A bike ride on the back roads of Monroe County last Saturday convinced me that the Fall season is upon us. It is the most enjoyable of seasons, full of sights, sounds, and smells that delight the senses. The bicycle is an ideal conveyance; fast enough to get you to a breakfast spot in one of the surrounding villages, but sufficiently slow to take in thesplendor and beauty of the countryside.
Now, in late September, the calendar says it is Fall. The skies are pleasant as the humidity of summer is largely behind us, and the white cumulus clouds stand out against the azure blue sky. The sumac had turned bright red. Dead leaves under the bicycle tires make a pleasant scrunch sound. Pine needles emit a more swishing tone.
Rabbits, in abundance this year, hasten to their hiding places. Squirrels gather nuts, storing them for the long winter ahead. Butterflies are abundant. We see sandhill cranes feeding in the harvested oats and hay fields. Wooly bear caterpillars are spotted below the bike handlebars. I stop to examine a couple of them. They will tell us about the winter ahead. Narrow brown band means a bitter winter ahead. Wide brown band will indicate a mild winter. You can count on it. What’s the verdict? I find a wide band, it’s going to be a balmy winter. No need to travel south this year!
A few V shaped flocks of geese are overhead. Maybe some have headed south already. Good to get to Missouri and Arkansas before all the good feeding places are taken up!
And the smells. A bike ride delights the olfactory receptors, as Fall has a scent all its own. The cornfields emit a certain scent, as do the dried leaves. The winds carry an aroma of a large dairy farm. It’s not exactly a perfume or fragrance, but it does evoke memories of decades past on the Scheckel farm on Oak Grove Ridge near Seneca. You don’t get those scents and memories riding the highways in a car. Fall is truly a time to rejoice in the goodness of the Earth.
Genesis 2:1-25 – Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.