Even here, in the heat and humidity of central Florida, it’s clear that the season is shifting from summer into autumn. For the last few weeks, the oaks, in particular, have drooped a bit more as if weary from battling the heat, and their once-intensely-green leaves have shifted to a drab olive. Now they’re beginning to drop acorns onto the sidewalks, where they crunch mightily underfoot (and boy do I enjoy that crunch, the way it pops and the sense of that pop shivers up my foot and ankle with the sound!)
Add to this the mushrooms suddenly sprouting everywhere–small ones under the oak tree. A huge one in the neighbor’s lawn where just yesterday nothing marred the green of their St Augustine grass, and another like it halfway around the block, and equally isolated! Such mysteries they are, secretive yet lovely.
The squirrels are busy eating every magnolia seedpod, stripping the “fluff” to get the nutritious red “berries” nestled within, and the hawk who earlier this year was catching anole lizards has finally–finally!–progressed to eating squirrels! The ibis flocks are all the of white adults, with no more brown or speckled juveniles in their midst, and the tiny ducklings are grown.
And, finally, after weeks and weeks of little rain, the rain has returned, and now the National Hurricane Center is tracking two disturbances that could become hurricanes, one red (very likely to progress) and the other orange (maybe will progress). So, yes, it’s autumn, even here in the south.
I’m looking forward to opening my windows, to sitting outdoors, to becoming more active in my gardens–all the things folks up north do in the summer, I do in fall and winter, when it’s cool enough. Even Dasher’s been perkier during the evening walks, since the rains leave the temps dropped to bearable for a few hours, at least. His pace is fast, and I’m forced to speed-walk–something I’ve almost forgotten how to do since all the long summer I’ve been the one pushing him forward!
Did I mention fall is my favorite season? Even here, in the south? LOL, I bet you guessed.
I do miss nature’s vibrant leafy displays from up north, and those first frosty nights, and the hearty meals to counteract them. But I’m looking forward to the new crop of fresh citrus, and freshly-pressed orange juice for breakfast, and eating outdoors. Raking leaves? Well, not so much joy there. St Augustine grass has runners that the rake catches and it’s just annoying. But it’ll be that time all too soon, and the exercise will be good for me.
Until then, back to writing, and reading, and other indoor pursuits. And may fall be glorious for us all.