Dick Maynard Column October 01, 2008
Irresistible fall is here in all its wonder and glory
Fall. It seems to sit atop everyone’s favorite season list. Even the Grinch is most likely “happy, happy, happy” when it comes to autumn. Other seasons have faults, spring being too windy and summer hot and buggy, and those of us daring to proclaim winter as our “season of seasons” are continually on the receiving end of the “evil eye,” an over-the-top-of-the-glasses “you’ve got to be kidding” stare.
Aah but fall. When it comes to a season irresistible, autumn is in a class by itself. What with winter, spring and summer continually falling short of expectations, fall, its blue skies and oh-so-comfortable temperatures, is greeted with a joyous surprise usually reserved for moments like discovering a $20 bill in the pocket of pants not worn since winter. Were fall a politician, there’d be no term limits. In a beauty pageant, autumn would not only win the title of Miss America, but also be elected Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants.
While autumn’s official arrival was a week and a half ago, here in the Rockies, today, the first of October, is when autumn bursts forth in full glory. The high country quakies are ablaze on this first day of the month and will gradually move their brilliant yellows down valley until, come October’s end, our lower elevations will be bathed in color. Wonder of wonders, even the despised tamarisk and Russian Olive give off a not-unpleasant autumnal glow in the sunlight of a late October afternoon.
October is fall’s feature month. September gets a late start and by November the leaves have disappeared and the lawn and garden gear, along with the deck furniture, is stored till spring. November has more of a winter feel. But October is the best of all worlds. It begins not with the searing heat of summer, but features daytime temps still warm enough to permit the wardrobe of July and August, T-shirt, shorts and sandals. Thirty-one days later, come
October’s end, we’ve transitioned to “see your breath” evenings that foretell winter’s arrival as costumed munchkins are chaperoned through the neighborhood for the much anticipated evening of Halloween trick or treating.
Not to wax poetic of days gone by, but Octobers of yesterday did have a pleasant, gone for the sake of the environment, nostril nostalgia. The days of raking leaves into a pile for burning are as vacant from our lives as the smoky haze those evening fires left hanging in our valley.
Today, October is high school games that mean something since conference play is in full swing. Fall, and October, are a time for homecoming mums, taking the kids to a corn maze and pumpkin patch, ski swaps and emerald green golf courses so beautiful they, almost, take the sting out of a double bogey. It’s the beginning of the soup season, time for the Buckskin Network and one last pedal over East Orchard Mesa.
If only the Rockies in the World Series could happen with Yankee-like regularity every fall rather than appear to be a once in a lifetime event.