Friday, October 5, 2007


Fall has started with, well... fall.

It seemed as if, pretty much literally, the leaves in our neighborhood started turning on Fall Equinox; and some of them started falling shortly thereafter.

looking up our street on our way home from the Farmers' Market last Saturday

The maple across the street from us has some leaves turning that bright, bright red, and has shed a number of them already. In the cemetery across the street, we can see bright tops of trees. One of the trees down the street has already shed most of its leaves, and in the parking lot of my boss' home and office, the oak has started shedding both brown leaves and acorns.

All the pines in our front yard seemed to drop their old needles in the same three days. I swept our porch yesterday, garnering my supply of pine needles to burn at Samhain with my mementos for my beloved dead. I now have an entire paper sack full.

And, of course, everywhere in Ann Arbor, there are that other tree-related marker of fall: black walnuts.

Up through July, our summer was very dry. Then a front stalled out over Michigan, and for two solid weeks we had multiple thunderstorms every day. It's interesting to see what effects the early dryness and then abundance of rain have had on our fall foliage -- colors, and leaf-shedding, especially.

One of the ways my wife and I mark the changing of the seasons is by watching the changing colors on a particular lovely, long, tree-covered hill near where we live. When we're walking/biking/driving home from "downtown," and we come over the Broadway Bridge, this hill stretches out in front of us. In earliest spring, we see the first bits of green appearing on the trees. In deep summer, that hill has every hue of summer tree-green. And it's one of the first places, besides our street, where we start to see the fall colors of the leaves.

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