The Reliability of Autumn

I guess this is why we call it fall.

I have recently realized that this is the first time that I’ve had time to really enjoy autumn. I always took a big chunk of my vacation in October. October is a great month to finish projects and prepare for winter – that’s right, I know how to enjoy my vacation. Even though I had many days off during this season, I was busy. Busy with those projects I was trying to finish, busy trying to get two cars in the garage before I had to start scraping ice off the windshields, and busy with the “important” emails and questions that came from work. When you work for a small company, you’re never truly on vacation.

This year, I am still trying to finish some projects, and I am still working to get prepared for winter, but I am enjoying autumn. It won’t surprise any regular reader when I say that I’ve been enjoying my morning walks with our Irish Setter, Maddie. I like walking, but I’ve been fascinated by the fall colors. I have to say, we aren’t even having a great year for fall color. We have a mix of green trees, brilliant colors and leaves that fell without changing colors and are simply drying out on the ground.

As I’ve been walking, I’ve been considering my title, the reliability of autumn. At least in New England, the other three seasons don’t seem to be reliable. We’re looking in the rearview mirror at the driest, hottest and (in my opinion) the most humid summer on record. Almost no cool days. Almost no summer thunderstorms. Almost no green grass. Summer started out hot and stayed hot. One of the reasons I am trying to finish projects in October is because 95°f (35°c) days chased me away from my projects into air-conditioned comfort.

Spring has also been unreliable. While we had lots of budding flowers and signs of life, recent springs have been wet and cold. Winter, I’ll get to winter in a minute, has invaded spring, or at least reminded us that most of March is part of winter. April, on the other hand, should be solidly spring. It hasn’t been. Spring arrives with a lot of promises, but lately, it hasn’t been delivering until mid-May.

Winter remains the bully of the four seasons. Winter is capable of derailing your plans and making you miserable, but winter in New England has become the most random season we have. In recent memory, we’ve had years where we received 80″(203cm) of snow in January and years when we’ve had less than half that snowfall amount all season. Two years ago, we had 70° days in February. When I was working, I was twice stranded in Florida at a winter meeting because I was unable to return due to snow in Hartford. I also had meetings where it was warmer in Hartford than where we were in Florida. Winter can be beautiful, but lately, it can’t be counted on.

Autumn is reliable. I’m sure there’s a meteorologist somewhere who could explain why my observations aren’t surprising, but while summer might extend into the first weeks of September, we tend to see the end of 90° days early in that month. On the other end of the spectrum, we don’t often see snow in October and November and it’s not normally terribly cold. I love October and November because I get to wear vests. I am currently wearing a cloth (fishing or photographer’s) vest. In a few weeks, I will switch to may favorite down vest. By mid-November, I’ll be finishing those outside projects in a flannel shirt and my Carhart work vest.

Finally, I can’t ignore that autumn means football. I’m talking about the US version of that game, and I enjoy watching it. We almost lost NCAA (college) football this year, due to the pandemic, but my teams are playing. Professional football (NFL) has managed to put on a pretty good show this year, even though the stadiums are mostly empty. My teams are delivering mixed results, some good, some scary, but I still enjoy watching the games. I hope you’re enjoying autumn, or spring, if that’s the side of the world you are on, and I hope you can stay safe and well throughout the season.

I hope you’re enjoying autumn, or spring, if that’s the side of the world you are on, and I hope you can stay safe and well throughout the season.

78 comments

  1. Autumn is my favourite, I think, though spring is a close second.

    We woke to a light covering of snow this morning – nothing too unusual for this latitude, but our first year year, we were out in our shirtsleeves mid-November. So, I can only agree – autumn is reliable, but winter is a bully. And a summer without thunderstorms? I’d feel cheated!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This summer was brutal. We had a couple bad storms, but they were short-lived and did nothing to reduce the heat and humidity. I like a thunderstorm that rages for hours and drops the temperature by 20 degrees.

      We’re going to have rain all week. Wet, but no shovel required. I imagine winter make its presence know in your area.

