Snow on the Mountain in the Pasture

Heading up Zig Zag Lane

The dogs and I headed up Zig Zag Lane
while the sun was still high,
the air still,
humid.
I hoped to see Monarchs;
I’ve seen a few already
and know
they like to stay awhile in the trees
along the lane
as they fly north
from Mexico.
I saw no Monarchs today,
but Zig Zag Lane
shows other signs of transition.

Prairie Nettle

Cedar Berries

Snow on the Mountain

Grasses are drying—
green and golden
in the late afternoon sun—
and sunflowers are blooming,
but so is Snow on the Mountain,
and the purple flowers on the prairie nettle.
Cicadeas still sing
and grasshoppers spring everywhere.
I hear them land
on the dry Johnston Grass.
Dragonflies, thankfully,
(there are still mosquitoes)
are plentiful,
flying elegantly amid the graceless grasshoppers.
But Cedar tree boughs hang thick
with winter berries
and the scent of fresh cedar
mixes with dry grass
and dry earth;
autumn’s spice is in the air.

It’s dry.
Storms that surrounded us
the last two days,
that towered above us
and thundered and flashed,
failed to deliver much rain—
barely 1/4-inch worth.
Ponds are very low.
Exceptional drought,
they say.
My concern about the drought grows—
especially
since I read this morning
that scientists are watching
a climate change pattern
in which we get more rain in the fall
than in the spring
now.
And yet,
we missed a soaker
again.

This morning,
someone said to me,
“Summer’s over.”
“I hope not,” I said—
and I have no idea
why I said that.
I am so glad
the temperature has dropped,
though the humidity has been so high,
I am dripping after a few minutes of outdoor tasks,
or a walk on Zig Zag Lane.
I came down the Lane
looking for Monarchs,
looking for signs of autumn.
And I do see transition.
I look forward to the beauties
of fall,
but evidently,
I’m not ready to let go
of summer.

Supper on the porch,
in the cool of a breeze
stirring again;
I watch the chickens
make their evening rounds,
listen to the cicadeas’ sleepy summer serenade
and watch
the hummingbirds
chase and dive bomb each other
for their moment at the feeders.
Maybe that’s why I’m glad
it’s still summer:
the hummingbirds
are still here,
though their summer days
are evidently numbered.
Overhead,
something white catches my eye:
I look up,
my jaw drops:
Snow Geese.