Autumn Leaves and Hunting
Here in Illinois we've had a hard frost already and the leaves have turned about as brilliantly as they probably will before succumbing to the onslaught of heavy rain and winter. There's simply nothing like a Catskill or New England Octobertime, but Illinois surely has its own kind of charm. These last weeks I've enjoyed even my trips across pancake-flat I-74 or down pancake-flat I-57, watching the corn and bean harvests, the dust clouds raised by the persistent combines, and the wholesome sight of the Amish at their harvest as well.
Music has taken a back seat after a busy festival-filled summer, and the sounds of banjos and fiddles continue to slide back into the depths of my mind as the thought of returning to Wales and following the horses and hounds lunges to the forefront. It has been a good six months away, but I'll confess: my heart lives in the hills and dingles of Wales amidst the cries of hounds and the fleet-footed fox, the herds of Herefords and wind-blown Welsh Mountain ponies. I hope it won't be long until I'm back in the midst of the outdoor life of the Welsh borderlands, hoisting a pint with my friends at the Roast Ox, rambling around the narrow lanes of Radnorshire, and yes, snapping away at all that appeals to me (and that, I'll confess, is a whole lot).
While America and its backroads still serve up many fine moments and beautiful vistas, my heart never strays far from the wilds of Wales and the half-time life I've made over there. If only....