As I write this, skies are clear over the homestead. The first pale glow of dawn shows in the north, but the brighter stars are out: the constellation Orion, one of my favorites, hangs in the southern sky; it’s the first I’ve seen of him in ages. To the north, it’s the Big Dipper. Venus, in her guise as the Morning Star shines so brightly above the coast range that I first saw her reflected in some spare windows stacked against the shed wall, visible from our bedroom window when I rose. The north wind is brisk and cool.
I love this month! It starts our holiday season, and ends autumn. I don’t know what’s in store for us this year’s October, but it’s off to a spectacular start.
A few days ago, we went to town to harvest the Charles Anway apple tree. This year, because the summer growing season was so poor, the museum staff asked pickers to limit themselves to one grocery bag full per family. With the rickety old museum ladder out of commission this year, even with the two of us handling picking poles, we had enough to do to pick that many. We had a classic Southeast Alaskan autumn day for it. We picked with bright sun in our eyes one minute, rain the next, then more sun. It was great fun, and the jars of apple sauce are lining up on the counter, steaming hot from the water bath. After all these years, apple picking remains a quintessential autumn activity for me.
Just about every day I’m out in the woods, looking for my moose. I’m losing hope as the hunt runs up against other obligations, but at least I’m getting out there in the fresh autumn air.