Worth the wait

A lot of people around here put pumpkins on their porches the day after Labor Day. Hang orange and red autumn wreathes on their front doors. The week after Labor Day saw temperatures in the mid-nineties this year. You could have swum outdoors until mid-October. September no longer transitions to yellow and gold. It is green. It is a summer month. Period. I have come to accept that. But I simply could not lose October. Mid-October was still green this year. My red, white and blue July petunias were still thriving on the porch. All the pumpkin spice in the world could not bring autumn. The heat index was over 100 on our pumpkin patch day. Halloween approached. When I was a girl, spooky bare trees rattled in the wind on Halloween night and we had to wear scratchy hoodies under our costumes to keep warm. But it seemed this year Halloween was going to be green. The last weekend of the month I noticed patches of yellow and orange in the upper branches of the maples in town. Outside town, the woods seemed to go red and gold overnight, then brown the next day. On October 30 I drove down to a beautiful stretch of red granite canyon where a river runs

through. I squeezed in the trip between other duties, because I felt the urgency of a short season. When my trail ended at the river, it was late afternoon and the boulders, the stream and the hillside glowed. I sat quietly for a long time. Because it was worth the wait. Please, no Christmas décor until December. November is what October was. I call this photograph End of October.

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