7. Squirrels. Everywhere I look squirrels are scurrying in a pre-winter frenzy. These nut-drunk rodents display pretty bizarre and stupid behavior which results in excited dogs, messy roads and a Darwinian thinning of the population.
6. Storm Windows. A walk on a sunny, indian summer Sunday is filled with neighbors on ladders removing screens and putting up storm windows. (Time to buy the weatherstripping – yuck.) Weekdays bring oil trucks filling tanks, plumbers servicing boilers and bleeding radiators, and landscapers vacuuming leaves.
5. Apples. New England (including upstate New York) has the tastiest apples in the world as far as I’m concerned. Give me an Empire or Cortland or Northern Spy over a Fuji or Red Delicious any day. Fall begins with the first apple picking and peaks when farm stands everywhere are serving up fresh-pressed hot apple cider with warm soft cider donuts.
4. Runny Noses. The back to school viral viruses plus the first blast of cold weather leave few noses dry. Actually, the skin on and around my nose starts to get very dry but I go through a box of tissues a week.
3. Regattas. With our move to New England, my husband returned to the water and I spent last October as a “crew” widow. (It’s an extremely boring spectator sport so I was only in one cheering section that coincided with a South Asia Heritage Festival.) I noticed there is hardly a straight stretch of river that isn’t hosting a rowing regatta during the fall.
2. Sweaters. When the first chilly breeze throw leaves off the trees, New Englanders pull plastic bins from their attics, air out the cedar infused winter clothes and start sporting sweaters. A hearty bunch, I’m am little shocked to see the sweaters paired with shorts, but as the person already adding a fleece and boots to my sweater, I am far from a hearty New Englander.
1. Leaves. (duh!)