1- Summer’s heat is gone - replaced by pleasant days and cool, almost cold nights. The air smells cleaner and feels lighter.
2- All the major North American sports seasons overlap. On any given day one can watch baseball, hockey, basketball or football. Sometimes, in an eyeball-bending orgy of remote control button mashing, one can watch eight or more games a day. (Not recommended for the casual sports fan. Sprains are common and hernias not unheard of.)
3- Mosquitoes are history ‘til June.
4- The fall colours are spectacular. October is the month in which Mother Nature reverts to childhood and finger paints her world. The lush green of the past several months still exists but now it’s in patches, surrounded by gleeful splashes of yellow, orange, red and brown.
5- Rainbow trout (Steelhead) start staging at the mouths of creeks that empty into the Great Lakes. There are few prettier sights than a crimson-slashed, sliver slab of finned muscle leaping at the end of one’s line.
6- The crowds thin out along my favourite walking paths. The salmon run is over (finally!). Ben and I start having stretches of creek and field to ourselves again.
7- The falling leaves make bird-spotting an easier task.
8- Children are settled back into school. Adults (who don’t teach for a living) seem to be in better humour. Probably not a coincidence.
9- The cool, nearly-cold nights make sitting around a fire more than just a pleasant indulgence. It awakens ancient, dna-deep memories of huddling around flames when doing so was necessary to stay alive.
10- It’s a time of plenty. The last harvests are coming in. Mason jars and other canning equipment appear on store shelves. I don’t “put up” jams or tomatoes or that sort of thing myself but I like to think others are. It reminds me of my youth when my mother and grandmothers prepared goodies that would last through the winter months.
12- There’s still two full months before having to panic about Christmas shopping.