This week the light changed. I don’t remember exactly when I first noticed the change of the light in the Fall. I know it was when I was living in Fredericksburg and I drove the rolling hills between Fredericksburg and Austin on a regular basis. I can remember listening to the radio on my drive and realizing the light looked totally different one day. The blinding summer light is replaced with a softer light. Now I look for this the first harbinger of Fall with anticipation. It means football season is just around the corner. Soon it will be Labor Day, and Halloween and then Thanksgiving with it’s weekend extravaganza of food and football. I love Fall.
We don’t have any frosty nights followed by Indian Summer days, Nor do we have apple orchards beckoning with sweet, juicy apples or cider. In Texas, the light changing is about the only sign you get that the season is changing. Cooler weather is weeks (possibly months) away and you have to head out past Hunt in late October, if you want to see red and orange leaves. In fact, we have a state park dedicated to red and orange leaves, Lost Maples State Park near Vanderpool. It is so beautiful when the leaves turn, but it’s about six hours from here so it is not a regular excursion for me. If you go, be prepared for lots of other leaf peepers because they arrive by the bus load. And unless you like being elbow to elbow with other LPs, go on a week day. It can be challenging even then as it is a popular school trip destination as well, because where else can kids in Texas go to see the season change? Oh, and if you are from the North, you may find it seriously underwhelming. But when most of what you get for Fall are yellow and brown leaves some where around November, it’s a spectacular sight.
Next weekend is the first college football game of the season. And even though it will still be blasting hot, I can’t wait. It is one of my very favorite Fall rituals. Thousands of people tailgating. Packed in a stadium with 100,000 or so other cheering fans, the promise of a new season, it doesn’t get any better.
And then somewhere around September 24th, we’ll have our first cool front. I call it the Mary Ellen Cool Front, after my cousin whose birthday is the 24th. Pretty much every year, right about her birthday is the first cool front. What a great present and everyone gets to enjoy it. Of course in Texas, it just means the weather will be in the 80’s for a few days before it climbs back to the 90’s. But what a glorious few days it will be. And I can see it coming.
If you love Fall, let me know what you love about it. And if you want to go see the leaves at Lost Maples here’s a link to more information.