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Early Indicators of Autumn

New Meadows, ID.

These leaves would not make a good postcard, but they stopped me dead in my tracks the other day, on a mountain bike ride.


It is what they imply: autumn. They are the seasonal mirror images of crocuses in the spring, which a poet once called "the advance reports of an army, marching from the south."

There are other indicators of incipient change: I have seen a couple squirrels dragging large pine cones off to their winter stash. The squirrel was struggling with the bulk and weight of the pine cone. How authentic Nature becomes when we see wildlife earning an honest living, and not just sitting around looking cute-sie for the tourists.

Early indicators like this caused sweaty palms and heart palpitations in this old RVer, probably because I hate summer. But to experience a thrill after all those years -- I must be doing something right.