Press-Republican

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September 16, 2012

Autumn changes landscape, activities

Is it fall yet? Not officially. We mark the autumnal equinox in this hemisphere at 10:49 a.m. on Sept. 22.

There will likely not be dancing in the streets, partly because autumn will almost seem like an afterthought by that time.

I’ve already seen home and property decorations reflecting the new season. Fences have been adorned with dried cornstalks. Pumpkin fields are monochromatic orange canvasses. Tall corn mazes are attracting weekend fun seekers. Apple picking has been ongoing for some time.

Leaves on the trees along our beloved Saranac River bank are not only well ahead of the usual changing dates, but high winds over the past couple weeks have whipped them off the trees in great numbers.

The weather has been such an oddball in 2012, we hardly know what to expect. Summer was one of the warmest and driest in modern history. When it finally rained, it was reminiscent of Bill Cosby’s iconic comedy routine in which God asks Noah, “How long can you tread water?”

This summer, the Saranac River has been as low as I’ve ever seen it. The kayakers and canoeists have been hard put to get past our house without having to use their paddles as poles to go over the exposed stones. I heard loud scrapes that could mean big damage to some expensive gear, accompanied by profanity where there should have been singing.

I love fall. I love all the seasons. I have no desire to move to Florida in winter. Kaye is far less enamored with cold and snow than I, but who among us can fault the mild winter of 2011-12?

I haven’t checked the fuzz on the caterpillars yet, but my friend and honey of a man Dick Crawford tells me the hornets and wasps made their nests close to the ground this year, and that supposedly portends a hard winter coming. I’ll keep my snow shovels waxed, and the roof-rake and extensions will be handy.

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