There's a heavy frost on the ground this morning at the northern end of southern nowhere, and it's about time.
It has been a long, hot summer; the heat hanging to the land long into the fall like a thick blanket of dust on a lost book, waiting for the clearing wintry breath of Earth's librarian. The thin white frosting this morning follows a wind-chilled day that had Miss Brenda and me rummaging in the back of closets for jackets and caps. A week ago I sweated, and Miss Brenda glistened, in short-sleeves as we worked in the yard. Yesterday, we followed the sun from the front yard to the back with different projects in order to fight the chill.
The last couple of days have been full of the signs of approaching winter. The sight of high, wavering lines of snow geese headed for the Delta indicate that the fall waterfowl migration is underway. My daily security patrol of the back forty has lately been accompanied by the crisp percussion of crunching leaves at each measured step. The leaves of sweet gums have gone all orangey and a brown layer of needles blankets the ground beneath the pines.
Fall is my favorite time of the year, and it goes by much too quickly. The comfortable temperatures and the colorful changes give way far too rapidly to the cold, stark darks and greys of winter. We are too thirds of the way through the football season, for crying out loud, and it has just now gotten cool enough to enjoy the game the way a true fan should--screaming and stomping to stay warm as much as to provide support to the team.
Summer's gone, fall is fleeting, and winter is in the wind--better start working on putting on an extra layer of fat.