Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22: Last Lupine

The Harvest Moon rises tonight, the October full moon, the light of which once enabled farmers to get in that last harvest by working into the illuminated night. My co-worker seemed to be perpetuating our connection to that agrarian past by mowing the field that is the office lawn this afternoon. Milkweed fluff churned in the brisk breeze, fallen leaves swirled in his wake, and the lawn is now corrugated with thick ridges of mown grass.

When he came in from his version of "haying," he brought us a gift: the season's last lupine. I haven't seen a lupine in flower since last June, I think, so this one was a true surprise. We wondered if it was a second round from a plant that figured it would try again, having bloomed a few weeks earlier than usual this summer. Or maybe it bloomed in response to the full moon. "Lupine" means "wolf-like," after all, so this could be the flower's way of howling at the moon.

This tall purple stalk now sits in a coffee cup on the window sill, the russets and ochres of fall foliage providing a contrasting backdrop: summer meets fall. Soon enough, our "last flower" will give way to our "first snowfall."

Out of season gift:
a single lupine blooming
under Harvest Moon.

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