Sure signs of fall

They say fall officially begins a little after 4 o’clock this afternoon.

I’ve been seeing signs it was already here for days.

Last week a gust of wind brought a shower of falling leaves in the hardwoods of our family farm. Scattered at field edges were a few bushes and trees already wearing their scarlet and yellow leaves.

I’ve watched a flock of several hundred, or thousand, blackbirds fly those cool serpentine flights across the sky. That about every yard in town holds several squirrels rummaging for food is another great indication.

But mostly it’s the look and feel of recent days that’s said fall has already arrived.

That golden light of dawn and dusk that lasts but minutes all summer seems to linger an hour or more these days. The need for sweatshirts and sweatpants when knocking around the yard in the early morning also speaks of the new season.

And we’re not alone in noticing the change. Several friends have commented their hunting dogs have a lot more bounce in their step and whip in their tails since the season started to turn.

Lately as I work in my home office Hank, my Lab, lays on the nearby floor as he did all summer. Unlike then, though, he’s often not asleep. I wonder if he’s thinking of the five hunts he already has under his collar or the dozens more to come.

Every so often I’ll hear the heavy thumping of his thick tail pounding the carpet.

I couldn’t agree more.