Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bringing in October With Hearty Songs From a Tree

Our last walks of September and first walks of October have passed by a small, shrub-like tree where a Mockingbird has perched daily on the same top branch, singing its little heart out. It is almost as though this amazing bird was performing for an Oktoberfest in this pleasant season, blissfully unaware of all the political antics in Washington, D.C. I realize the Mockingbird probably had many other things on its mind, but I took it as a fitting herald of October.

The loquacious bird wasn't in a menacing mood (as in protecting a nest) because it continued to switch seamlessly from one dulcet tune to another as Superdawg and I stood and listened from the base of the tree. The serenade made me wonder what motivates a Mockingbird to transition from one song type to another with scarcely any pause. My guide to South Carolina birds says Mockingbirds have a repertoire of more than 400 tunes, many incorporating sounds they have heard and are imitating. What controls the playlist? This is one of Nature's great mysteries.

Anyway, the Mockingbird has provided an appropriate greeting for a month that is so much about invigorating sights, sounds, and scents. There are apples for picking, pumpkins for carving (and pies), and fields of dreams for teams in the baseball playoffs. The leaves are turning and the air is softening so that it is breathable again. Soon it will be sweater weather. Kids will dress up for Halloween in some crazy-cute costumes and it is even socially acceptable for adults to pretend to be a superhero or some scary character for a day. There are celebrations all over the village, from Heart Walks to beer bashes. It is okay to eat a little Halloween candy even if you're not supposed to do so. And there are pumpkin lattes at the coffeehouses.

October is certainly one of my favorite months. I also am partial to November, and yes February (strange as that may seem to some). I view the month of Saint Valentine's Day as a harbinger -- after all, that's when spring training begins.

Anyway, Happy October to all!

                        © Robert G. Holland  2013

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