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Pat’s Bits & Pieces- Signs of fall are here again

Pat Maurer, Review Correspondant

I just noticed leaves falling all over the freshly mown fenced in area out back…
You know what that means – fall isn’t far away!

That’s not all either. It may only be the middle of August, but trees are starting to turn again. I noticed one on Maple Road just last week that was already red on the top and one side.

That started it. Since then Jack and I have noticed trees starting to turn just about everywhere we go.
And suddenly it is much cooler outside. I actually had to wear a sweater today. Sure is a big change from those 90 degree humid days just three weeks ago, isn’t it?

Jack told me this morning that the prediction tonight (Tuesday) is for 40 degrees. I guess we should have expected it, after all Labor Day is only just over two weeks away and school starts again right afterwards. The kids probably don’t like it very much, but I like the cooler days and am enjoying this brief “sign” of things to come.

Fall really is my favorite time of year.

I know, I know, I say that at the beginning of every season, but fall really is a special time. It’s both an ending and a beginning. It is the end of an always too-short summer, and the beginning of what always seems to be a too-long winter.
This season can really sneak up on you. Fall arrives like you have never seen it before and it really is the shortest, sweetest season of all – like a great dessert that follows a superb meal.

First you see just a trace of color here and there, like I have been noticing lately, on a maple usually. That starts you looking for other signs. Most everything is still green, but you can almost feel the leaves getting ready to change.
Sunsets change too. Lately we have been having some really spectacular ones, with pink and blue skies and lots of fluffy little white clouds in the sky.

The wildflowers along the roads are all blooming now and pretty soon the wild mustard will take over and color everything yellow-gold.

But no matter how carefully you watch for it, when fall really bursts upon us in “full bloom,” it will be a surprise. One morning we will wake up and everything will be decked out in glorious reds, oranges and yellows, some so bright, they almost hurt your eyes. Have you ever noticed how fall colors seem to almost glow by themselves?

The first thing I always notice, besides the goldenrod blooming everywhere is the birds. You can see the geese, noisily putting their traveling groups together for the long trip south. The birds at the feeder know what’s up too. Jack has been filling the feeders every couple of days and he still can’t keep up with the little moochers. Of course it could be because those squirrels and chipmunks, and we have a bunch this year, are packing away their stores for winter just as fast as they can.

The hummingbirds are still around, but one of these mornings we will notice they have gone south too. Meanwhile Jack is doubling up on the sugar in their mixture to give them a little extra energy for their coming trip.

With cooler evenings, the stars seem to be crystal clear, much brighter than they appear in July.

Corn, beans and tomatoes are plentiful right now from area gardens. Pretty soon we will be seeing pumpkins along the road and farmers rushing to bring in the rest of their crops.

I know we have apples on our trees already. If they are as plentiful as everything else this year, maybe I will make some applesauce again.

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