Autumn foliage is getting duller and arriving later, and at an alarming pace.
I first heard about this while brousing google images for photos of houses and fall colors to share with you all. One photo came up as part of a report on this matter from 2007 (from fox news of all places.) Please have a look at it here. I told some people about it and began observing the trees in our forests. Fall sure is taking it's time this year, I thought, looking at the greens and light yellows. There are only a few spots were there is really bright color. I figured fall foliage is just taking longer to get here.
Then, while dilly-dallying on twitter, I received one of Martha Stewart's tweets. "How is your foliage?" it asked, and included this link to her blog, where she compares photos from last year's fall colors on her estate to this year's. It's really scary. Go see the comparison photos for yourself.
I have begun to investigate a little online (here is a scientific report on it from the Appalachian State University), not just because I would be sad if autumn colors slowly fade away, but also because this is a clear sign of what's to come: a time where there are no seasons, just irratic, strange, and extreme weather.
Have you noticed changes in your environment lately? I know we were all shocked when it snowed here last week in mid-October. And this year's mild spring caused problems for the bees; the local bee-keeper informed me, while I stopped by to buy a glass of honey, that by the time the bees had left their hives, the species of flowering plants where they gather the first vital nectar of the year had already faded.
Can you make your peace with the thought that one day, children will look at picture book and ask their parents with disblief, "There used to be a beautiful thing called Autumn where the leaves turned all different colors? What happened? Why doesn't it exist anymore?"
the golden trees of last year, taken on october 31st
the almost-all-green woods of this year, taken october 20th