Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pines and leaves

I am sitting in the UP of Michigan watching the rain stream down lichen-crusted pine trees.  This is the kind of forest that, when you stare into it, you think it stretches to infinity

The problem with this rain means that there are tornadoes plowing through the lower Midwest.  I can say "lower" Midwest since I am in the UP

Harvest is done.  Finally.   We are still tallying the results.

Togolese farmers, around the new year, develop this vacant stare that bespeaks too many cotton rows in their near past and future. I've felt my face collapse into this expression frequently the past two months.  The constant roar of machinery dulls the senses.  The constant repetition required for successfully operating said machinery numbs the mind.  Life is reduced to the single pursuit of slugging golden grain into the elevator. 

I forgot how much the weather changes. This is the time of year when cold air washes over the landscape cackling its way south.   Sheets of clouds tumble across the horizon in its wake. The sky is capped with grey shrouds and girded in a bitter wind that spits in your face and pricks your lungs with ten thousand icicle fingers. 
Flaming red trees blossom out of the early morning mist when the sun comes out.  Frost rimes everything you can see and then vanishes like so much smoke.  And then sneaks back again when Jack Frost dances his chill midnight waltzes 

I am glad I'm back to see another fall.  I love seeing maple trees belching yellow and gold in the fall fog.  It is one thing that west Africa lacks

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