrying grey clouds.  The smoke from the cottage chimneys was tossed and torn as soon as it emerged and the donkey's fur was blown up edgeways.  David noticed that the sun, seen now and again between the hurrying clouds, had a halo or wheel around it.  At Little Village they had a saying,
The bigger the wheal,
The stronger the geal.
"There's a gale coming, " thought David.  "Curse it. The end of our fine weather."

The sky to the south just moments before noon CDT.

I'm heading outside in a few minutes into this strange, warm, windy afternoon of mystery and restless movement.
Since I plan to pickup the wind-fall pears, a hard-hat might be advisable.
I'd love to know if some of my readers have favorite passages of prose or poetry which capture the portents of stormy weather.

Later: gathering the windfall pears will have to wait.  As we prepared lunch, rain rushed in and within less than a half hour the temperature had dropped nearly 20 degrees. The wind switched right around to the north. The air is still now, the trees have stopped flailing and beyond the streaming windowpanes a misty dark afternoon hovers.
It has been time for a mug of tea, the familiar old book with its gentle family story. My lap has been crowded with Maisie and Charlie contending for space.
In lieu of picking up pears I think I need to make something richly chocolate.


  1. I hated to come to the end of your beautiful writing. You've captured so well the mystery of strong weather, the quickly changing mood as conditions are rearranging even as we watch...I'm going back to read it again!

    We've had too-warm days of 75+, finally a gentle rain has started this morning, I hope it ushers in brisk and cool October weather, before the still, grey days of November are upon us.

  2. Really enjoyed your Blog this morning, beautiful writing and pictures. I think you must be a little farther along in Autumn than we are. Most of the bad weather missed us though we got nearly 3 inches of rain Monday evening. It's supposed to be 87 here today.
    I LOVE the Eliot family trilogy, The Heart of the Family is on my table to be reread right now. I'm not good on quotes or remembering lines, what I remember most about this book is the sense of family, duty, honor and what love really means. I've read all of Elizabeth Goudge's books and the Eliot family story has been read and reread more times than I can remember.

  3. Wonderful atmospheric shots ...what a shame the windfalls were probably ruined....cant imagine a 20 degree drop.xx

  4. OMG I never knew what wind was until I came to live on this hill ha ha
    Let's BOTH go make something chocolatey :D

  5. Beautiful post as always. I could feel the wind on my face in that Kentucky countryside...make me want to go brew a cup of hot spiced tea!

  6. MTVA: It is exciting to be in a region new to us--the weather is a succession of surprises. It has been a lovely autumn.
    M n' J: You are located several hundred miles south of us--I could tell that your summer was even hotter than ours. It is a joy to connect with other people who lvoe the same books!
    Angie: Quite a few of the windfalls are salvagable--have to watch for wasps and such when reaching for them!
    Kath: I did make something chocolate; discovered a tub of gourmet brownie mix in the cupboard--ate two of them warm from the oven with a mug of tea--one would have been quite adequate!
    SH: I enjoy the fact that you've "been here" in KY and that I'm also familiar with Oregon--we can create mental pictures/settings as we read each others blog.