Our first day back at school was on August 23rd.
As we were walking, I thought to myself of all the different types of weather we will walk or drive through en route to school. Snow. Fog. Sleet. Ass-high mounds of snow. Ice. Mud. Leaves. Sunshine.
Then I thought about how we usually see the first signs of fall about a month after school starts, sometime in mid September. There is one tree near school that just cant possibly wait another minute, you know the type. It always starts to turn colors earlier than any other tree, and I am always no where near ready for this seasonal change.
As we neared the school on that first day, I saw that tree.
And it started to change colors.
Just to make sure the tree wasn't sick or that I am not crazy (in this sense, at least), I went for a long walk today (a week later). I spied several trees already changing colors.
I blogged earlier this year about how freakishly early spring came to Chicago. Crocuses were up in February. My magnolia tree bloomed in March, when it usually blooms in late April or even May. March, and it was done by April. All of my flowers bloomed early this year- peonies in June, my cone flowers (for fall color) in July.
This has been a year of weather firsts in these parts, and it makes me uneasy, and now fall may be on it's way already.
I had learned that trees use the lessening of daylight each day as the signal for their leaves to change. Less sun, means less food the leaves can produce for the tree itself, so it begins shutting down its systems for the dormant winter months ahead. If this is the case, then why are the leaves starting to turn when we still have ample daylight? Hhmmm? Or maybe are the trees stressed due to lack of rain? I don't know!
People always like to predict what our winter will be like. "Oh, it's a big year for acorns, we're in for a nasty winter" was the one I heard last year.
Two years ago, we had a harsh, cold, and snowy winter, but last year, I barely got even chilled, and the coldest of nights weren't even all that terrible.
I fear what may come this winter, especially since it's already beginning. I am reserving the right to bitch and complain come April and there are still no tulips poking through the feet of snow, or because they've already come and gone after yet another mild winter.