fall


Not in CT this year

After “Irene,” many trees turned prematurely brown. Perhaps their leaves were damaged by heavy salt content of the accompanying rain and winds. A hint at the possibility of a dull fall.

Extended Indian Summer provided hope that, somehow, the maples might erase those previous weeks and resume their transformation into autumn brilliance. Mission impossible with no frost or cooling nights before “Albert” dumped heavy snows at the end of October.

Fall color is cancelled. All along the Connecticut coast, it’s the same story. Leaves either ripped away, shed, or clinging in dull browns, muted oranges, and pale yellows.

For me, it’s hard enough to say goodbye to summer’s delights. The usual cacophony of color soothes my disappointed and  cocooning spirit. Not this year. I wonder if October’s storm suggests a brutal winter. Or perhaps that was the worst of it. Ah, time will tell. One thing I love about this Earth–certain of its secrets can’t be pried loose, even by the best of scientists.

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It’s that time of year when the squirrels ignore their natural fear of human machines and focus instead on their survival mechanisms. But it backfires, as they rush from nut to tree, darting in front of oncoming cars. Mile after mile, gray tails flap on the pavement, fanned by the turbulence of passing vehicles.

I hit one today. It came out of nowhere, along side my car and eventually under. The dull thud sickened me and I exclaimed instinctively, “I’m so sorry.” Did that help anything? Don’t know, but it was a genuine and visceral. Survival of the fittest? Perhaps. Did I need to slow down? Always. Could I have avoided it? Probably not. But it left a bad feeling in my heart.