With the abnormally warm weather persisting, a time we used to call Indian Summer, I’ve worked hard to trim the shrubs around the yard. When I first fell in love with this house, I looked at all the bushes and thought how lovely they were, but like the average romantic, the reality of the hard work keeping all those leafy branches within manageable sizes never crossed my mind until I was firmly planted here myself.
On a couple of the warm dry days I’ve gone to my usual haunt to gather buckeyes and enjoyed talking with the homeowner, who gave me permission to take all of the mahogany colored seed pods I could carry, years ago. She recently asked “Doesn’t that hurt your back?” and I admitted that the length of time I keep at it depends on when my endurance runs low. I am lucky to fill a plastic store bag half way when I used to be able to fill the whole bag up and only hoped the bag didn’t tear from the weight of the buckeyes before I put them into a stronger container. Hope that a buckeye tree or two will sprout somewhere as I toss the seeds into untended fields is what keeps me doing this every fall.
Usually by the fifteenth of October the peak season for the changing of the leaves here in Northeast Ohio has passed and while the brilliant reds, oranges and yellows linger, the most stunning scenery is fading but this year, perhaps because of the late summer rains or because the warmth continued through today, the full glory of the autumn spectrum is just beginning.
With a gentle rain falling this evening we are almost seamlessly shifting from one season to the next. We’ve already had our first frost and the late summer marigolds are still thriving. The air temperature is expected to drop to half of what it is now in only a few days and once the leaves let go of their colors and pile up on lawns and go skittering down the streets, there will be no doubt about it, change is in the air.