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October 20, 2020: Rites of Fall

There is the phrase Rites of Spring. Stravinsky composed “Rite of Spring.” Rites of Spring was also an American post-hardcore band that hailed from Washington, D.C. They were a mid-1980s band, known for their energetic live performances. Along with Embrace, and Beefeater, they were a mainstay act of the 1985 Revolution Summer movement that took place within the Washington, D.C. hardcore punk scene.

To my knowledge, there was no band, composer, or movement called The Rites of Fall. This could be because spring is generally equated with young love and rebirth while fall is equated with dormancy and death.

I do think that a comparison can be made, for there are some rites of fall. In the spring we plant the garden, turn the

Claudia and Indy

winter compost, and watch the buds on the trees blossom. In the fall we dismantle what’s left of the garden, put it in the compost, and watch the leaves blow off the trees. Spring music is lilting and upbeat. Fall music is somber and downbeat.

Today we went for a fall ride with our friends Frank and Claudia Sihler. They brought along their mustang mare, Apanachee and their Icelandic gelding, Indy. The two are small and black – one would have to look twice in order to see that Apananchee isn’t a northern bred horse. She has a thinner mane and tail and her nose is longer. She’s also more skittish. Frank got her a year ago, locally, so her site of origin is unknown. She is (I was told) sensitive to noise, and as I saw, she does not like crossing creeks.

Pete rode Raudi and ponied Hrimmi and I rode Tyra. We rode on our trails. As we meandered along, I took note of nature’s rites of fall. There was a dusting of snow on the now hard-packed trails and in places, brown leaves. The sound of birds in the trees has now been replaced by the sound of the wind whistling through the bare branches of birch trees. More visible now, the spruce beetle kill trees -- I told the dead trees that I felt badly about their demise and I encouraged the live ones to hang in there, that things would get better. In other words, that we humans would soon start respecting trees and the environment in general.

On the home front, Pete cleaned out the greenhouse and the high tunnel, harvesting the last of the tomatoes and tossing the tomato and squash vines in the compost pile. I then finished tending to the horses and put their early evening poop in the compost, on top of the vines.

Coincidently, this evening we got a call from our friend Gene. He has a shop (he makes precast concrete molds), and he is going to do winter composting. No kidding. He has bins he’s already set aside, and when the compost cooks down, he will put it outside. He’s planning on taking our compost until February. This is good for us because we then won’t have to take it by sled, up behind the high tunnel.

We also have other rites of fall, some of which include getting hay in the barn and wood in the shed. My favorite rite is firing up the woodstove in the evenings, particularly after being out all afternoon.

Maybe I will start a punk band and call it Rites of Fall.

Next: 291. 10/21/20: My Ongoing Dental History, Continued

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