Reversing my ancestors' process, I've spent a lot of time climbing and thinking in trees. During my Pasadena childhood, oaks, maples, magnolias, and sycamores offered clues to the seasonal shifts. While residents from eastern states termed California a "mono" climate, I learned to sense the beginnings of each season.
Within a kaleidoscope of subtlety, I have always felt sensations when one season scooted into the next.
In San Diego I have discovered autumn's early arrival. This visual guidepost accompanies my sense of seasonal change. Before the summer heat relents to crisp mornings, the ivy moves into oranges, yellows and scarlets.
Today, with the humidity of early morning, I had a hunch my indicator would reveal autumn tugging at summer's toes for cooling temperatures. Lower on the wall, leaves have started to gather in twos and threes. By early October their palette will overwhelm the green. Sounds will turn to crisp and crackle. With a hint of cedar, smoke will coil from chimneys.