Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Golden Orange

Golden Orange

If autumn needs an official fish, let’s make it this garibaldi fish.  So wonderfully orange.

The garibaldi is the California State Marine Fish.  All official California things are golden/orange – Golden Gate, Golden State.  Our state Freshwater Fish is the golden trout. 

(I even heard a state water conservation ad that said, “Water your fruit trees, but let your lawns go golden!”)

Why “garibaldi?”  The uniforms of the Italian liberator’s soldiers were this color.  Actually, the fish do remind me of little soldiers in the kelp forest; the males aggressively defend from predators the nest of eggs they have fertilized, darting around like sentry guards.

It seems like orange is everywhere this fall.  I’ve seen it in the eclipsing harvest moon, and at the roadside pumpkin patch.  I drive under a canopy of orange sycamore leaves in our canyon. I made a fall stew yesterday, carrots and yams, spiced with mace and cloves. 

Keats wrote about autumn:

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run….”

Nice autumn images: “mellow fruitfulness,” “close bosom-friend,” “maturing”, “load and bless with fruit.”

My garibaldi friend shines like a California gold nugget.  It serves and protects like a determined orange-coated sentry.  So fruitful, it could be a loaded, ripening pumpkin on a vine.  This little round orange ball – it’s like a mellow autumn sun. 

Thanks fall, thanks sun, thanks garibalidi , all close bosom-friends, for conspiring to load us with more blessings.

Happy autumn, from beneath the waves.

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