My Autumn Thoughts

Now that daylight savings time has ended, we’re back in real time. Early morning light and dark evenings. Many people I know don’t care much for the change; it’s no fun coming home from work in the dark.

But I tend to feel it’s more natural. It feels right to me when the temps cool off and the sun sets so early. Coming home from work – or wherever I’ve been – feels like tucking myself in bed, but there are still hours to spend in whatever way I want. Cook dinner, exercise, read, watch a good movie, watch sports, watch a TV program, play cards, etc., etc. And then go to bed early so I can get up again once the sun comes up.

Out in nature, the shorter days have caused changes,  too. Squirrels are scurrying. And the dogs are going crazy trying to catch them before they can leap up into the trees again.

We haven’t had our first freeze yet (I think it may come tonight!) In the past 24 hours, I have heard a tree frog and a cicada, and seen a butterfly. (These creatures are pushing their luck, if you ask me!) Today I brought in the last of the ‘tender’ plants, and said goodbye to the plants which can survive outside during a typical Oklahoma winter and live to see next spring.

The leaves are gone from the green ash trees. The Virginia Creeper vines are brilliant red, the cottonwoods are yellow. The oak trees are turning shades of red and orange before sliding into their typical winter brown.

The autumn rhythm began in late September, and here, six weeks later, the beat is getting slower and slower. Tonight, when the storm comes through bringing wind and much colder air, the leaf drop will begin in earnest. By the end of the month, most trees will be bare. The only exception will be some of the blackjack oaks, which typically hold their leaves until the new leaf buds push them off in the spring.

The calendar tells us forty days of fall remain before winter begins. I love fall – as long as our daytime temps continue to rise into the 50s or higher. I’m counting on a temperature dip, and then more glorious, sunshine-filled fall days. May that be true!

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