While I love summer with a passion, I can only let go of it because I know fall comes in its wake.
And fall never disappoints. It arrives on schedule and performs beautifully. Recently, I decided to take the dogs down the trail after dark versus facing two neurotic canines who don't know what to do with their energy.
A bit breezy, the wind made the overhead lines moan...a bit creepy, but very fall. And while the dogs laced back and forth across the trail, I kept hearing cries of what I had to guess were owls. Similar to the scream of a hawk but a little softer around the edges, they were apparently discussing my presence in their twilight world.
Then my guess was confirmed. Silhouetted against a funky sky that was lit to the north by the lights of Hales Corners, I could see one - no, two - owls, squatting on a cross bar of the tall electric towers, nearest to the ground. With their pointed ears, the barn owls looked more like chubby cats overseeing the fields and waiting for an unsuspecting rodent to make a run for it. No doubt they do this year-round, but for some reason, the symbol of the owl has always gone hand-in-hand with harvest moons and halloween.
I'm not quite sure how long I stood and watched them, but they soon grew bored of me, and one leapt off its perch, cruising gracefully over the field. Not an easy feat for a bird that is short and squat, but the wingspan obviously compensates.
Prior to walking, I had probably been holding summer a little too close. However these feathered sentinels of autumn reminded me the time for a new season was here, and there was no hitting the snooze button. Out of excuses and rationalization, I walked back to the car - a little chilled, but overall just right.