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  2. Love your description for each season – especially autumn as reliable and winter as the bully. You also found the tone of the season in your words. Of the pics, the few down the sidewalk was my favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with Maddie, the last shot IS interesting. I am often surprised at how similar my weather in Ontario is to yours in New England. I still think you get more snow. A few days ago the temperature hit 30C (86F) in October!!! But I do agree that the colours make autumn my favourite season . . . sigh. It’s cold today. Expected temp? 8C (46F).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am often surprised by the similar weather, too. It seems like you guys should be much colder. It looks like we will have rain all week, but not very cold. Our highs are still supposed to be in the upper 50s f (13-15°c). Maddie does have a way of finding the interesting things on the ground. I’ve been trying to capture them, if she doesn’t stomp them into pieces.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We saw our bunny today, but it was dark. I tried to get a picture by shining a flashlight on him – if I do have a picture, it’s of a very not happy bunny. It’s going to be a wet week here. I think the color will wash to the ground.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your assessment of the seasons we are currently experiencing is certainly on target. ‘Fall’ has arrived here for sure. I’ve been out raking leaves and picking up pine cones and acorns almost every other day. Temps are in the 30’s, and it looks like we could have a few flurries this weekend. Hope you get your pocket door in. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to turn my attention to clearing the garage portion. The pocket doors will have to wait. I appreciate the reliability of fall, but I don’t want to push my luck. It looks like rain here, all week. No raking, but there will be a pile for me on Saturday.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Dan – yes autumn is lovely … though I do prefer Spring – the weather keeps getting better! However – weather is always changing … 1940/1 and 1946/7 and 1947/8, and 1962/63 – the one I remember were appalling winters here in the UK. If one goes back hundreds of years .. in fact looks at Frost Fairs – the 62/63 has been described as a Frost Fair year … the weather is constantly changing. The sea levels also have risen and fallen over time … William conquered England a thousand years ago because he could access deep water around the Pevensey area … it’s now marshy …

    But autumn colours are amazing aren’t they … gorgeous especially when the sun shines through … glad you’re enjoying your free from work autumn and those walks with Maddie – who matches the colours perfectly. Take care and stay safe – all the best – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that, Hilary. I don’t associate England with bad winters, but you’re right, the weather is always changing. The long-range forecasts for this winter are mixed. One says it will be milder and dry and one says colder and wetter. I guess one of them has to be right, unless we land in the middle.

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  6. Autumn has not been all that reliable in WI. Not enough warm, sunny days and this morning, there is a light covering of snow on the ground and trees. Bah humbug! I’m grateful, though, for the nice fall days and color that I could enjoy on the bike and in the car.

    Glad you have been able to enjoy autumn this year, Dan. The trees are gorgeous and the weather is decent. Have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw reports of the cold and snow moving into your area. Sorry about that. I hope it’s a fluke thing and you get a wave of Indian summer (can we still say that?).

      We have rain today and it’s in the forecast all week. I can work with that. We are still suffering from a long fry spell this summer, so easy steady rain is a good thing.

      I hope you have a great week, Mary.

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      1. We are lucky. A FB friend in Wyoming posted they were getting 8-10″ of snow and very cold temps. At least I know our snow will melt and Wednesday will be a warmer, sunnier day. Rainy days sound like a good time for you to write and make sure Maddie is comfy on the couch.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Your oranges are gorgeous! We haven’t got many orange leaves on trees here so I really appreciate them and the red ones.

    We’re experiencing a cold front from the north these last few days. It’s been windy and this morning I woke up to 21 degrees outside. The heater has been coming on every morning all last week. I’m feeling like Winter is in a hurry to finish what it wanted to but was pushed out by Spring so it’s rushing in. I am enjoying my faux fur lined vest, and fleece-lined leggings for my walks, and my sweaters and tall boots will be getting some wear soon too! I love this season for sweaters and boots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is something about dressing warm that feels good. As long as we can avoid the bitter cold, I think we can handle winter. We’ve have spots of brilliant color this year, but also long stretches of trees going from green to brown. I’m glad you have had the opportunity to catch some of the highlights. In previous years, I only had those chances on weekends, and I missed a lot.

