September 28, 2010

The First Falling Leaves

This morning, after a slightly rough start getting Briton onto the bus (he's still on Texas time it seems) Evelyn and I walked up the hill to return library books and drop her at school (school! yay!) It's been raining here, so this morning the sidewalks were littered with puddles and fallen leaves and Evie had an excuse to wear one of her pairs of rain boots much to her delight. As we walked she asked me, "What's that smell? It smells wet and dirt in my nose."

The leaves haven't begun to fall in earnest yet, they are only just, just starting to turn, but between the wet sidewalks and the new mulch in peoples yards and the first fallen leaves, it does kind of smell of wet and dirt. But in a good way.

Growing up, we had four giant old maple trees in our yard. The leaves turned vivid gold before falling in mounds on our lawn. The sounds and smells of decomposing maple leaves is one of my favorite things. Which sounds weird when I write it out, but never the less, it's true. It smells like fall. Eu d' fall. It could be a perfume. OK, maybe not a perfume. But it is a good smell.

Here there are so many different kinds of trees that the smell and sight of fall is a little bit different. The Japanese maples go lipstick red, the ginkos, Briton's favorite - because they were around during the dinosaurs - turn crayon yellow, the oak leaves go brown, the dogwoods turn sort of speckly red.

September seems to have flown by in a fog for me. I was shocked to see that someone in our neighborhood had Halloween decorations up before realizing that, right, we're only days away from October first. After such a long, hot summer, it seemed like fall would never truly arrive. But the leaves on the dogwood in our yard and the maple across the street are showing definite signs that it is, in fact, here at last. And thank goodness, because I'm so ready to start wearing my slippers without having to run the AC to keep my feet from boiling!