October is absolutely my favorite month.  The air is crisp and clean.  It nips our cheeks and noses in the morning.

October is beautiful–nature’s color palette that continually changes.  Head to the mountains to drink it all in.  If you start in Front Royal,the tree scape will look totally different by the time you get to Big Meadows.

October has wonderful smells.  A burning campfire, fallen leaves, fruits and spices all send our olfactory senses on a month long high.  Our autumn expert, North of Nokesville, aka North, really paints fall with his words. North has brought fall to the blog and I thank him.

5 Thoughts to “Open Thread…………………………….October, 2017”

  1. NorthofNokesville

    Thanks, Moon. I can’t claim to be an autumn expert, just a serious fan. The coldness (and mist!! yes, we had it this morning) gives way to warmth, but the shade stays cool and the wind bites. And that delicious transition from afternoon to evening is the best. The light slants, the mountains get dark fast, and cool spots pop up like ghosts. I have a low-lying spot on the property, maybe 15-25 feet below peak, and it gets 10 degrees colder than the surrounding area almost as soon as the sun sets.

    And I totally agree on the olfactory aspects. Autumn smells seems the most natural to me, and multifaceted, and subtle. Somethings are still growing, some are dying, some ripening, some decaying. Very few are over the top … foods get heartier but the spices don’t overpower; a hint of firesmoke on the wind is evocative versus the “we’re back!” nose of spring, or “we’re imported” smells of Christmas. I could go on. Probably should just hit “Add Comment.”

    1. I just want you to continue. You have a real gift. Are you as good with winter descriptions? I would never ask for summer.

      The other night I was at the dog park. It was a good day…neither too hot nor too cold. I was sitting there and I actually felt the chill come in. It didn’t come in on a breeze. It just came in. Unannounced. It was noticeable but subtle. The dog park I usually go to isn’t low lying. I had never noticed that cold did that.

      1. NorthofNokesville


        We will have to see about winter 🙂

        The mountains are calling for the long weekend, with hiking, canning, cooking, and being together on tap. This part of fall always brings to mind two piece of music.

        1. From Holst’s “The Planets” … Jupiter: Bringer of Jollity.

        The swelling part at 2:55 thru 4:40 gets me every time.


        2. R. Vaughn Williams “The Lark Ascending” … pastoral, but with emotional bite.


        It is a treasure throughout. The main theme emerging around 2:00 is lovely, then the re-start at about 6:00 could almost be another song. Then 9:42 – 11:00 are among my favorite 80 seconds of music, ever. The question “what does autumn sound like?” has no real answer, but that might be it.

        All free on Youtube.


      2. I finally got to listen to both. Things get a little hectic at the Howler house sometimes. I particularly liked The Planets. I had heard that before but was unaware of name etc.

        Your music tastes are far more refined than mine. I was trying to think of a representative song and Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs popped into my head.. Actually I have fairly eclectic tastes in music. I don’t know much about any genre other than pop. My opera days were limited to a course in refined Hell at Mary Washington College, a million years ago. It was for the entire year…6 hours. Music appreciation. Classical pieces…probably one of those Time-Warner recordings of smidgeons of the classics.

        Right now autumn sounds like acorns dropping out of the neighbors 2 oak trees. Each acorn sounds much bigger than it really is.

        It is down right tropical over here at the moment—ruining my hopes of a long fall.

  2. Steve Thomas

    Today is the anniversary of a very significant day for me. 34 years ago, it was a Sunday morning. I awoke to the ringing of our phone. It was my Marine Recruiter. I thought he was calling me to remind me of my trip into the Boston MEPS to complete my enlistment in the Marines, which was Monday October 24. He told me to turn on the TV. I did, and learned that over 200 Marines had been killed while they slept in a Truck-bombing attack in Beruit. We learned later that his was the work of Hezbolla, an Iranian-sponsored terror organization. My recruiter also let me know that a friend of mine, who had entered the Corps the previous June, had been in the barracks. I would later learn that he was among the dead.

    Some say that radical Islamists declared war on the US, with the seizing of our embassy in Tehran, and taking our diplomatic personnel hostage. That may be, but I mark October 23, 1983 as when the war turned “hot”. 34 years, and too many of my fellow Americans “just don’t get it”, in my estimation. I remember Pete. My friend, who was one of the first casualties of that war.

    If I could wish for anything this day, it would be that our nation quit re-fighting the Civil war, and picking at the scabs and scars of that time, and maybe focus on the war we are currently fighting. We didn’t choose this war, and while we’ve never declared war, as it is an ideology we’re fighting against, war has been declared on us.

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