Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Here and there, in just a spot or two, I am beginning to see signs that fall is approaching. Somehow the plants just know. It can’t be that the weather is slightly cooler, because normal summer weather has finally reached this mountain. The dreaded three H’s—hazy, hot and humid—hold sway again and have for at least two weeks now.

It can’t be dry weather, because it hasn’t been dry here. Almost tropical downpours drench the mountain nearly every other day.

It could be that the plants are responding to the ever-shortening hours of daylight. If so, the Virginia creeper is the plant most sensitive to that change, as it is always the first in my woods to show color.

Or perhaps the plants just know. Perhaps their lifespan is geared to a certain number of days or months, and weather or daylight plays little part in impacting that. Whatever the answer, the change has begun. Today, it’s only a leaf or two. Next week it will be a few more. The week after that it will likely be a different species of plant. Today, in the midst of the hottest days of the season, the first glimpse of fall brightens the forest.


The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

My woodbine is still looking green—though I've noticed it stays green weeks longer than the V. creeper up by the road. But I did stand inside the front doorway and photograph a clump of yellow leaves on a hackberry up by the top of the drive—though it's been raining off and on all day so I didn't go up for a closer look.

The first colored inklings of the change are beginning, though—and probably more because of the shortened photo period than anything else.

Cathy said...

Ah, bring on the Fall!!!! give me my colors. It was hot and humid, with t-storms all me but never over me.

However, the big question is, what is Hurricane Bill going to do?They keep saying it's not going hit us but a little part of me who says don't rule it out just yet.

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: I hope the worst of yesterday's storms missed you. I got a lot of rain, but little wind.

Like you, that projected path for Bill isn't yet making me feel as though I've dodged his bullet just yet.

Carolyn H.

Carolyn H said...

Griz: I'd always wondered, in previous Augusts, if the early color change was due to the nearly always very dry Augusts I have around here. That question has been answered. This August isn't dry, and the color change has already begun.

Carolyn H.