THE PEACE OF FALL

I’m having my last morning coffee for the season on my little deck overlooking my beloved bay.  I continue packing today and Sigrid will be here tomorrow to help me move back to the winter cave.  I have been up there a couple of times since Labor Day and I miss my bay vistas up there.

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The early sun is September-warm.  The air is still, so much so that reflections of the fragmites plumes are clear in the water.  I hear a cricket and a few bird calls, now a flight of honking geese.  The marshes are cinnamon with still some thin washes of pale green, resting comfortably, their essence moving into their roots to survive the winter.  A lone fisherman drifts slowly with the tide; another passes, speeding south, the boat’s reflection in the still water traveling with it.  They are too far away to hear; a blessing this morning.

Few are stirring here.  One goes out and returns with a paper.  Please, just look around right now, not at the paper.

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Life, of course, continues down here but at a greatly reduced level.  Next weekend is the annual Chowda Fest after which it’ll get really quiet.  Then the speed limits will rise and the traffic lights will go on blink.  For those who stay, their essence is also moving into their roots to survive the winter.  The Bagel Shack remains open to help with that.

Yes, there are no such vistas back home but life continues with friends, gatherings, events, meetings, projects, a fall getaway and probably a winter getaway.  December brings the winter solstice.  Since that marks the beginning of the sun’s return I’ve always thought of it as the first day of boating season.  That’s a nice thought.

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FRIGID FORSYTHE

Our South Jersey Camera Club field trip energizer bunny, Pat W., had scheduled a sunrise shoot at the Forsythe Wildiife Refuge at Oceanville, NJ.  Turned out that there were four of us crazy enough to emerge from warm beds and drive fifty miles or so to enjoy a 19° F. and windchilled  dawn. 

Once we got out on the refuge road it wasn’t so bad (all photographers lie a little) and we persevered.  As the sun rose the light became warmer.  Not so the photographers.

We finally came across a gaggle of snow geese which had been a primary reason for the trip.

We waited patiently for them to decide about us.  Finally they’d had enough of our company and, breaking into flight, became  (et voila) a skein of geese.

One thinks of the refuge as being a bird sanctuary, particularly out on the meadows.  This one and a companion, however, were also enjoying the meadows and they provided comic relief as they bounded from sedge clump to sedge clump, frequently sinking into the muck in between.



There are always the Canada Geese  Their multitude, testiness and droppings are unpleasant but when they break into flight it’s wonderful; their plaintive honking, calling to each other, so moving on a moonlit fall or winter night.  I remember a childhood writing that Sigrid had from somewhere.  It had to do with the geese flying away far overhead, and it ended with the child’s cry: Be Careful!   Years ago I gave Marty Lou a gold pin of a pair of them in flight.  In part it was a rememberance of our years on Chesapeake Bay; in part because geese mate forever.

Don't miss that left turn ahead.