The field rests, preparing for winter. The temperature is thirty degrees cooler than before.
As I walk the perimeter, unsuspecting critters are surprised by my return. They have received no visitors since the combines moved out. Hidden, life waits for me to pass, then plops or jumps or slithers behind me just out of sight.
I surprise a hawk on the ditch bank, and he surprises me. He swoops along the water, choosing a new spot to roost. The beaver dam has grown larger with sticks and brush woven tightly, a bridge to the other side. A brown grasshopper follows me, jumping at my feet, keeping pace and hitching a ride on my shirt for a few yards. Hello little fellow! He doesn’t answer back.
I visit my favorite spot, adding to the hidden treasures in my rusty hubcab – another shotgun shell casing, a feather, a piece of broken green glass, a shiny silver key. A bright pink candy wrapper half buried in the field proves a curious find…. Aren’t farmers and strawberry Laffy Taffy mutually exclusive?
The morning sounds are richly layered like an impressive symphony orchestra, well rehearsed and perfectly timed. Nearest to me, crickets chirp a steady melody, almost a recognizable tune. The occasional plop of a turtle into water adds deep bass sounds. Overhead, dove trill and whistle. Nature’s high notes. Harmony surrounds me in the rustle of turning leaves. East across the fields, traffic hums on the interstate as trucks haul beans to the river, autumn’s final crescendo.