Friday, October 16, 2009

Wet Pumpkins

Speaking of Ozlike weather (see last post), it snowed this morning. Snow! Wet, strange white ploppers mixing with a cold rain. Pretty early for the fall, though it happens. Portent of a colder winter? Last week I met a woolly bear caterpillar (I thought) on a boardwalk in Arlington Great Meadows. Got down on my hands and knees and removed my glasses for a close-up view of its bristly, weather-forecasting, fur. What was the formula? Wider red band means colder winter? This one didn't have the black-red-black pattern, so it was probably not the Isabella tiger moth larva (showing off my wiki-expertise), but some other woolly. A tussock moth, maybe. Whatever it was, it didn't want any part of my giant doughy face. Slipped into the nearest crack, taking its forecast with it.

I tend to reduce a month to its ideal characteristics, its calendar photo. It's a way of mastering time, I suppose, if you figure you have its identity pegged. So October becomes the jovial fellow, the pumpkin-headed scarecrow with clouds piled against the bonny blue like a flourish of flugelhorns. Until it becomes a raw, chilly, thin-lipped miser, collar turned up against a spitty rain: also a perfect October day. Or else it's no one at all, just a slice of the orbit when the planet is in ant/grasshopper mode, hunkering one day, basking the next, a few more leaves reddening and loosening: the October zone. 

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