It is definitely, unmistakably fall now. The maple leaves are turning the most brilliant colors.
Some trees are supposed to give fruit in the fall.
The persimmon with its orange baubles looks as if it is decorated for Halloween.
But for others, the rare fruit they are sprouting now is unseasonable and slightly disturbing, like the odd, last child of an overly fertile woman long past her prime.
Here is the last of the blackberries, ripening when the rest of the bush has gone dormant.
Here is the first cherry, nursing a single green fruit and willing it to ripen. Who is this cherry for? Who will get to eat it?
Right beside the first cherry tree, is the second cherry tree, with its seemingly pregnant open bloom.
Will this blossom come to fruition as well? And if so, what will become of the fruit?
There is one branch of the service berry by the fence line that still bears blossoms.
Will there be service berries for the deer to eat in November?
The deer are still coming by in the evening in the front yard, though they do seem a little more shy now.
They come with the setting sun, and they leave when they see me.
I read somewhere that the Japanese fry maple leaves and then eat them, and I wondered what Bow would do, if I offered him an assortment of leaves.
So this morning I went out to gather leaves in a Wal*Mart bag, and I brought them in to the pen for Bow to inspect.
Bow was not impressed. He took the first leaf out of the bag, turned it over then handed both the leaf and the bag back to me.
I thought that perhaps if I laid them out on the floor, so he could see how different and varied they were, I could get him more interested in the leaves.
Bow was very patient with me. He lay down on the floor quietly while I arranged the leaves to my satisfaction.
Then, when he could tell I was done, he got up, picked up every leaf from the floor, picked up the bag and handed them all back to me, with an unmistakable gesture that said: Get them out of here. After all, they were just dead leaves!
When I took the leaves away, Bow asked to go outside.
He inspected the view for a moment, and then he settled down on the rim of the bench in his favorite mode of relaxing.
Maybe Bow is right. Maybe I am blowing the symbolic significance of fall foliage entirely out of proportion. After all, they are just leaves!