On the windshield, a layer of moisture,
the beads of it just barely ice crystals. The wipers won't clear the ice entirely. The air this morning is as bracing blue as the Wisconsin sky. Good morning. With first frost, there can be no denial - it is autumn, we are up to our knees in it at least.
A grey-headed old man picks through items set out to the curb for our "bulky article pick-up." He finds a bike frame in some condition other than pristine and loads it into the back of his pick-up.
There are water-colored clouds overhead and to the east, charcoal and tinged with orange and pinks. Off to the West, a clear sky in the direction we fly tomorrow - a trip to Missoula, Montana, to visit a daughter, a chance to see another kind of country again. The Iowa farm boy is having a hard time telling himself it is okay to love the mountains too. Is he afraid they will grab him and never let him go?
I expect by the time we return a week from now more corn will have been harvested, the rest of the soy beans taken, more ground will have been tilled, laid by for another season; more leaves will have fallen from these trees, a harder frost will have broken the spirit of every flower at Five Corners.
At the edge of Ripon, geese in the western sky, a thin white frost on grass in pasture and lawn, on a few roof tops. Mark it: the end and the beginning.