We have 3 oak trees in our yard. I guess technically one is our neighbors but we share leaf and acorn drop from that one. I both love and hate these trees. I love them because the acorn drop is a sure sign of fall. I hate them because I am constantly running after the dogs who see acorns as their form of crack.
(sidebar: yes I realize that some schools of thought have them as toxic. Neither of our dogs have ever been sick from eating acorns and we try very hard to keep them from actually eating them).
About this time of year I start looking for the day when I get that ‘feeling’. The feeling the summer is really over and fall is here. It is not on the 21st of September. It happens around a month before. It has nothing to do with back to school commercials (don’t those start a week after school gets out?) or the Pottery Barn Christmas Preview. It is a weather change, it is a smell, it is the sound that acorns make when you step on them. Today was that day. The sun shines a little more golden than white hot, the breeze that tosses the leaves is a little gentler, caused by something other than radiating heat and the shadows are cut more distinctly than the ones you see through the haze of a regular southeastern Pennsylvania summer afternoon.
Right now the sun is dappling the table in on the patio where I am sitting through that shared oak tree. A couple weeks ago I would not have been able to sit here at this time of day as it would have fried me and the laptop. A slight change in angle of the Earth and here I am enjoying a cocktail and the sounds of kids playing in the street. Will it be crazy hot again before the real chill sets in? Sure but it won’t be that way for days on end or all night long. Pretty soon we will translate the word humid into damp or raw, the squirrels will stop throwing acorns at me while I sit on the patio and will turn into rolly-polly, winterized furballs and I’ll throw a sweatshirt on to walk the dogs in the morning as I steer them from their acorn addiction. I will breathe deep and drink it all in along with a glass of red by the outdoor fireplace. This is why I look for that one day every year. Fall is my time and I can always sense it and spot it in the sun just over the oak tree.