      I hope you have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I wish our autumns were as reliable here, Dan. Last year, we had not a flake of snow in September or October. But I went to bed Halloween night to bare ground, and woke up November 1st to 13″ — and it just never melted. It was HERE. This year, we’ve already had a few inches (last week) which finally melted thanks to a full 24 hour period of rain (thank GOD it wasn’t snow — for all intents and purposes it should have been considering the temp was below freezing that entire time) — and now I’m staring out the window at another fresh 4″, and it’s still coming down. I am not impressed. Still other years, we’ve had the most beautiful November imaginable, sunny and warm, and most importantly — no snow. Now each year when October rolls around, I get more and more afraid. In the past three years, each consecutive one brought permanent snow falls earlier and earlier. November 15, then November 12, and then November 1. You can see why I’m looking at the calendar, looking out the window, and am completely terrified right now!

    Thank you for sharing some pretty leaf pictures as I haven’t seen a leaf in weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. If we would ever get an autumn, I am sure I would love it. The heat is still oppressive here. A/C on in March and still running today. That’s insane. Hurricanes still lurking around–Zeta due on Wed/Thurs. In other news, I think “Maddie has to check out each leaf” would make a wonderful zigsaw puzzle. For Faith! You’re welcome and Merry Christmas. :D

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dan, just when I was lamenting about how few bloggers seem to be writing about their lives these days, I see this post and loved reading every word. I did not realize how much I missed fall living in Florida for so long. As you know I love the fall colors here in my part of the world and relish every moment. I went outside this morning and the ground was covered in wet red maple leaves. It was beautiful. Our leaves are falling, too, but my trees are closely clustered together and they tend to be a little protected from the wind. Enjoy your vest weather. I have a few vests myself. I will soon be breaking out my shearling lined boots for tromping around the cold ground. Have a great fall season, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yep, Autumn is the best month, followed by spring, summer, and way down on my totem pole is winter. I loved winter as a kid. Stayed outside for hours building snowmen, forts, tunnels and getting trounced in snowball fights. But as an adult, and now an old adult, I can’t tolerate the brutal cold. Arthritic joints and not so strong muscles, and a fear of falling and breaking something, has taken all the fun out of winter.

    We have the same situation here…..many trees still green, some totally bare, others with ‘some’ color and every so often you see one with vivid color. The Hudson Valley is usually an artist’s dream of color, but not this year. Climate change at work…..you know that thing that so many people deny exists.

    The pic of all the birds in the tree — where is Alfred Hitchcock when you need him?

    I’m with Maddie, I love to hear the leaves crunching when I walk. And she’s certainly given you a new perspective on picture taking. I hope you reward her with a treat for sharing her finds with you!

    Stopped raining a little while ago, but more coming…all week!
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The birds have made me think of Hitchcock numerous times, recently. Hundreds of them swoop down and land, covering several neighborhood yards. They’re little guys, but they make a big crowd.

      We’ll be dealig with rain all week as well. They’ve even added the “S” word for Friday’s forecast. They say it will change to rain by 11:00 am, but I don’t like seeing that word in the forecast at this point.

      I think by the time we’re able to walk again, the leaves are going to be squishing under Maddie’s feet.

      I hope your week is off to a good start, Ginger.

      Like

  12. We had a colder than usual winter, Dan, the coldest I can remember for years. We are now heading into a very hot summer. It is already hitting 34 degrees Celsius and its not summer yet. I find it a bit frightening and hope the climate change is not already permanent.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Maddie on the carpet of leaves was darn near invisible! Your leaves are so beautiful. Ours probably are, too, but it’s been so gloomy the past few days you really can’t appreciate the colors. They’re better seen against a clear autumn-blue sky.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Even in Florida there are sky changes that indicate Autumn. The light is different, more shadowed, and there are more showers. The temps are less brutal although humidity determines actual comfort. The breezes are nicer though. Not much turns color. I enjoyed the Autumn leaves in Atlanta and when visiting up North. But the Winters….I was just not built for ice and snow. They are already expecting snow in Nebraska. Brrrrrrrr……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have snow in the forecast later this week, but it will likely change to rain. I’ve been to Florida in the winter, in the spring and, unfortunately, in the summer.I’ve never been there in the fall. We know what’s coming, but we know how to prepare for it. 2020 marches on.

