Most of the season’s leaves are on the ground now. I am mid-shin deep in them at the moment. After rain on Friday night, by Saturday morning a great deal more leaves had fallen, leaving perhaps no more than 20-30% still attached. Then on Saturday evening, just before sunset, a big wind blew up for a minute or so. The forest was a blizzard of leaves, and when the wind died down again, most of the rest of the leaves were down too.
For the first time in nearly six months, I can see Nell’s Hill again from my back deck. The air truly feels like fall, now. Yesterday afternoon I was outside wearing a light sweater, brooming the leaves off my front deck and feeling perfectly comfortable, though my nose was cold. That’s how I know it’s fall. When my nose is cold and the rest of me isn’t.
Last night, as a result of having no leaves on the trees and a nearly full moon in the sky, I had trouble staying asleep. It just seemed too light outside. I could, of course, close my curtains, but what’s the point of having a picture window in the bedroom to look out into the forest, if I close the curtains? I will get used to the lighter nights of fall and winter in a day or so. Today, the change is still novel and perhaps more sudden than usual. It’s a bit out of the ordinary to go from half the leaves down to almost all down in just a day or so. And last weekend, the fall color was just at its peak.
So today is November 2 and the vast majority of the leaves are on the ground. The time of the fall is utterly normal. Of course, if that big wind hadn’t come through Saturday evening, many would still be hanging on, and I’d likely be fretting that the leaf fall was late. Once the color peaks, leaf fall isn’t far behind, but sometimes it needs a little help from a north wind to push them along.