I had the Red Haw campground to myself late Thursday afternoon, other than a few squirrels and one disgruntled, and vocal, red-headed woodpecker. The motor homes, fifth-wheelers, trailers and tents --- and their occupants had moved on.
Elswhere, three vehicles cruising the fall colors on wheels and one dog walking its person.
It would have been a shame to waste what may well have been early autumn's final flourish --- a mild day of mostly sunshine when fall colors still filled the woodland.
It was 36 degrees when I awoke, 31 now --- and today's predicted high is only 41. Tonight, a low in the 20s will end the need to water the geraniums still blooming in outdoor planters.
If the predicted winds arrive, then rain on Monday, much of the fall color will vanish as late autumn settles in.
Last night was "beggars' night" in Chariton, so porch lights came on at 6 in the neighborhood and we gave candy away for a couple of hours to costumed kids of various ages --- fun for all involved.
And tonight is Halloween, or All Hallows (Saints) Eve, the traditional evening devoted to merriment --- confronting the power of death with good humor.
And tomorrow is All Saints' Day --- a traditional festival of the church set aside to remember the saints in our lives, departed and with us still.
Here's an exercise for the occasion. Compile a list of your saints, then find some way to celebrate their lives on Saturday. If some of these saints still are among us, "thank you" would be appropriate.