October has been a brilliant month. Day after warm golden day, mild nights after a frost at the time of the full moon. I have invented small chores to take me outdoors, savoured moments of mellow afternoon sunshine, bright leaves swirling from the dooryard maples.
One could wish that such weather might extend until at least January!
It was evident yesterday that change was coming.
The sun sulked behind shifty clouds. The wind picked up, swiping leaves from the twigs and whoosing them in deep drifts that have lodged in the perennial strips and strewn the driveway.
By evening raindrops were spattering.
I woke this morning [Saturday] to darkness beyond the shuttered windows and the sound of rain on the roof shingles.
My feet were warmly weighted with the furry bulk of cats--cats who always know the moment my eyelids twitch and beseige me to lumber out of bed and pad down the hallway to set out cat dishes.
J. had made up the woodfire before bed last evening and there was still a lingering warmth to that end of the cottage.
With the cat-clamor satisfiied, I pulled on wellies, a thick hoodie and a quilted vest.
Outside the rain was now a mere drizzle. The scent of woodsmoke was heavy on the grey air; sounds were muted.
I hurried to tend litterbox duties and to dish out grain for Pebbles the old horse.
She is stiff and creaking, every one of her 26 years now bleakly evident.
Willis and the tortie sisters milled about as I forked hay and doled out a helping of grain designated for 'Senoir Horses.'
[Pebbles is J.'s horse, but since I am often outside now before him, I give her breakfast.]
A few still-lovely roses catch my eye, and I fetch the scissors;
The smell of mint is sharp on the chilly air, stalks pummeled by rain and trampled beneath my boots as I reach to rescue rain-heavy blooms.
Inside again to the alluring odor of coffee perking--my one cup of the day.
J. is up and replenishing the fire;
Cats have eaten and are now parked here and there industriously washing paws and polishing whiskers, ready to curl up, tails over noses, for a quick nap while humans come to grips with the day ahead.