First, a peek through the dead or dying trees on my property's edge to some gorgeous fall foliage in the borrowed landscape beyond:
We have a tendency to think of October as being the big fall-foliage month, but really, for central Virginia, early-mid November is the better time for peak leaf color. And frankly, many trees hang on to their leaves until late-December/early-January, at least around my yard, which makes raking in time for the municipal leaf pickup a challenge. Last year the giant leaf vacuum machines showed up on the day after Thanksgiving, which was a total waste of time and a huge frustration for me and my neighbors. If ever there's a good time to rake (or use a leaf blower, if so inclined), it is during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend when folks have an extended amount of time at home during daylight hours. So, the city workers showing up on Friday morning before folks have had a chance to rake is as frustrating as houseguests showing up for a party a day early, before one has had a chance to cook or clean. This year the city has apparently wised up and they're waiting a week or so....
In addition to the changing and falling leaves, I've enjoyed the annual return of my little crop of autumn crocuses, with their tantalizing saffron-coated stigmas:
I never have the heart to disfigure them by removing the stigmas, even though saffron is worth its weight in gold. I suppose if I were a gourmet cook I'd feel differently.
It's raining today, moisture that is definitely needed to help refill our parched aquifers after the summer drought, but it makes for a dreary Monday, and will no doubt hasten the descent of red, orange and yellow leaves from branch to ground. I'm always sad when there is no more color on the trees.
But I do like snow. Here's hoping we get some this winter!