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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Losing Autumn

The golden yellow hues and the rich painted reds of the leaves, against the background of greens of every shade, marks the time of year that was made for me.

For as long as I can remember, autumn has been my favorite season. Being a very visual person, the fullness and range of earth-tones in the trees, in the scattered leaves on every lawn and pasted to the asphalt down every street moves me in such a basic way. I appreciate the colors of spring flowers, the brightness of summer greens, and the pristine blanket of sparkling snow in winter but there's just something about the fall.

Aside from the beautiful foliage, the flavors and aromas are wonderful as well. I love the taste of apples. Whether it's apple juice, apple cider - hard, or not - even the smell of the damp leaves in the air transport me to a very relaxed and home-like place. Every year I wait for the first hint of my favorite smell. It's not from a single source and it's hard to fully describe but it's something close to a combination of wood fireplaces and the smell of snow. (Hey, I'm from the northeast and I was born in January, of course I can distinguish a smell of snow.)

This year, though, has been a little different. For the past week or so it's been overcast, cool, and rainy in this neck of the woods. The fall colors were also at their peak last weekend. With the clouds, the rain, and the wind I wasn't able to see much of the colors. What are usually vibrant hues have been shifting towards dull browns. It's been so dreary out that I feel like I've missed out on autumn.

Sure, it's still officially fall until around December 21st, but the thing is, fall doesn't last too long in this part of the country. I have known years when our first snow began to accumulate on, or even before, Halloween. With the heat and humidity that lasted deep into September, and a little bit of early October, it feels like we're beginning to move on towards winter, skipping the nice, cool, sunny autumn and going right into the dark, rainy, cold autumn. I'm sure we have some nice days left before the 5-6 month white curtain comes down but it feels a little like the moment has past. But I'll certainly take what I can get as the days march on towards the cold.