Autumn or Fall, either one, it’s starting

I’ve noticed lately that the mornings in Danville are getting cooler and it feels refreshing, invigorating. I take this as an invitation to go out for a walk.
The sun’s angle and light are changing. It doesn’t seem as bright as a few weeks ago. I experience it as softer. It’s that time of year when i notice the days getting shorter. The Fall equinox is a month away.

Last week i saw a reddish brown squirrel scurrying up a tree with a dart, stop, be still, dart…. rhythm. Its jaw seemingly stretched to the max as it carried what looked like a green ball in its mouth. It seemed so oversized in relation to the squirrel’s mouth. I couldn’t figure out what i was looking at.

My brain was computing the image and running it through files. The accompanying monologue went something like this:
“What IS that? It’s a nut! But it doesn’t look like a nut…. what kind of a nut is green? I don’t know but it’s gotta be a nut, what else would a squirrel carry? I wonder if it’s a walnut…. Nuts…. Wow! Fall is coming!!!!! The squirrels are doing their thing. They know when Fall is happening. How cool is that?”

In that moment i felt elated at being present to the natural flow of the seasons carried by this sweet little creature. It was like waking up and taking notice of what was happening around me. The squirrels sure know. I thought this squirrel was a lot more connected with what is going in its environment then i am. Somehow this touched me.

Squirrel Food

Squirrel Food

When i got home i googled (yep i guess it is a verb) walnuts and they sure looked like what that little guy was carrying!

I mentioned the squirrel to my neighbor Scott. He said this was a sign of a wet winter. I hope he is correct. This part of the country is dry to the bone.

May the little squirrel carrying the big walnut be a presage of rain.

A few days later i was driving home and saw my first fall colors of the year. I don’t know why i feel so touched when i see the leaves starting to turn. Something about continuity in an uncertain world, kind of like seeing the full moon every month.

The neighborhoods around here abound in Pistachio trees. I tell myself that they were planted because in the fall their long narrow leaves turn to such beautiful hues of reds and oranges. It’s like these fiery bouquets take over the roads and avenues. I love driving along a stretch of road outlined by these flaming trees. It’s like being inside an impressionist painting. It feels familiar, comforting. Seeing them adds a spark to my day.

Pistachios, Early Fall 2014

Glimpse of Fall 2014Pistachio trees
Danville, CA
Early Fall, 2014

Categories: The JourneyTags: ,


  1. I find it challenging to imagine Seattle as ‘dry’. It seems so disconcerting.


  2. Signs of fall are happening here too. The garden is beginning to fade. It has been such a hot summer, with so little rain. It is hard to believe I’m living in Seattle.


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