When I was a teenager I decided to grow sunflowers. They sprouted into impressive towering giants. Then one day, the heads just started to disappear. Each couple of days another sunflower head would be savagely severed. Until at last I saw the culprit shamelessly dragging the head away. A squirrel.
Here there is a similar dilema. October becomes pumpkin massacre. A true pre-hibernation/ stashing feast for the Colorado squirrels who call suburbia home. Because it’s the suburban doorsteps that are adorned with mountains of juicy pumpkins. Our friend spreads spicy sriracha sauce on the bite marks to ward off future attacks. Apparently with little success.
Apart from pumpkin debacles, another hot agenda in Denver is the “Fall” leaves.
There’s something assuredly grounded in seeing the leaves turn. It’s not something that is particularly heralded at home. The Autumn leave-turning drags on for up to 6 weeks.
In Colorado though, it’s a science. Around Sep 1 the rumours begin circulating. News articles hop from email to email. Because each altitude is minutely tuned to a different Autumn clock. Perhaps at 12,000 ft the leaves will turn on Sep 15, but at 11,500 ft it will be Sep 18. In a week they’re gone. Such balance. And if you miss this fleeting chance to see the golden Aspens, you’ll be kicking yourself for a year.
This is our third Autumn in the US and we finally got the bull’s-eye.
As I watch the leaves turn, I think of the bears heading into hibernation (still not seen a bear), the hummingbirds heading South and the incoming Canadian geese that will soon swarm Denver. Life may seem stuck in time at the moment, but as nature is our witness, it is indeed still moving forward.