Fall of All Seasons

Fall foliage in the grove at Flying Hat Ranch (2009). Photo by B. Matthews

Today, September 22, 2010, is the first day of Fall.  The sun positioned equally between northern and southern hemispheres today falls to southern skies from today until about December 21, the winter solstice, shortest day of the year.

Fall of all the seasons is harvest time, but it is more.  It seems to be a time for catching up and preparation.  The Winter is coming and windbreaks must be established for the horses and hatchets and axes placed in the pickups to chop the ice from the water troughs.  An uptick of hay must be stored in the barn.  When it is drier (this season it is not) grass must be shredded in places to stop the spread of wildfire into the woods and structures.  A hard look must be given to livestock to affirm they are properly conditioned weight-wise to make it through the winter.  If not, then added grain or alfalfa must be apportioned to the weak.  Crevices must be stuffed, caulking pressed into cracks.  The tire chains must be brought out and placed in the trucks.

Summer in most parts of Texas is brutal from 10:30 a.m. in the morning until the long shadows in the evening.  Fall, Winter and Spring give comfortable temperatures for outdoor labor and I anticipate Fall coming way back in June.  June through the middle of September is a time I tolerate and mechanically toil outdoors.  I’m not trying to rush through the Summer, but I am happier when I feel the cool temperatures before daylight in the Fall, as I did this morning, standing in the pasture road looking at the moon, almost full, falling through the mesquite trees on the Dooley place.

I have long since passed the time in the Fall when I saw it as a time of playing football or watching the sport.  I do occasionally watch games and on Friday nights I see the stadium lights from Gordon and Stephenville and other towns about our region.  Interstate 20 is filled with band and supporter buses going to games, intent upon boosting the boys and their play with pigskin.  Better to have the game than waste away in destructive behaviors despite the risk of concussions.

Fall.  I am glad for cooler temperatures and the colors changing in the grove of trees.  I hope your first day of Fall is a good day.  I know mine is.

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12 Comments

Filed under Flying Hat Ranch

12 responses to “Fall of All Seasons

  1. Thanks for this! You already have yellow leaves? Albq is still so hot!

  2. Fall – My favorite season. Smell of green chile roasting; apples from Dixon in a bowl on the table; that snap in the air in the early morning. My first day of fall is going to involve cooking a pot of gypsy stew loaded with green chile. Have a great one!

    • Thank you, Bunny. I looked for you in Santa Fe over the Labor Day weekend, thinking you might have a booth. Also we looked for you at Farmers’ Market that Saturday. I want some stew too.

  3. Caralee

    Wa-a-a-it a minute! You’re not following Frog Football?!! You know the Frogs are #4 in AP rankings and kicking butt every week? I mean, you gotta follow Frog Football! http://www.gofrogs.com

  4. Kittie Howard

    I also love that morning snap in the air. And the first day I wear a turtleneck and jeans and feel the leaves crunch is one of nature’s holiest days…and, yep, a bowl of stew (over rice…gotta have my rice) in the evening (with fresh cornbread, usually two pieces, burp!).

    Professional football isn’t my thing, even tho the Saints are doing well and all that jazz. Collegiate football has more appeal…but not as much as before. I mourn the days of the student athlete…and am a bit uncomfortable with some aggressive recruiting practices…

    Having said that, Geaux Tigers (don’t throw the leftover cornbread at me, LOL)!

    • Oh, I won’t throw cornbread at you. My collegiate team is TCU and they are rated four in the nation. We’ll probably buy some tickets and go see them in Fort Worth. Wonder if they play the Tigers?

  5. Kittie Howard

    Jack, the address won’t link. Help! K.

  6. It’s good you’ve got acceptable temperatures now. Your summer temperatures are really too much!

    And you’ve got so much to do, Jack. I hope you’ve got someone to help you! Or else you’ll be worn out up to your knees!

    I like very much when you tell us about the nature in your land. And I can almost sense your good feeling, when you stand in the pasture after a day’s work, looking at the moon.

    Best wishes
    Grethe

    • Grethe: Thank you for telling me what you like. That’s the direction I want the blog to be. I have had to prioritize what needs to be done everyday. I have let things slide that don’t need intense attention. But, you are correct, I got a lot on my plate right now. I’m re-ordering my priorities this Fall (today the first full day) and will post more on my relationship to the land and nature here on Flying Hat. One thing that has happened in terms of work I have to do occurred last year. I came to the conclusion that somethings that need to be done are never going to get done if I have to do it alone. So, I let a lot of things go and have hired people to attend to the needs of the place. It was a good thing to do. One day at a time…as it is said.

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