Friday, October 14, 2011

The Fall of Autumn–Flight of the Geese

We humans are paradoxical beings. We tend to stew our lives in hope, spiced with either pessimism or optimism, depending on how we view our circumstances of the moment. When times are rough, we sprinkle heavily with pessimism; when all is well, we’re liberal with optimism.

The term ‘karma’ is largely misunderstood by most of the western world. It is not a predetermined destiny as we’ve been trained to believe, but a predeterminable outcome based on our reaction to a given set of circumstances. In order to change our futures for the better, we must change the way we view and interpret the way our life plays out, which will change our reactions and, thereby, the results of those reactions. That doesn’t mean you have to give up your goals and aspirations; quite the contrary, what you have to give up is the habit of giving in when you encounter obstacles in your pathway to achieving your goals and aspirations.


All my bright and beautiful leaves are falling, stripping the luster of autumn.

The geese are flying over our place every morning at around ten o’clock to spend the day at the reservoir to the west of us. At seven in the evening they fly back to the field beyond a ridge to the east of us. A couple of weeks ago there were probably about four or five flocks of around fifteen or twenty geese per flock. Now there are nearly twice that many. Before long there will be more still and then, one day they won’t stop at the field beyond the ridge and they’ll be gone for another year.

We haven’t watched the geese as closely as we did last year, when they landed in the field across the road every evening. We carried our chairs out to the front lawn and sat there every evening just before seven o’clock to watch them return from the reservoir. One evening early last fall, when there were still only a few flocks, we noticed a couple of geese in one flock flip a quarter turn in the air as they began their descent. We weren’t quite sure we saw what we thought we saw until the following evening when we then saw a few more do the same flip. The sound from their wings fluttered as though they had faltered, but they did the same thing again just before landing, some of them flipping halfway over and then back upright.

Over the next few nights several more geese began flipping on their descent and within a week or so geese from all the flocks were flipping. Shortly after new flocks joined our original group, some of them began flipping and by then most of the originals were doing flips, several now flipping a full circle. Before they all left, nearly all the geese were doing flips and some of them flipped several times, plummeting toward the earth before pulling into a soaring coast into the field.

This year we were curious to see if they were still doing their descent flipping, but for the first several evenings we couldn’t see, since they were descending on the other side of that ridge. We watched carefully for several days, then finally saw – as they flew over a saddle in the ridge – that, yes, they were still doing their flips. We clapped and cheered as they vanished behind the ridge.



Ben took this photo last week and within a couple of days the aspen leaves were turning brown and the red Amur maple leaves were falling.



The wreath we made today from some of the last leaves of the grove of trees above.


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A foggy day last week.

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Garden color – broccoli leaf

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