Ruminating on Fall

It’s in the Air.
What?
Hmmm. I think Fall is coming.

Once again, as the days roll past  I begin to anticipate fall.
It’s in the air – it’s in the slant of the light.
The days are slightly cooler in the mornings, and the sun rises later and sets earlier. We begin losing daylight quickly, and it won’t be long before leaves begin to turn in the northern states and higher altitudes. It will be a few weeks before my forest here in northeastern Oklahoma begins to change colors.

That said, I already know the schedule. The cottonwoods go yellow first, and then the ash trees. Those trees will have dropped their leaves completely before the oaks begin to redden.

And in the underbrush, the sumac and the poison ivy will be turning red soon. By the time the trees change colors, those bushes and vines will be skeletal.

And meanwhile, through the progression, the days get shorter and the mornings and evenings get cooler. My favorite time of year, with a chill in the mornings and evenings, and air warm enough for short sleeves during the day.

Some of you who live farther north than my home state of Oklahoma may wonder, why don’t you move north? We have days with that 20-30 degree span of temperature all Summer? Hmm. Maybe you do, but what’s the high there in November through February? Historically – too cold with too much snow.

But we’ll see what happens this year. It has been a year of exceptions. Too much heat some places, too much drought some places, too much rain in others. Extremes everywhere. Factually, it is exactly what the computer models suggest will happen with global climate change. It’s all around us.

All that is certain is that the weather may be different from day to day. Get the sweaters out; keep the t-shirts handy. Prepare for winter one day, and summer the next. Nothing is ever sure with Mother Nature.

And meanwhile, enjoy the advent of fall. Get outside and hunt mushrooms, watch the migrating butterflies and birds, and harvest your garden vegetables and flowers. Beauty is all around!

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