‘Change is in the air and we welcome the coolness of the mornings’

October means fall is here and fall means change in so many ways. One way already noticeable is the leaves coming down. It is still too early for the beautiful fall foliage that can set our hills aglow with many colors. The sun, fog or mists, clouds and even time of day all have their time to make our fall colors be a living thing with their vibrant colors, muted tones and a wistfulness of unfulfilled dreams of the summer hurrying to close the books of accomplishments.

Yes, change is in the air and we welcome the coolness of the mornings even as we lift our faces to the warm afternoon sun. Gardeners are eager to cut down or even plow under the overgrowth of weeds brought about by our rainy September. The foliage of both wanted plants and unwanted plants have soaked up the rain and put on a thick and tall screen to make for an unruly feel of what was supposed to be a garden with tidy rows and hanging fruit. Undug potatoes and sweet potatoes are hid somewhere beneath a tangle of crab grass and morning glories. So it is time to cut down the over growth and find our under-the-dirt treasures.

Even the trees have stories to tell. The walnut trees are dropping their hard-green balls as well as the hickory trees. Both make real effort to hide their fruit inside hard layers but this does not daunt the squirrels as they chip away. It takes a closer look into the tall poplar trees to find some yellow and brown leaves even as they spread a thin carpet underneath the tree enough to make a rustling sound as one walks through. The mulberry act as if they are also not affected, but suddenly all their leaves turn yellow only to lose them all very quickly. At least they all come at once to be cleaned up quickly rather than act like the oak tree that reluctantly drops a few at a time lasting for several weeks. There are many stories the trees would like to shed or share with us.

The trees are very much like an industry. An industry can grow and thrive with the need. So the trees put on more leaves as the spring and summer sun and rains as demand more, but when the amount of sun declines the need for the leaves also declines and it is time to down size. Thus the leaves lose their green color and finally fall from the tree and seek other ways to be useful.

I think one lesson we can learn from the trees is the way they provide for themselves by dropping their leaves right over their root system. Then the fall and winter moisture can wash the nutrients from the leaves to feed the tree. Thus the leaves can benefit the tree both summer and winter.

Yes, there are many things to learn from nature and fall is one excellent time to take notice.