Tuesday, October 30, 2012

For Sure It's Fall

As you well know, a cold front came through the Midwest last week. I happened to be coming home from a quick job in Madison, Wisconsin. It was one of those phone calls at 2 p.m. begging us to provide someone, anyone, to assist them. As we were really short last week, I got the job.

It turned out that I wasn't needed beyond a couple hours because, as luck would have it, a piece broke and couldn't be fixed until the next day. So, I was cut loose and I headed home. It was 70 degrees when I left Madison. As I headed towards Chicagoland, it started raining and you could feel the temperature start to drop. The cold front was here. Our balmy Indian summer days were coming to a screeching, wet halt.

I drove out of the front line and it didn't reach Chicagoland until around supper so I had a still balmy afternoon to bring in the garbage cans and batten down any hatches, more like turn the empty cans upside down so wind couldn't get inside, swirl around and knock them over. One is sad to see these days leave. Sitting on the deck when it's 78, is quite different than when it's 58, even if it's completely still and sunny and 58.

So, yesterday, I'm wandering about the yard, picking up someone's trash that has blown into my yard and I spot these. This is the final key to knowing that fall is heading towards winter.

Just like blowing dandelion heads in spring, blowing milkweed pod seeds in late fall should be the highlight of a child's life, heck, of anyone's life. Unlike dandelions, however, milkweed seeds need to be dry to really take off. As the pod opens, they are a bit damp and will come out in a clump. When the pod completely splits open and the seeds are caught by the wind, it reminds me of the animation to Tchaikovsky's "Walz of the Flowers" in Walt Disney's Fantasia.

Yes, the dramatic changes in temperature and the explosions of fuzz from milkweed pods remind me that fall is nearly over and the winter is coming. I could bring a stalk inside and keep the potential frozen but I want the milkweeds in the yard. Plus, I think the seeds have to overwinter to sprout in the spring.


Beverage:  Dr Pepper


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