We left for a weekend trip to San Antonio last weekend and were gone for 4 days. It was late summer when we left...and fall when we returned.
The green ash trees had gone from "streaks" of yellow in their green canopies to "streaks" of green in their yellow canopies. Seemingly overnight, many of the honeylocusts had simply changed with no prior notice, also from green to yellow.
The weather had gone from the mid-80's, requiring the air conditioner, to the mid 50's, requiring the furnace.
Most disconcerting was the apparent disappearance of Charlotte, our newly adopted Argiope spider. For a few days before we left, she had refrained from rebuilding her web across our kitchen sliding door, then she moved away from the door to a spot on the siding about 3 feet away. When we got back from our trip, there was no Charlotte to be seen, but there was a brown ball firmly attached to the siding where she'd been hanging out. Her egg sac. Next year's black and gold garden spiders.
I looked for her body but didn't find it, so I decided that a bird had probably eaten her.
Then just 2 days ago, I spied her! She had moved way up to the eaves, more than 2 stories off the ground at that point on our house. I can't see her now unless I go outside and squint upwards, preferably with the binoculars firmly glued to my eyes, but I'm glad she's there. Who knows? Maybe she'll gather enough energy to lay yet another sac of eggs, ensuring even more garden spiders next year.
Meanwhile, each day brings more signs that summer is wrapping up and winter is fast approaching. I love the clear blue skies, crisp air, and bright fall colors, but I'm not 100% sure that I'm ready for winter yet. Ready or not, it's coming. Then, before I know it, I'll be noticing signs of spring. The rapid cycling of the seasons brings bittersweet poignancy to my heart these days, but thankfulness, too, that I'm lucky enough to notice and revel in it.