October in Iowa is beautiful. The corn and soybean fields turn gold, the leaves start changing colors, and the temperatures drop. While there are so many colors outside, the last of the hardy flowers put on a fragrant display of color. Mums in orange, rust, burgundy, yellow, white, and gold line the side of the barn and the brick gate. They balance against the glossy green of the rose bush leaves, and the dark red of the rose hips. Marigolds of orange and yellow continue to bloom, bushed amongst the peppermint and yarrow. The deer are putting on their winter coats, growing darker grey and coming to eat and put on a winter weight. The chipmunks and squirrels are stashing away their walnut and seed findings for a wintry banquet.
On these days, when there is just a hint of moisture in the air, it reminds me of Alaska in July. It reminds me of the beautiful flowers grown in planters and baskets outside of windows. Carefully tended, the colors showcase every possible blend. The green is seen in the trees, turning into the teals of the water. Beautiful streams made from glacier melt create a feeding area for bear, moose, and other animals. Soon the long winter nights will settle in there, but in July it’s still long days and the colors are amazing.
As I walk down the street this month, if there is a hint of wetness in the cool air, if there are flowers blooming, be sure that I am thinking of Alaska in July.