This morning calls for a walk. I've felt bad for a week, but now I care enough to see what I've missed as the world turns toward winter. It is an unusually warm morning, already over 45 degrees and it promises to be a beautiful day so out I go. Dawn is merely an intention as darkness claims a few moments more. Shadows quickly take form and form reflects light showing trees with only a few clinging leaves.
First light greets me with a visitor I am glad to see. Better to see a skunk than to blindly bump into it. The skunk is not bothered by my morning rambling for it has the confidence that comes from having a strong defense system. I stand still though not too still. Surprise will not work to my advantage as far a skunk is concerned. She cannot see very well, but I cough and make enough noise to be assured that she knows I am there. She passes, stopping frequently to root for bugs or seeds. This same skunk was in the field early yesterday evening. It makes me wonder if she has spent the entire night searching for food.
I continue across the field, up the small hill to where I will wait for true dawn. My pockets are full of peanuts. I've been hoping to entice some local crows into friendship with similar peanuts as I daily walk to this hillside then make a futile attempt to call the crows with my own human version of their caw. Each day I come here and call until a crow flies by to check out my racket. Once it spots me, I drop my peanuts, hoping that the crow will eventually associate me with the treat.
Today I try again. I "caw" until I have probably frightened all manner of life into hiding. Finally a crow appears, circles me twice as I drop the peanuts and return to the house to watch through the window. The sun has won the day as it reaches with that low angle that characterizes these fall mornings. The porch swing teases me as it reflects this light, knowing that I have no time today to sit.