Old Pepper doesn’t like this weather even though she’s not the dog to lay out in the summer sun, preferring the cooler brick under the eaves of the house. But the October air is different – rather than the warm cover of summer, the fall air is sharper and takes more of a bite. Even the cloud cover seems to have more of a snap than a lazy flow.

As we work out the stiffness on our morning walk, our new neighbor in the corner house is in front, sweeping her rake across the lawn, and picking up the early dry leaves of fall. Most of the branches above our houses are still green, but some are beginning to drop early, with the edges of the suburban canopy showing tints of raw umber, as the trees themselves pull back from the cold weather.

Soon, the slow, hand operated rakes will give way to the gas powered clean-up crews as they muscle their way thru our yards and streets. Our quiet fall mornings will disappear under the thundering leaf blowers’ effort to maintain some  order to our manicured landscapes. No doubt it won’t be long after that when I’ll hear my neighbor next door loudly complaining about the same broken pin on his elderly snowblower as he uses it – or tries to use it – to clear his walks and driveway.

Meanwhile, the empty Blockbuster space has given way to a pop-up Halloween costume store, the windows facing the avenue decorated with superheroes and swashbucklers. At our Costco Sunday morning, we saw that the lawn chairs and freezer chests have been put back in inventory, while the aisles are  now filled with illuminated reindeer, boxes of carefully wound flickering lights, and motorized Santas waving from their wooden sleighs.

The marketing departments seem to be making more aggressive decisions about the changes to the seasons than the weather forecasters on the local news.

Time does seem to speed up these days. Then again,  a generation is now no longer measured in decades but in the distance between iPhone releases. Meanwhile, Old Pepper and I will continue on our morning walks, and like the young woman at the corner who gently rakes her leaves, watch the seasons change at nature’s own measured pace.

Fall Leaf © Janet Kopito

[Simultaneously posted on The Glen Cove Patch…]

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