Cold and gray. Goldenrod seed heads like white-haired old men nodding and whispering far-fetched conspiracy theories about a coming winter.
Rain and fog. With the goldenrod going gray, the yellow has moved from the meadow to the woods’ edge: spicebush, walnut, birch, elm, tulip tree.
Cloudless blue like October come early. A crow. A raven’s croak. The field full of yellow goldenrod heads bowing toward the sun.
Dawn is its own thing—not just a transition, I think, as fog forms and grows. When it lifts, the no-longer-dark meadow glows goldenrod-yellow.
And just like that, it’s autumn: clear and cool, the meadows yellow with goldenrod. A hummingbird visits the Mexican sunflower. How long till she’s off to Mexico herself?
Heavy cloud cover. A flash of red from a male cardinal cutting through the yard. Gray heads of goldenrod almost shine in the gloom.
A cold front roared in overnight. Now the wind has dropped and the clouds are clearing out. Tall goldenrod stalks shake their gray heads.
Clear and still. I notice with some sadness that the goldenrod meadow has faded. A large, loud V of geese goes over, heading north.
Equinox. I spot some goldenrod, done flowering, turning yellow a second time. My mother stops by to tell me about a singing porcupine.
Weak sun. The bright blue of New York asters almost lost among the goldenrod. It takes me a moment to place a distant bird call: chicken.
Soft sunlight filtered by clouds. The pale brown seedheads of goldenrod glow, a few trembling as a mixed flock of small birds moves through.
Sun! The meadow glows goldenrod-yellow. Birch leaves at the woods’ edge tremble with warblers. A mosquito sings her thirsty note in my ear.
The sun stretches one stripe of dazzle across the frosted yard. A chickadee hangs from a goldenrod seed head, fossicking through the fluff.
The goldenrod is all brown, but each breeze sprinkles it with yellow from the woods. The last hornet returns to her ghost town of a nest.