The leaves are starting to turn to fall colors and fall off the trees. We're digging out our turtlenecks and warm sweaters. The furnace rumbled on during the night when the temperature dipped to 35F(2C). We could hear the pipes crackle and the radiators start to sizzle as the steam heat crept in. It's autumn in New England.
Fields, verdant and full of crops only last month, are now becoming barren and brown. Some still have the remnants of long past corn stalks. Pumpkins and multi-colored Indian corn and odd-shaped, warty gourds are piled in great mountains at local produce stands, waiting for buyers who'll turn them into pies or jack-o-lanterns or autumn centerpieces. Apples are ready for picking. Hay wagons trundle families to and from corn mazes at local farms.
Mums (chrysanthemums, that is) in bright yellows, rusts, and oranges sit on front steps. As much as I hate the thought of winter approaching, I do love autumn.
We call it “Fall” in the USA and Canada, by the way, but it's Autumn in the rest of the world. It appears they mean exactly the same, the archaic word Fall (fall of the leaf) was brought to us from England during the migration to America in the 1600s. Interestingly enough, neither Fall nor Autumn were in use pre-17th century England … this transition season was appropriately called Harvest.
The autumnal equinox (22 September) signaled the start of autumn here in the US. The days are now getting shorter. We'll be changing the clocks in another month. Dawn will arrive at 8am and it'll be dark by 4pm in the afternoon. There are, however, those perfect days that occur at this time of year when the sky is the bluest it can possibly be, the air is crisp and clean and nature is at its most colorful peak. We'll go to pick apples, choose our pumpkins and maybe carve one out, take long walks through rustling leaves and become “leaf peepers” for a few days. New season … new adventures.