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Autumn in North Stoddard County

Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at 1:24 PM

Mums are the featured attraction at Yoder's Produce and Flowers in Aquilla right now.
I never can decide which season of the year is my favorite. The spring is such a welcome time, after a long Missouri winter, but when autumn comes, I'm overwhelmed by the riot of color that Mother Nature produces, just before we dip into the cold season again.

Fortunately, we had just enough recent rain to offset the effects of a horrible drought, and the trees are responding with some of the reds and yellows we so love.

Fall in Missouri is abundant with the gold and yellow of maple trees, the burnt orange of the oak, and the brilliant red of sumac.

I like to take my camera out and tramp the woods to capture these fleeting moments of beauty. I especially love autumn when the wind blows and sets the leaves scampering along the ground, fluttering from the trees like bright yellow finches.

It's time to bring in the hummingbird feeders, before the bees take them over. I feel sad, as I wash them and pack them away until May, when my tiny winged friends return.

A few days ago, we stopped at the Mennonite stand on Highway 25 in Aquilla, between Advance and Bloomfield. The yellow mums were spectacular, and the pumpkins were of more sizes, shapes and colors than I ever knew existed! This stand has been our spring and summer haunt all year. We've relished the homegrown tomatoes, corn, purple-hulled peas, sweet onions, watermelons, cantaloupes, and cucumbers. Today we added whole pickled beets to our lunch.

Now, as the landscape enters the last phase of brilliant color, I hold onto it, longing to keep it in my memory for another year. The cool nights and warm, windy days are a treasure. The air smells crisp and fresh.

I'm reminded of the lines from Robert Frost:

Nature's first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower,

But only so an hour.

So leaf subsides to leaf

So Eden sank to grief.

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

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Early Autumn and late Spring are my favorite seasons of the year because they are both so colorful. Growing up in southern California, I didn't get to see the four seasons like we enjoy here. Yesterday, my new pastor and I drove up Hwy 67 to our church's campgrounds near Irondale. What beautiful fall colors! The conservation areas around here are great places to go in the fall.

-- Posted by swift on Sat, Oct 20, 2012, at 11:02 AM

By the way, I have posted a new blog for Paul Corbin about the Little River Drainage project. If you're interested in reading it, go to the North Stoddard Countian website by clicking on the NSC masthead, lower right.

-- Posted by Madeline1 on Wed, Oct 17, 2012, at 9:57 PM

The Frost poem is so simple and basic, but it's one of my very favorites. That's why I have it memorized. There's more to it than a description of a time of year; I think it's also a commentary on life. Those of us who are growing older can look back on "golden" times that are no more.

I just finished reading "Water for Elephants," which is told from the point of view of a 93-year old circus worker, looking back on his "golden" years.

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Oct 17, 2012, at 1:38 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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