Friday, October 24, 2008

Autumn in California

This is the time of year when I really start missing New Hampshire. Even though I'm a 3rd generation Californian, there was something about New England that just felt like home to me. The architecture, the landscape, the weather -- it just felt RIGHT in a way that an 80 degree day toward the end of October just feels WRONG.
So here it is, October 24, and it is over 80 today. It's been annoyingly hot all week. It's just so hard to get in the mood for Halloween when people are still wearing shorts and tank tops, you know?
Yesterday, I spotted my neighbor (we'll call him Tom) outside blowing leaves around his front yard. He has a big, New England style house with has two big maple trees in the front yard that turn a glorious red each fall. They're past the red stage, and are starting to fall down in a very (to my mind) satisfying and autumnal way. I've watched as, Tom and family have decorated their house with an amazing array of Halloween decorations, including corn stalks tied to the columns along their porch, and even on the basketball hoop stand that is parked in the street in front of their house. They come from the East themselves, so I figured that their decor reflects their missing fall, too.
So, there was Tom, wielding his leaf blower, when I realized that he was blowing the thing UP into the tree to create a lovely and festive swirl of autumn leaves in the air. The ground was covered with leaves, which I thought provided a wonderful complement to the corn stalks and pumpkins on the porch and skeletons dangling from the porch roof.
"What a great way to get more fall decor," I yelled with a big approving smile.
Dave paused and turned off the blower. "I'm getting as many of these suckers down as I can," he pretty much growled, "I'm only raking ONCE."
With that, he resumed blowing with what I realized was a determined vigorousness to remove as many of them as he could.

Oh well. So much for celebrating the beauty of autumn.

Meanwhile, I'll go have a summery glass of iced tea.


  1. You would love the weather here! Perfect fall weather - sunny, crisp, in the 60's. And we have fall color to boot. It will rain, again, however!!

  2. I'm with you that 80 degree weather doesn't feel at all Halloween-y. On the other hand, it is kinda nice not to have to incorporate jackets into the kids' costumes. ;-)

  3. Beautiful photograph Diane! We are having a beautiful fall here with crisp cool days full of the smell of fallen leaves.