Entering the last week of October, and our valley has yet to experience a frost (although that situation may change tonight). On a sunny, 60-degree afternoon, avoiding a stack of research paper drafts, I stopped for a few minutes at a wetland backwater of the Ohio River. Lots of life was happening. Some sort of insect was emitting a most musical chirp near the parking area, small beings of some sort were skittering into the fallen leaves before I could see them, bees were still working the late asters, and various unidentified birds were calling among the fall foliage. The sunlight was sparkling on the water in a most satisfying way. Even better, a goldfinch with some of his breeding plumage still hanging on decided to swoop among some trees just a few yards away from me, always a cheerful sight.
Then, the stroll's highlight: a patch of goldenrod that seemed to think we were still in early September, pure, clear yellow in the afternoon light. Sun brought down to earth on an autumn afternoon is a good thing.