It is the summer’s great last heat,
It is the fall’s first chill: They meet.
– Sarah Morgan Bryan Platt
“The word equinox comes from the Latin words for ‘equal night.’ The fall and spring equinoxes are the only days of the year in which the Sun crosses the celestial equator. From here on out, the temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter than the nights.” – Old Farmer’s Almanac
We shall celebrate the autumnal equinox by lighting a candle to bring light into the coming darkness and to honor the light. Then we will open a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah Texas from GrapeCreek Vineyards. We will not feel the chill of autumn in South Texas for some time, but we have had glorious rain lately that has cooled down the summer heat. It is a hint of fall.
ENJOY THE FALL WHEREVER YOU ARE!
Franciscan Estate Winery, Napa Valley California 2012
One morning this spring Husband and I were having our morning coffee in the living room and watching the birds in the back yard. Two hummingbird feeders were up on the edge of the veranda cover to welcome the first of those visitors. A large flat feeder hangs from a tree and small one on the fence stay up all year-long that provide seeds for the usual birds – many doves and an occasional pigeon. Recently we had seen colorful spring visitors – a pair of cardinals, a painted bunting. Squirrels stop by also to check their feeder in a tree for peanuts and sunflower seeds.
Normally our thirteen year-old cat, Wiccan, just naps in a chair outside after her morning meal or attempts to hide beside some ornamental grass near the bird bath in the hope of catching a feathered creature. She has slowed down with age, but I still occasionally find a pile of bird feathers as evidence of her success. However, I do try to protect them from her when I can.
As I sat there enjoying a second cup of coffee and the bit of nature in the back yard, a black streak raced across the veranda. Wiccan was after a bird. Husband jumped up and rushed out the back door. I followed quickly and held the door open as I watched him come back to the door with a small brownish bird in his hands. Perhaps it was hurt.
THIS BUILDING IN BODEGA, CALIFORNIA WAS USED AS THE SCHOOL HOUSE WHERE THE CHILDREN WERE ATTACKED BY THE BIRDS. HUSBAND TOOK THIS PHOTO WHEN WE VISITED THE AREA IN 2012.
The bird slipped swiftly out of his hands and seemed to be flying straight toward me. I raised my arms up in natural defense as Tippi Hedren did so many times in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller,”The Birds.” This frightened bird veered off to the freedom outside while I lost my balance (one foot inside and one foot outside) and twisted to the left. I fell inside the house as I crashed into my favorite ornate floor lamp. My left ear hit it first…then my left arm…then my left hip…final stop…stunned on the floor. Blood dripped from my ear. All I needed was that green suit like the one Tippi wore!
My first thought as I sat there on the tile floor was concern for my lamp. Was the glass shade broken? One glance upward confirmed that it was not harmed. Startled Husband came to help me up. After I wiped the blood from my swollen and red ear, I needed another cup of strong coffee. (Didn’t Tippi get something stronger? Brandy, perhaps?) I had no broken bones – only a few bruises the next day. So be careful when you are bird watching. It can be dangerous!
The 50th anniversary of “The Birds” is this year. I may have to watch it again with new appreciation!