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Signs That Autumn Is Approaching Are All Around

It’s almost here. The signs are starting to show themselves. A shower of leaves rained down as I made my way across my country lane the other morning. A touch of color, just a tinge, could be seen as the leaves swirled to the ground.

My neighbor is filling his corn cribs, much to the delight of the squirrel population. It’s not unusual to see a squirrel dragging a corn cob across the road, an incredible feat for such a small creature. He is busy preparing for what’s to come.

The bees are at their swarming best around the roses and hummingbird feeder. It reminds me of last call at the local pub. Everyone scurrying for that final drink before the door closes.

The hummingbirds are still around for a bit longer. Their acrobatic maneuvers are keeping us entertained. Nature guru reminds me not to remove the feeder for another few weeks to help the stragglers flying south.

The sun is dropping over the horizon much sooner each night, much to our dismay. This will continue until a nip in the air makes our outdoor sitting a challenge. The chalk drawings on the driveway are fading fast with each rainfall.

The grass is slowing in its growth pattern, a sure sign summer is waning. The flower pots filled with impatiens, begonias and such are beginning to shed their glory. Sadly, I sweep the porch of their remains each evening.

No amount of water and sun will help the cause. It’s nature’s way of saying it’s time for chrysanthemums to overtake the porch containers.

The fall festivals are just around the corner with church bazaars and craft sales topping the list of must-do events before the holidays. Pumpkins and goblins are gracing store shelves now with cinnamon-scented candles mimicking a baker’s kitchen. Scarecrows and whimsical fall decor are showing up on homes and business windows as we rush into the most beautiful season of the year (in my opinion).

Nothing I’ve witnessed in other regions of this county compares to the glorious hues of autumn over the Ohio Valley. You can keep your beaches and shorelines. Give me the confines of my gorgeous forests and hillsides in this Mountain State. And when the wind blows and carries the leaves far off their moorings, I will relish the sound of fall whistling through the branches.

Soon, I will detect the smell of a campfire as we pull on sweaters to ward off the chill in the air. The Old Farmers’ Almanac tells of weather folklore that, for every day of fog in August, we will be greeted by a snowfall in winter.

Also, if the first week of August is unusually warm, look out, we will experience a long and snowy winter.

All I know is that I enjoy breathing in all that fall has to offer.

After that, all I can do is check the snow tires and wait.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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