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Perfect October Evening


By Steve Siciliano

If I was an artist I would try to capture the colors on canvas—the golden light from the lowering October sun filtering through the browning leaves on the walnut tree, the greenness of the freshly mowed lawn, the splashes of red, yellow and orange on the tall backyard maples, the fading purple of a few stubbornly clinging clematis and the black speck of a hawk floating high overhead against a cloudless blue sky. But there’s no way a painting could capture the sound of the occasional ground thumps of the heavy, green-jacketed walnuts. Nor could it catch the intermittent squadrons of sparrows bursting from the thick crown of one maple and lighting in another, nor the wide, lazy circles being made by that high floating hawk.

Barb and I sat on our backyard deck sharing a bottle of homemade Noiret that paired wonderfully with the sights and sounds of that perfect October evening. Ellie May, our idiosyncratic but lovable lab/terrier, incessantly snuffled around the deck following the movement of whatever animal it was that had made its home underneath. Every so often I would yell “squirrel” and we laughed while Ellie interrupted her snuffling to bolt out to the walnut tree. Miss Lizzie, the four-year-old golden retriever we recently adopted from the Human Society, lay heavily at our feet. Lizzie has the typical sweet face of a golden retriever but the body of a potbellied pig. It’s obvious that whoever had Miss Lizzie before us fed her a steady diet of people food.

Later there would be a bottle of homemade Foch with pasta and grilled chicken and a Tigers’ playoff game for dessert, all of it a nice way to end a perfect evening in October.