Cottownwood trees with golden leaves of fall colors, in front of a small pond with hills in the background

Fall has officially started, the days grow shorter and the nights longer. Some leaves have started to turn on the cottonwood trees. It seems odd to see the changing color when feeling the hot breeze and temperatures of 80’s while out walking. I read that in locations farther north they are experiencing cool weather and crisp days so there are places experiencing a normal fall. I am trying to absorb some of the warmth right now so I have memories of that comfortable feeling in a few months. I did the same thing earlier in the summer, when it got very hot. I imagined that feeling of cold air and remembered how much I had wanted things to warm up. Helped a little bit, although not as much as I wanted.

Close up or Sycamore leaf with red color of fall

I am also ready for some rainy days, another sign of changing seasons here. Our summer hasn’t been too bad but it feels like it is time for a some different type of weather. I suspect the events of this year contribute to that need for a switch in the days after many months of bad news. While it doesn’t seem like much is happening, I do notice the differences in the land when I stop and look around. There are fewer squirrels and they are busy hiding acorns. A few rabbits linger but most of them have moved on. I don’t see the baby animals as I did earlier in the year. The sun shines in my windows at a different angle and doesn’t heat the room up as much. The parrots have flown back for their fall migration, chattering loudly as they fly over the river area.

Sycamore tree with leaves of bright red colors against a clear, blue sky

All changes, occurring in spite of humans and our busyness at trying to create a normal life. Another reminder that it’s good to stop and take note of the many things that still follow the seasons even as humans try to exercise control over their lives. I also think on how all of these seasonal changes, leaves changing color, birds flying south, animals gathering food, occurred long before I was alive. I suspect they will continue long after I’m gone as well, with some changes.

Pictures by J.T. Harpster, prints of his photos can be purchased at

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