Posted by: atowhee | October 8, 2013


Ashland, Oregon, altitude 1900′
The air on a dry October day has the taste of a mouthful of snow. There is damp, there is cold, there is clearness. It has no hint of the flavors of other times. No smoke yet from chimneys, no scent of the rotting leaves that fill the air with a moist pungency by year’s end. There is no perfume from the few lingering flowers of the summer past. No hint of buoyant greenish scent of new leaves opening above damp spring soil. This air today is how clarity tastes.
The sense that most captures the October air is actually not taste nor even smell, it is the sensitive skin of the human face. There with our skin we can feel—not yet the sharp icy tingle of winter cold—but more a bracing sense of change and freshness.AUTMN1 (1280x1280)
In the clear brooks, come down from the Siskiyous to the west and Cascades to the east, are collected the yellows, browns, rust and reds of fallen leaves.
The perfect note, the sharp and “clear” call of the Northern Flicker punctuates the softer voice of a breeze. It is this sudden note that drowns the faint rustle of leaves still too green to crinkle or become fragments beneath our feet.

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