The mornings whisper of fall, raising a cool mist on Halcyon Pond. Summer is losing interest; sleeping in later and leaving earlier each day. Except for the zinnias and our out-of-control banana, the late-summer garden looks weary, eager for rest.
Horned tomato caterpillars have stripped the tomato plants. How is it that in this great, broad forest this caterpillar can find the one small plant that it so loves to devour? I try to romanticize it, but the caterpillar is revolting and its moth so unremarkable that even I am unsuccessful.
The squirrels already strip pine cones, harvesting the nuts, preparing for the hardship of winter. They toss the stripped cones from the heights of the trees, and at times I would swear they aim at us for sport.
I watch a wolf spider drop from a pine tree on its silken bungee. It strides with purpose across the deck, rising up when it walks, like a ballerina en pointe (x4) and sinks back down when it stops. I wonder at our natural aversion to spiders; they are not our predator and rarely harm us. And just at that moment–SNAP! Emotions are overturned–dread turns to pity. The fearsome spider is in an instant captured by a skink and becomes an evening meal.
A dragonfly pauses briefly in its quest to consume hundreds of mosquitoes today.
I sit contemplating the Roman orgy that is Nature; a constant ebb and flow of procreation and feasting. Everything around Halcyon Pond is eating or being eaten. But all too soon, peace will descend when all, having gorged on late-summer’s fruits, fall into their long winter sleep.