You know what the best part of being forced to walk every where is? Nope, not the health benefits of regular exercise. Nope, not meeting nice random people on the street. Yes there are nice random people. And yes, sometimes they even stop to chat you up. Yes... even when you are in a hurry and it is painfully obvious that you are trying to politely walk away when every muscle is straining to force you to run screaming. And no, it isn't the random puppy or large dog love that you get from woefully under training pets.
It's being able to crunch the fall leaves like you did when you were a kid. This Northern Michigan Autumn is kinda weird. And I don't mean that in a bad or complainy way. It's weird because while we have had such a dry and hot Summer, most of the ornamental plants are still thriving, the daytime temps are only a few degrees cooler than the Summer norms which is still seasonally warm. We've had some frost advisories but nothing close to normal. The average night time temps are cold and in the mid to low 30's but there are still pockets of warm air. And until just yesterday the deciduous trees were still fairly green.
And that is what is weird. Beginning with the Summer Solstice the nights have lengthened in ever increasing amounts which, by most accounts, allows the leaves to change. The amount of sunlight we recieve allows the trees to photosynthesize and therefore maintain a brilliant green color. Without sufficient amounts of light you get foliage in their natural color. Yes. Green is artificial.... sort of. So really the leaves should have changes a week or two ago. Weird.
This is really the twighlight season; it is not quite Summer and not quite Winter. But this year it is not quite autumnal either. So on my walk to the grocery store today there were plenty of Summer flowers in bloom. I passed a house with a white wooden fence that is lined with hydrangeas. Some were gradients of blue and violet, others gradients of pink and green and then some bold rose to raspberry blends. And above? A canopy of brilliant yellow, orange, reds and burnt sienna. Weird.
And while the leaves are down they are drying. So Summer flowers are still suple from the watering they still recieve and the fallen leaves are brittle. Everything about this season is a contrast between what can be expected and what is.
It seems as though there could be a life lesson in there somewhere...