am 22.10.03 17:36 Uhr schrieb Richard Seddon unter [log in to unmask]:

Dear List

Last night's low was 31.1 degrees F. ( -.5 C).  Yesterday's high was 80.5 F (26.95 C)  Snow is forecast for Northern New Mexico this weekend.  My place is just south of the forecasted snow but who knows.

The frost is on the pumpkin.  The trees are turning.  The Russian olives are sadly worn.  Grass has stopped growing and is turning brown.  The sandhill cranes are here for the winter and the hummingbirds are gone.  Quail are everywhere but the doves have departed.  Crows are seriously depleted in number and the hawks that are going to overwinter are sitting on their power poles (man does provide nature with some good things but I'm sure the hawks would get by without the poles).  Snakes and lizards are asleep.  Hairy critters are getting  a little shaggy.  My neighbor just finished harvesting beans and corn (maize) is being chopped into silage throughout the valley.  Soon he'll go Elk hunting and then settle into his barns and sheds and start the greasing and overhauls of his equipment for next spring.  The days grow short while the night grows long.

As Ezra Pound wrote:

Winter is icummen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!    
                              Sing: Goddamm
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An Ague hath my ham.
Frezzeth river, turneth liver,
(etc. etc.)

I'll not quote it all.  see page 120 of "Personae" for the whole poem and then see page 1 of "The Oxford Book of English Verse" edited by Christopher Ricks for the 13th century poem known as the "Cuccu song"

Sumer is icumen in-
Lhude sing, cuccu!
(etc. etc.)

Hope rains eternal. (pun intended) And the hummingbirds will return as the sandhill cranes leave and my neighbor will plant beans and hope but also work for a good harvest when the hummingbirds leave and the cranes return.

Rick Seddon
McIntosh, NM

You are missing out on autumn,
dear Rick!

Here is the first stanza of "To Autumn",  from memory:

"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close-bosom friend to the maturing sun,
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run,
To bend with apples the mossed cottage trees
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core,
To swell the gourd [a.k.a. Pumpkin, GJ] and plump the hazel-shell
With a sweet kernel, to set budding more
And even more later flowers for the bees
Until they think warm days will never cease
For summer has o'erbrimmed their clammy cells."

(I like the way Keats was concerned what bees might think ;-))

Or, as Rilke put it:

"Herr, es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr gross.
Leg' deine Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren, und auf den Feldern lass die Winde los.
       Befiel den letzten Früchten voll zu sein, gönn ihnen noch zwei südlichere Tage
       Dräng' zur Vollendung sie hin und jage
       Die letzte Süsse in den schweren Wein."

       Lord, it is time. Summer was very large.
       Cast your shadows over the sundials, and unleash the winds on the plains.
       Order the last fruit to be full, give them a couple of southern days,
       Urge them to completeness and squeeze
       the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Robert Frost once mentioned that poetry is what gets lost in translation...)