How Do You Know When it’s Fall?

My friend Lois is here for a visit, and the dogs and I couldn’t be happier. Last evening we took a stroll out at the Refuge and then ate at Ninos, one of the local Mexican restaurants, the one in which I — seven years ago — tasted the green chili I had missed in California. I haven’t been out at night in about a million years so coming home to real “country dark” was kind of surprising and also informative. I learned that the batteries are dead in two of my outside motion sensor lamps.

The beans survived three freezing nights in a row with nothing but frost burn on some of the more exposed leaves. This is slightly strange because the beans are not “keeping each other warm.” At this point I think they could be doing anything.

Yesterday Lois and I were talking about the arrival of fall, like when does it really begin? This was the result of a (pretty funny) debate she was having on FB with a family member who is polemical and punctilious to a fault. As we drove out to the Refuge I said, “I know it’s fall when the cows come home.” It wasn’t just the idiom, either. At the beginning of fall the cows really DO come home from grazing in BLM lands, spending their summers in the mountains. They are excellent at keeping low-level forest growth from getting too thick or too high. Awesome sub-contractors for this task. The sheep come home, too, and some of the gates at the Refuge are open to let the hoofed animals cross from farm to pasture. South of the Refuge, a few days ago, I discovered a small herd of goats protected by a vigilant llama.

8 thoughts on “How Do You Know When it’s Fall?

  1. We are all musing on when Fall actually begins… and I’m certain that the date on the calendar is completely arbitrary. Hope you enjoy your visit with Lois (and get some new batteries for the lights)!

  2. Fall is when it gets dark at 7 instead of 9.

    Fall is when fire danger in the forest transitions from extreme to critical.

    Not much fall color here yet, that happens closer to Halloween.

    I wish I could say fall is when it gets a lot cooler but we’ll have to wait a while.

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