9.04.2011

THE SEASONS ARE OUT OF JOINT


These days it seems like everything is on an accelerated schedule--from the heat of campaign rhetoric to the winter look of my trees. Irene blasted our coastal town with desiccating winds and salt sprays. In response, the trees have started to lose their leaves months ahead of time. They're skipping the finery of autumn's amber and crimson hues, donning the shriveled, curled, tattered browns of winter. The old maple behind my house has lost more than half its leaves; every time the wind gusts up, another batch flurries through the sky, covering the lawn, the deck, the chairs.


The trees have gone into defensive mode. But the stress must extend far beyond their leaves. Birds' nests are exposed; many of the flowers from which they feed are mere husks. (Do birds like toasted, salted seeds the way we do? Somehow I doubt it.) Hummingbirds and finches dart through the garden, looking for sustenance. It is unnerving; we still have the heat of early September, and the strong light as well. The seasons are out of joint.

6 comments:

Leslie Bacon said...

is everything really changing...or is that it that as we age (sorry) we notice these elements of life in a different way? I don't mean to deny climate change -- I just realize that I notice things, and care about nature in a different way now that I am in my 60's and not in my 30's. I live (part time) in the south of France. I have an avocado tree, that weathered the (freak)snow storms of Feb. 2009 but looked about to die, and fruits in 2010 were the size of my pinky! and there were only about 10 avocados. This year, the tree has completely recovered-- and we were just noticing the heavily laden tree -- too many avocados to count. Nature is very resilient -like the children of divorce, perhaps... we agonize and worry for them, and then, somehow, they turn out just fine, better for the difficulties, the stress -or at least, in spite of it. Have faith.

Anonymous said...

Here on Amelia Island FL, the outer bands of 2 back-to-back summer hurricanes tore through here and defoliated most of our trees. At some point not too long after this, I can't remember exactly when, the trees put out fresh new green leaves, it was like having two Spring leaf seasons in one year. It was completely bizarre.

-Flo

Eulalia (Lali) Benejam Cobb said...

In Vermont, Irene covered the riverside meadows in gray mud. Above that dismal sight, however, the trees are preparing their seasonal extravaganza. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I know too well what an untimely wind can do to a glorious autumn.

Ashling said...

Earlier this week I started a blog post observing the same thing. Finished it a little while ago, and then, playing catchup on the blogs I follow, found your post. So it seems many of us are noticing the same thing. But here in the foothills of the Catskills, even the light is changing. We still have the heat, but it's limp and wet, not firece and bold like early September usually is. Hurricane? Climate change? Impending end of the world? I don't know, but I agree with you wholeheartedly...things are all out of whack!

Deborah A said...

Yes, here where I am (Cape Cod), I am already seeing brown leaves that are falling. Someone told me yesterday that it was from the wind blowing that sucked the moisture out of all the leaves. I had thought it was the salt, maybe its a bit of both. I hope it doesn't effect the fall foliage up north...it would be a tremendous loss for the tourist industry.
I was looking over your schedule of travel for September. WOW, 12 days, 5 different states, all that time up and down in airplanes and motels, you must have to fortify yourself for that kind of travel.
Just getting over a bad viral cold that went into my lungs, it seems like a huge undertaking. I hope you get to do a little shopping for yourself at some of these stops!
On another note, here on Cape Cod we are celebrating Labor Day as the end of a very busy summer season. We now will have our stores,roads, bike trails and beaches back, always a relief.

Anonymous said...

"on Amelia Island FL, the outer bands of 2 back-to-back summer hurricanes tore through here and defoliated most of our trees. At some point not too long after this, I can't remember exactly when, the trees put out fresh new green leaves..."

I brilliantly forgot to add that this two-springs-season happened a couple of years ago. Ack.

-Flo