On Friday we pulled up the basil plants, and stripped the leaves to store in the freezer. (This made me feel like a murderer, but the plants could no longer survive the cold nights, even under a protective layer of plastic.) With the basil went our last dreams of summer.
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On Sunday a steady drizzle falls all day long. Not the best weather for walking, but I've been sitting around crocheting and eating starchy foods and drinking cup after cup of tea. Some sort of exercise (beyond that of my wrists and jaws) is indicated - so out come the woolly undershirt and the new neon violet fleece top, and the bright lilac hat I haven't worn since last winter. Tallulah climbs into my pocket, and we head out into the rain.
It's too wet for trail-walking, so we aim for the park. Edging the lake near the park entrance are some ghostly remains of unidentified flowers, rain-spangled and delicately lovely:
Lining the park's inner pond are coneflowers: some partially dried, still with a gleam of life about them:
...and some completely dried:
These fluffy brown blossoms are ironweed gone to seed:
Tallulah consents to pose on a damp bridge railing against a misty view of the lake :
(I see she's still wearing her cycling helmet. Not much chance of a ride in this weather!)
Round the corner are some impressive goldenrod turned velour:
Ash keys dangle from a leafless tree:
The rain makes overlapping circles on the water:
Tallulah asks for a whiff of acorn:
"How does it smell?" I ask.
"Oaky, with a hint of nuttiness," she replies.
We have nearly completed our circuit of the park, but the best is yet to come. Ahead is a piercingly lovely sugar maple that has scattered leaves like scarlet confetti over the wet asphalt.
Could anything be more beautiful than this?
Autumn has its compensations, even in the rain. :)
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