I woke up earlier than usual this morning. I got up and took the garbage down to the corner.

There is a brisk coolness in the air. But I am still wearing shorts. Cold does not bother me like heat. When others are bundled up, I rarely even wear a sweater.

After I tossed my trash into the dumpster, I saw to my right gold leaves on the ground. Since the tree that hangs over into my yard is evergreen, and they cut the other two trees down, I no longer see fall leaves around my yard.

So I walked over and began picking them up. I imagine I was a strange sight, walking along the roadway picking up leaves. I saw a young man getting into his car. He probably thought I was dotty.

But you know what, I’ve long since lost the capacity to be embarrassed by what others think about my somewhat perplexing behavior.

That is the good thing about getting older. Your peculiar actions no longer embarrass you as they once would have. It is what it is and you are what you are.

Charlie sniffing fall leaves

I walked through my door and straight through to my patio, where I placed the gold leaves on the outdoor rug. It was as if I suddenly had “fall” in my yard too.

Charlie of course came over to inspect what I laid down.

Before I could even take a photo, a breeze disturbed my clump of leaves and blew some across the patio. I quickly photographed what was left before they were all scattered about.

I came inside and opened a couple of windows so the breeze could be felt inside.

Homegrown tomatoes

The tomatoes, that have not been fit to eat for several months, have taken a turn for the better.

I have to postulate that the deep brown creases in the ones that I picked recently and threw away was due to the heat and not a disease, as I had thought. Because the two I just picked are perfect.

I’ll have good eating tonight with fresh homegrown tomatoes for supper.

Homegrown peppers

The peppers are still producing, as indicated above.

This pepper plant is growing in a medium-sized pot and is now leaning over at about four feet high. Next year I’ll have to use a bigger container if I plant peppers.

And then there’s the female cardinal I captured.

Homegrown tomatoes

I figure she must be young due to the “not quite there” crest on the top of her head, which is not yet a prominent feature.

Homegrown tomatoes

Cardinal Mating Behavior…

“The males show off to attract a female. They also do the courtship and mate feeding.

“Females choose their mates based on the male’s ornamentation such as the size of his black face mask as well as the color of his plumage and bill.

“Mate feeding occurs when the male cardinal picks up a seed, hops near the female and the two touch beaks so the female can take the food. Mate feeding will go on until the female lays eggs and incubates them.

“Cardinals sing their best during the love season. They sing with great emphasis as evident in the swelling of their throat, spreading of their tail, drooping of wings and leaning from side to side as if performing on stage with much gusto.” 

Male cardinal

There is an old folklore saying that, “When a cardinal appears in your yard, it’s a visitor from heaven.”

May you come to find comfort in and remember:
Cardinals appear when angels are near.
So go now, sit outside and drink your tea.
Keep a look out for the little red bird —
It is there, your loved one will be.

Hello Abi, Charlie and I have missed you so very much. Please don’t be a stranger, sweet baby girl.

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8 Comments

  1. Feel sorry for those who will not notice or bend down to pick up the treasures nature leaves about –

    Right now with all our rain, the mushrooms are beautiful and bountiful. The damage from the rains? Not so much.

  2. I think about moving to FL but would sure miss the Fall (ing) leaves. Like you, I enjoy the cold (unless it is freezing/snowing. I can get by with a sweater when others are bundled up to their ears.
    I love cardinals and have heard that it is a sign of angels. I just bet it is Abi stopping by to visit you and Charlie. Bittersweet, I know.
    Have a wonderful night- xo Diana

  3. Maybe it’s a Wisconsin thing, but lots of people where I live stop to pick up beautifully colored leaves this time of year. We have a nice brisk, DRY (the dew point is in the 40s – feels great!) cool but sunny day interpersed with periods of clouds. The wind is blowing out of the northwest after a thunder storm in advance of a cold front came through last night. I will be going out soon to do a lot of yard work. I get energized in this kind of weather. I can’t function in hot and humid, which is what we had most of the summer. There are at least 2 nests of cardinals in a tree that is in the home to the south of me just on the other side of the lot line next to my garage. They visit all the time, so I must know a lot of angels, I just have to figure out now who they may be!

  4. i have lived in Florida now for 23 years but i was born and raised in western Pa. in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. I am 80 years old now but i get homesick each fall when i know the leaves are starting to change up home. We used to jump in the piles of leaves Mom raked then gather them up and take them to the garden that had been cleared of produce. She burned them and I can never forget that smell, like perfume. When the ashes cooled we scattered them with rakes across the garden. She told us the ash was fertilizer for next years garden. I guess you can go home again, in your mind. I love your pictures of your surroundings, plant and animal.

  5. Hello! Those leaves are from a sweet gum tree. I never can decide which is prettiest in the fall, the sweet gums or the sugar maples. Both put on a great show. I certainly would have picked some up to admire them, just as you did. My sister gave me a tomato yesterday from her tiny garden. It was so big I put part of it in my husband’s lunch today, and we’ll have the rest on a salad tonight. It is indeed good eating!

  6. I didn’t know that about cardinals and angels. that’s just beautiful!
    and I totally understand about the leaves. I used to get so homesick for New England that my Gram would pick up the huge maple leaves that were so brilliantly colored and she would lovingly place each layer of them between wet paper towels and send them to me in a large cushioned manila book mailer! she knew how much I missed the Autumns there! and with such love I used to take them out carefully like the jewels that they were. and I would display them in a real old Alaskan gold mining pan. they magically lasted all season. and like you. I no longer worry what other people think about me.
    it’s positively liberating! xo

  7. Brenda, I always pick up leaves, pine cones, acorns and whatever else looks interesting and I feel the same that you do, I do not care what people think.

    I love that quote/poem about the cardinals. When my Munchen passed away I saw them all of the time, on my deck, one sat on my car on a day I was sitting in it crying about Munchen, another day on my morning walk one seemed to be following me because he would fly ahead and sit on a branch and then when I caught up he would fly ahead again.

    I hope that you and Charlie have a wonderful day!

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