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Sunday, September 25, 2011


  It is autumn in the central plains. The leaves are beginning to fall, red, yellow then brown, some solitary furls others attached to stems. The acorns too are dropping from the giant oaks that surround the house, they fall to the roof then roll down to settle on the guards of the gutters. The sound first sounds like a knock at the door, then further away from the door, nearer to the bedroom. Drop, drop gravity pulling them closer to the soil.
   Then with a crash, hundreds of nuts drop at once, they bounce off the roof and fall to the deck, specks they are not. This year, the almanac predicts, unsettled, storms, cold and snow for the central plains. If the nuts already gathered from the deck is any prognosticator, it will be a cold winter. Again, Drop, drop, drop, on cue hundreds of acorns fall all at once. Then silence. Hurry, outside to sweep them into a pile to later gather in a bucket to throw in the woods for the squirrels, before the next drop on cue of hundreds of acorns.
  Strange, acorns acting in concert, singing together, the coming of winter, their rush to the soil for next years sprouts. Some are very small, almost the size of peas, others look like marbles, then the largest almost an inch long. We have never seen so many, a carpet, like the comedy skits of the guys walking and sliding on marbles. On close examination their color is not just brown, there be yellow, red and some orange mixed with a little green. Crunch, crunch, the ones missed by the broom fall underfoot.
   The green lawn is spotted with acorns, drop, drop, some solitary nuts fly through the air. Quiet. The ears are waiting for the next rush from the tree limbs, the automatic free fall to earth. Should have clocked the first two drops. Didn't think of it. Wonder how long the intervals between drops. Not like the guys who drop out of planes and gracefully glide to land, straight down, fast, the sound is solid, not soft or gentle, louder than a thud. A direct hit, bullseye, they all hit a target, hard. We won't go out without being careful, we won't look up.
   This has been going on for days, drop, drop then a very big drop. Looking out the window up through the trees I see one two three, not very many, then drop drop another big drop.
    Many acorns, many we see, what does it fortell the winter to be, we shall see.

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