Saturday, September 1, 2012
Western New York Idyll: Tapestry Time
The tapestries are up by the roadside. Tapestries on one side, Impressionist paintings on the other. It's that time of year again when yellow goldenrod and white Queen Anne's lace and daisies and purple asters all get together in a rowdy floral fest, fringed at the verges by lanky powder-blue chicory, or as they call it here, cowboy coffee - because in the old days cowboys would dig it up, grind it up, stamp on it, boil it, whatever, and make a coffee substitute which I assume they drank along with their baked beans.
Further up in the high hills, deep violet gentians almost hide, coy celebrities pretending they'd rather not be spotted.
It's warm and dry and windy here in Western New York and the nights are noisy with chirping crickets. But the small rash of red in the clump of maple trees I see as I drive into town grows bigger every day and leaves are floating and settling on the grass. Some are still last year's, dislodged by the wind. Others, I fear, are not.