Our seemingly endless summer really is coming to an end. Our oak leaves dropped a couple of weeks ago from the heat, lending a fallish scent, but we knew that they were not presaging fall, just yielding to our hot, dry weather. Better evidence of the coming fall is the parade of animals through our yard, trying to fatten up for winter. Days are still in the 90s here, but the past few mornings we’ve dipped below 70 degrees F. This morning it was 55 degrees F when I got up. It was bliss. We’ve been sleeping with the windows open and feeling the need to snuggle under a blanket in the wee hours before dawn instead of sweltering without even a cotton sheet like we have been for most of the summer.
Along with these early signs of fall, we’ve seen “our” wildlife return from their summer retreats. While one doe and fawn have visited regularly since July, this evening we had almost the whole herd of deer back to see what had fallen under the apple tree. Last night, I found a big, fat raccoon on the porch. I scared it off, as I see nothing good that can come from having coons around. Tonight I surprised an armadillo, and bark rained down on me as another critter–I’m guessing possum or coon–escaped up an oak tree.
All of this relatively cooler weather is inspiring me for fall planting. I hope to get in some seeds for lettuce and related greens. I started craving turnips today, so I’ll put in some of those too. And I’ll definitely start some cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, preparing to cover them before they produce, in case of early frost.
Have you seen signs of fall?