Saturday, October 31, 2020

Deep Fall in The Time of COVID



 We are now in the midst of one of my favorite times of the year-“Deep Fall.” From mid-October to mid-November there are so many clear transitions happening that we have to be aware of them; they are undeniable. Birds are migrating, and we have all heard the squawks and honks of the geese flying south. Our gardens, trees, and bird feeders are filled with chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers and titmice. The skies overhead are filled with crows and circling birds of prey. And the difference in temperature between 6 AM in the morning and 1PM in the afternoon makes for a change we can literally feel down to our bones. We wear layers of clothes now, and no shorts. Soups are being cooked now, and baked things feel right And the steady daily changes in the colors of the trees and bushes around us let us know that something quietly magnificent is going on. Our changing of the clocks especially lets us know that we are in transition; we have to do something artificial in order to increase our hours of daylight All of our senses are attuned to the fact that we are once again going through a change. We are headed to the last third of the year, and that is quietly wonderful.

I love these transactions: winter to spring, spring to summer, summer to fall, and soon, fall to winter. They remind me that we are all part of wonderful journey through time and space, and that nature presents us with numerous opportunities to know beauty, amazement and joy in different ways. This year’s process of transitions, though, have been quite different and somewhat difficult for me. Normally I spend a least a part of each transition around large bodies of water-bays, marshes, shorelines. Over the years I have experienced these seasonal events at Bombay Hook Wildlife Refuge in DE, Eastern Neck and Blackwater Wildlife Refuges in MD, Cape May Point in NJ. Magee Marsh in OH, and the Finger Lakes in NY. I am a birdwatcher, and experiencing transitions near and by water brings me in contact with a wide variety of birds and landscapes. I get to see ducks, egrets, herons, hawks, ospreys, eagles, warblers and more. I also get to see the lands away from city lights, asphalt, and buildings.  I love seeing trails instead of streets, dirt paths and trails winding their way to who knows where, and an endless array of bushes, trees, shrubs, marsh plants and flowers. It seems like I am on a different planet for a few hours, and I love that. But with COVID restrictions and concerns, I have not been to any of those places this year. I was planning to do a day trip to Cape May in mid-November, but with the rise in COVID numbers I probably won’t. I miss being around those bodies of water.

But I do have my bird feeders and a bird bath in the backyard. And Wissahickon Creek and Carpenter’s Woods are nearby. While not quite as non-urban as those water-based refugees, there are parts of these woods that can let me imagine I am not in the city. And there is, of course, that luscious backdrop of Deep Fall colors- trees and bushes flashing russet reds, different shades of yellow, subtle oranges, and indeterminate colors that please the eye and soothe the soul. Those beauties are all around me and can comfort and amaze me if I take the time to look closely; if I open myself up to what is possible rather than just regretting what isn’t possible. Maybe, just maybe, that is another quiet lesson of the joys of Deep Fall in the year of the COVID; adapt, adjust, and be grateful. There can be a lot of beauty in that as well. Happy Transition!


November 3rd is almost here, and it is the date of one of the most important national and state elections in our lifetimes. Much of the history of the next 20-30 years of the United States will be decided by this election. If you have already voted, thank you! Almost as many folks have voted already in PA as voted in 2016. If you are voting by mail, get your ballot turned in immediately to avoid any delays and craziness. And if you are a Pennsylvanian, be aware of the “naked ballot” court decision.


Please make sure you are following all of your state’s rules about mail in ballots, and more:


If you are voting in person, please make sure you know your proper polling place. Many locations have changed due to COVID. Go to  to be sure.


Also if you are voting in person, long lines are expected and this may be helpful:



    We have posted a few videos on YouTube. Please log in, view our videos, and leave a comment or two. Tell your friends to view us and please post comments as well. Thanks:

Chain of Fools Phoenixville 2016

Just a Little Bit watch?v=d8iFNlDPM_c

Higher Ground v=baSmjnQFvXg

 Got My Mojo Working-Finale from Phoenixville Blues Festival 2015

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