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  15. I love your fall photos, Dan, bringing back memories of fall in the Midwest. Fall here looks very much like the rest of the year since we moved here in April, except that plants are starting a second round of blooming, blooming that was put off by the heat (records we didn’t want to be part of) of summer. Today I’m excited because we have a little cold front and I’m wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt!! In a few days, highs will edge back into the 80’s but nights will stay in the 50’s if the forecast is right. Yeah, I like that. Means my morning walks will be chilly. :-)

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Enjoy the chilly walks. Our walks are on hold this week, called off due to rain. Not much around here is blooming, just the marigolds. We’re hanging in the 50s until Friday, then dipping down into the 30s. This is why you moved.

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  16. I’m enjoying all the pictures of the splendor of autumn on my blogs, Facebook and Instagram feeds. Then I see that big pile of leaves beneath the trees and am grateful that raking is not part of my fall chores. Good thing that Maddie is inspecting all the leaves… you never know when an evil imposter might get hidden among them.

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  17. Fall is my favorite, and no place does fall like New England, so I appreciate your shares. We had stunning sunshine two autumn Saturdays in a row and they were GLORIOUS! I don’t mind the wet gray ones, either, because so beautiful. Today was sweater weather and tomorrow, it’s to be sweaters and boots! Yeehaw!
    We had a freezing spring, kept our apples from fruiting. We had a mild summer. We’re having a perfect fall :)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Dan, I am envious of your Fall weather and beautiful colors, but not at all equipped to handle what follows. We have had a hot, humid summer, but the promise of winter is what makes it tolerable. South Florida temps are dropping, (80’s) just as we head to North Florida for a couple of weeks. Looking forward to long sleeves and a vest! Lovely photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Dropping” and “80s” in the same sentence? That’s funny. Autumn is the season that offsets the hot humid summer and the snow that is coming. It would be nice to exit winter into a gentle warming spring. That hasn’t happened for a few years. Maybe 2021 will be better.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Exquisite photos, Dan. Fall is my favorite season, and always at this time of the year, I think of the two decades I spent in CT and NY. Where better to see the fall colors? 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I really enjoyed reading this post, Dan. You are spot on when it comes to the seasons here. And, this year was one of the most beautiful autumns I have seen. You retired at the right time to enjoy such gorgeous foliage. I have taken and posted far too many tree photos.

    And football… hooray! What a shock to watch the Patriots do so poorly. I would much rather watch Tampa Bay this year. Hubby is always watching Navy and Penn State. We’ve pulled out the crock pot for football dinners.

    Life is good. Beautiful photo gallery, Dan. Give Maddie a pat for me.

    Like

      1. Please don’t apologize, as I’m always the late one. The snow is pretty, isn’t it? Good thing it won’t last! Nobody has a snowblower ready to go before Halloween. Well, maybe Dan does. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi Dan – getting stranded in Florida sounds like a good thing – but I guess not if you need to get back home?
    Enjoyed this post and the way you explored the seasons and reliability and changes was enjoyable to read 🍁❄️☀️🌺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of my coworkers enjoyed having to layover an extra day at the beach. Visiting Florida in the winter (or ever) really isn’t something I enjoy, and so much time was spent making arrangements to get home.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ugh – that does sound frustrating
        And in the 90s I had many trips “home” because I chose to move away – and after getting snowed in at Chicago airport and then delayed elsewhere – I try to take morning flights and straight through when available

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Again, more awesome fall pics. We got our fix in the Pacific Northwest….stunning colors….great weather which for us included rain (a novelty for So Cal folks). Love fall!!! To your point the weather has been extreme nationally in different ways. We got back from Seattle this past Wednesday to smokey skies and 90degree+ temps….ugh!! One of the reasons I love your fall pics!!

    Liked by 1 person

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