Right on up to about a week ago I heard some low-level grousing about how this autumn wasn't measuring up to last year's, or was it the year before? Then came last Tuesday and Wednesday, fiery days that set new standards for jaw-dropping splendor. They surely were the peak of the annual riot of color, but every day up here lately is a glorious stroll through sun-dappled tunnels of gold and crimson and amber and I don't know what-all.
Just today I was trying to catch up on some long-delayed garden chores, pulling up the last of the tomato cages, coiling the hoses and rounding up the usual wagonful of hoes and dibbles and tater grubbers and an old chisel we used to get after tough weeds, when I looked around at the color of the light -- and dashed back up to the house for the camera.
If the old folks' calculations are right, this is something like the 112th Fall for the old homestead down by the creek. A wise old man once told me the house was built around 1900, and the springhouse a few years later. No telling when the corncrib went up, or the shed next to what was once a small dairy barn but now services the asparagus bed, or the old shed 50 feet away that slumps and slides a little more each year back into the Patrick County clay from which it rose and withstood many hard Belcher Mountain winters.