Monday, October 16, 2017

Sounds of Silence


Wind gives cottonwood its voice.

From the first coin-sized silver-green leaves in the spring to the giant yellow circles of autumn, it keeps it talking all year long. Muttering under its breath at a slow summer updraft that offers just a taste of relief from the heat.

Chattering with delight as a cool stiff wind hustles by.

Clattering and jangling with the sprightly drafts of fall.

Cottonwoods are talkative, companionable trees that report the weather as faithfully as any stuffed suit in a studio and prettier by far. Sometimes they startle me as I skulk below, rattling into discourse as suddenly as thunder. 

But wind taketh away what it has given in all the warm months. 

Reaching into cottonwood clusters it rips away all song. It leaves only a whistle through the branches and crunching underfoot as the leaves go crisp and shatter.

And then the first cold rain of fall dampens even that music and winter is hard upon us. 

I see evidence that this coyote has been stomping grapes
for wine to warm his winter hearth.


Cathy said...

OK. Your writing . . . I'm running out of words here. "Exquisite" sounds harsh . . but I've used "beautiful" so many times :)
I'll read this aloud to Keith after he's come in from blowing leaves (no cottonwood:( off the driveway.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Your description of the constant Cottonwood rustle brings back vivid memories of summers at my grandpa and grandma's farm, where I could hear their whispering sounds just outside the open window by my bed. It's funny, but I don't think I noticed that sound so much as a child, but when I cast my memory back to those times, that was the first sound that I heard in my heart. Thanks for this beautiful post.

Terry and Linda said...

Beautiful! We live under a massive cottonwood tree and your words....your words fit it perfectly!

threecollie said...

Cathy, as always, thanks for your kind words. I think of you often.

Jacqueline, the cottonwoods insist that I notice them. It makes me sad to see the leaves fall. Thanks for your kind words.

Linda, thank you! Our little river valley is lined with them and we have a few, here and there, on the farm. The warblers love to hunt bugs in them.