Fall in the Deep South is pretty spectacular. Oh, we don’t have the variety of color you see in New England or even in the North Georgia mountains. About the best we can do here will be the burnished red of the dogwoods, and the rusty gold of cypress trees if you happen to have a nearby swamp, or maybe the lovely Japanese maples lots of people have in their yards. Pecan trees turn an unfortunate brown, and oaks don’t really turn at all. And never mind the ubiquitous pines (the cockroaches of the plant world). So many pines around here, all green every last one of them, all of them throwing pine cones on the ground and generally making a mess.
HOWEVER, we have the most marvelous weather. Coming after the oppressive heat and humidity of the Summer, it dries up. The days are warm, but not scorching. The nights are cool enough to open a window and throw a blanket on the bed. Occasionally a Football Saturday will be cool enough you can actually wear that pretty Ann Taylor cardigan and those awesome Prada boots you’ve been waiting for just the right Saturday to parade out. For those of you Not South Eastern Conference, we dress for our ballgames. No t-shirts and blue jeans (unless they’re designer). Team colors, to be sure, and huge tacky jewelry, but expensively done.
I love an open window. I despise both air conditioning and heating, tho I recognize they are necessary evils. I love a breeze through the house, and lately since the roses are hitting their Fall Bloom Extravaganza, the breeze advertises their exuberance.
The grass doesn’t need as much mowing, now that the daily thunderstorms of the Summer have tapered off. This is a good thing because the riding mower is incapacitated. Oh sure, we have the standard Troy-Bilt pushmower, and an abundance of young men to push it (for a fee, of course, tho sometimes that fee is “food, clothes, and shelter”), but using that thing when it’s 100 degrees and 80% humidity is something I don’t like to ask.
The goldenrod is gearing up to explode into all it’s glorious, riotous yellow in the bar ditches all over the county. I love the stuff. It’s terrible to bring inside for a bouquet, due to it’s pollen exuberance, and goodness knows how I hate to dust, but to see as I’m driving is a delight to the eyes. Lots of stuff blooms this time of year, buttery coreopsis, deep purple stiff verbena, and if you’re lucky and on a back road, you might get to see some towering ultra-violet Joe Pye Weed. Good heavens that stuff is amazing. And it DOES make a lovely cut bouquet in the house,if you can wade through the mud to get to it.
Autumn is kind of like a rebirth. Everything is so worn out from not dying in the heat, and the cooler air is a relief that allows us all to let go of the weight of heat and humidity, and stretch. We shake off the torpor of the Summer and start making plans…all sorts of plans…what to cook, where to go, what to do for the weekend, where to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It’s a good thing.