The wind is blowing, the trees rustle, there are bright leaves on the sugar maple in the backyard, orange winterberries  bead the bushes.  The sky is bright blue and at sunset the tender purple and pink of summer have given way to orange, black clouds will soon bar the western sky.  I love the fall.  I love the bright days and the grey days, the way the shapes of the trees reveal themselves, the many shades of brown and gold and grey that clothe the fields and woods.  This summer at an antique fair I discovered a Stangl pattern new to me, with these very  colors.  Amber-Glo, it’s called,  a carefully organized pattern of leaves and seeds.
          The farmer and I have just returned from Sicily, a powerful visit to a strange and magical island - Persephone’s island, full of fairy-tale towns precariously climbing up little brown mountains, plants blooming in every crevice, wonderful flowerpots in the shape of the heads of kings and princesses, balconies, stone walls, narrow streets, crazy drivers in toy cars, Greek temples the color of honey, and kind welcoming people.  We saw the tiny town where his mother and father were born, were embraced by cousins, fed homemade wine and olives and cakes and coffee, tore ourselves away, promising to return.  The change from soft evenings spent sitting on the terrace, sipping expresso and watching the glow of lava on Mt. Etna  to the farm at the end of the season was abrupt, but we are back, and October is here in its glory.
          This morning I bought a bale of straw for the chickens, who are looking dopy and cross.  They are moulting and the coop is full of feathers.  The farmer found a red-tail hawk perched on the roof of the coop yesterday, peering hopefully through the shadecloth at the chicken dinner below.  The last of the corn and tomatoes has been picked and the  eggplant and squash and basil are gone.  We still have kale and the other greens and soon there will be spinach, and the front of the stand is filled with pumpkins.  The farmer brought a glory of bittersweet home in the truck yesterday for me to wind around the pots on the terrace which have lost their  pretty tender summer tenants.  I am content that it is fall.  And within a week or so a fat heavy package will arrive from Taormina,  Sicilian flowerpots to fill with over-wintering perennials  which will wait out the long cold winter in a warm room with a view of the snow-covered fields across the road.   
 
Farmers wife Winter