28 October 2013

Giving up on Summer

I know summer has officially been over for a month or more, but I've been telling myself that as long as there's still a little green on the leaves outside, it's not really over. They've been yellow — maybe even predominantly yellow — for a while now. By tomorrow, I think I'll have to admit that the last faint tinge of green is finally gone.

The trees outside my window are mostly big leaf maples and vine maples. They're very pretty when the leaves turn gold in the fall. They really are. It's just that, even after 18 years in the Pacific northwest, I can't help comparing them to fall in Michigan.

Of course, fall in Michigan was invariably followed by winter in Michigan, which kept me from enjoying the fall spectacle when I lived there as much as I might have done. Since I no longer live there, and know I won't have to endure the beautiful but interminable Michigan winter, I find I'm quite nostalgic about this time of year.

In central Michigan we never got the jaw-droppingly spectacular color you get further north, but compared to the polite yellow that's outside my window right now, it was spectacular enough. This wasn't any place special, just the street in front of our house:

Of course, if you were willing to travel, the trees in the park at the end of our block were a little more colorful:

Since I didn't grow up in Michigan, I can only imagine how much fun it would have been to jump into a deep pile of crisp fall leaves. I didn't grow up in Seattle, either, which is probably just as well. Jumping into a soggy, wet, slug-infested pile of leaf slime is an experience I'm just as glad I missed.


  1. You need to add the picture of Tinman visiting from Florida that day.

  2. What I always liked about this time of year was the horse chestnuts that dropped from the tree on the corner across from the library. I regularly put a few shiny ones in my pocket every trip there (less than a block away). One year I planted them in a nice neat row right next to our house. The next year my Mom found them and got mad at me and pulled them up; "Do you have any idea what those roots could have done to the foundation of the house?" she asked me. Well, no I didn't; after all, I was only eight years old.

    I just thought it was neat that they grew.

    So, chestnuts, rather than the change of color, is my memory of Fall change.