Too bad fall is not as dramatic here as it is in other places. After this extreme summer of record breaking heat, little rain, and wafting smoke from regional forest fires (a veritable hell on some days), I want it to swoop in like a super-hero to save the day! But even without the vibrant colors and the dramatic weather changes, it quietly tiptoes in, and things begin to - finally - change: the slant of sunlight as the sun moves its way south, the clearer blue skies as the humidity falls, and the drop in temperature which, while slight, is a welcome relief. High eighties is notably different than high nineties I tell you, and cool sixties weather at night makes me want to sit out on the front steps again.
I still envy apple-picking northerners and westerners, and real (orange) pumpkins ripening, the blazing trees and the first flurries. But we have some truly good stuff here too:
- Magnificent fall gardening. You can grow just about anything in the fall, provided you get warm weather transplants in the ground soon. Many cool weather plants will produce all the way through spring.
- Deciduous trees shedding their leaves and providing more sun to gardens and welcome sunlight to our homes (which we tend to shrink from in the summer).
- Windows open at last. The first day we open the windows and leave them open is such a relief. I love hearing the doves in the morning, the owls at night. The hoopla after football games downtown not so much…
- Along with the good gardening comes good eating. Fresh vegetables start rolling in by mid-October and go through till next summer! This is the season for Autumn Salad, Baked Bean Soup, Greens and Beans, Pumpkin Soup, Roasted Autumn Veggies with Polenta, Sweet Potato Chili and Sweet Potato Quesadillas.
Even though it's barely perceptible today, it's FALL. Celebrate!