Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oktober

No, that is not a spelling error. I put the 'K' in there on purpose. Oktober is simply the German version of our 'October', and while it refers to a month of the year, it also translates to the word, "harvest". 

At this time of year, the pastures are a veritable sea of sienna, scarlet, rust, goldenrod, orange, and emerald. A grand harvest of colors...


The air outside smells of wood smoke, tinged with newly sawed pine. Looking across the hills, I can spy curlicues of smoke, rising upward in cursive shapes. I hear the geese calling, as they fly past. Their songs are faint this year; their flight is higher than I can see. We shall have a long, cold winter this year... 


Pumpkins are being harvested and brought in. Jack o lanterns guard our home with perpetually smiling countenances and unblinking eyes. When lit at night, they look like glowing orbs from a different planet. Except for the smiling. Maybe if they weren't always smiling they might be a little more intimidating... 


The goats are all getting their shaggy winter coats in, and the chickens have just finished their moult. Arrayed once more in their glorious iridescent feathering. The black bears are moving northwards from our property now; away from the plentiful blackberry bushes, and closer to their dens. The coyotes sing every night now. I recognize each one by their distinctive wail. At the moment, there are only eight of them. The other six have parted for a time... The leader has a low, long howl that ends in a soprano hook. Unmistakable. Identifiable. Methodical is his song. The hair on my neck stands on end as I listen to him gather his pack, and then they all join together in what sounds like a dirge. I shiver as I listen to their last notes die off, and hurry inside. When they finish singing, they begin their march... They must eat. Blood must be spilt. The country in the daylight is a delightful, friendly place. But at night, it is a creature to contend with... Here there be monsters...


Oktober. A time of harvest. Whether it is for the bears, as they try to pack on the winter calories before nestling down for a long winter's nap, the coyotes as they hurry to get the latest boom of rabbits, or we humans, as we scurry to pick, can and freeze the bounty that still comes even in this changeable weather... We are all harvesting.
It will not last long. Enjoy Oktober while you can...

2 comments:

Autumn said...

I love Oktober- it's my second most favorite month!

Goat Song said...

What's your first? I think Oktober is my top favorite. I love the fall colors, the jack o lanterns and the migrating geese! :)