Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fall is a season of memories

changing maple leavesIt has been so warm and dry for so long this summer that it seemed fall had forgotten to show up. However, though it may take the stage quietly, there are signs that the seasons are changing here.

Sounds are one of the early indications of change when one lives near either the community pool or a school; and we have both within earshot. The pool fell quiet following Labor Day despite the temperatures still in the high 80’s. Shortly afterward the sounds of school days cycle began.

On our street the long distance buses rumble through around 7:30 a.m., and then laughter and chatter of the local walkers is heard between 8 and 8:15. The process repeats starting at 2:15 in the afternoon. Of course the sounds of leaving the school day are louder and seem to move faster as well.

Sounds in nature are changing, too, as some birds have moved on to their wintering grounds to the south and many of the birds that stay have winter variations on their songs. The house wren that used to sing its little lungs out hasn’t been heard recently and the cardinals’ territorial trill has condensed to a sharp staccato. We noticed the other night that there were no bullfrogs singing down at the creek, but the crickets do seem to be taking up the slack for their part.

One sound I am not looking forward to is the leaf blower. In our post WWII community of mature trees the leaf blower has become firmly entrenched as the bane of all peace loving citizens. This year, with the drought, the leaves will likely fall fairly quickly thereby shortening the number of weeks we will be under siege. We can only hope.

Things have slowly started taking on their fall changes in appearance although with the dryness it has been the hardest sign to differentiate. Here and there, though, the leaves are beginning to take on their hidden colors. Mostly there are yellows, as they seem to typically be the early changers here, but there are a couple of reds in our yard and I captured some even though they weren’t optimal (see above).

The neighbor’s garden is definitely past its prime; and the vines and stalks that were green just days ago are now mostly dried and brown. Her tomato bushes are full and bending over on their stakes. Already the dill and chives have been cleared and the bed prepared to winter-over.

There are different smells with the new season as well. The bouquet of neighborhood flowers once hovering on the evening breeze has disappeared as the blossoms pass their prime. Fewer and fewer evenings and weekends are accompanied by tempting aromas of barbequing food. Our street can be a regular banquet for the nose on a three day weekend with everything from spicy chicken to Mongolian beef to vegetable kabobs; it’s an eclectic community.

Decorations are changing too, as the summer things have either faded from the sun or if they were plants they have started dying back. Here and there shocks of corn and comic scarecrows accented by pumpkins and gourds or bales of straws have started to appear next to lamp posts or on porch steps. All of this stands to remind us that these will soon enough be replaced by twinkling lights and snow shovels, but we’ll just overlook that for the time being.

Fall is the season of deep memories; and all of these changes serve to call up images of the past. Those long ago times of hayrides and lost shoes, making apple cider while dodging swarms of yellow jackets, and shuffling along leaf-covered sidewalks all come back with clarity at the prompting of a sound or a sight or a smell.

So, how does fall look in your corner of the world, and of what does it remind you?

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chelle said...

I adore fall. It was when my husband and I chose to get married. The leaves changing and falling to the ground. The smell of the cool crisp air!

We lived in California for two years and fall was just not the same without the anticipation of snow afterwards.

This year I am trying to take in Fall as much as I can.

Shelby said...

I too, adore fall - lovely post.

p.s. I have a real life video posted today.. come see! :)

Rositta said...

I'm a new reader, love your blog on fall. I'm missing fall in Northern Ontario this year because I'm in Greece.Not much color here...ciao

Sylvia C. said...

I, too, love fall.

I am ready for a temperature drop. I am ready to wear my new fall jacket!

I decorated my house with a few Halloween decorations over the weekend, and I plan on doing some Thanksgiving decorations this year. (In years past I was already thinking of Christmas at this time, but I suppose I am slowly learning to slow down!)

Best to you!

Sylvia C.

Pieces of Me said...

I love this post. I just related to this in my thursday Thirteen. Waiting 19 years for foliage is such a vision for me. I hope it won't be long now before i see it for my own eyes. Can I crosslink with your post Deb? god bless