First Hints Of Fall As Leaves Begin To Turn Yellow

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 22, 2013

Brown and yellow leaves falling from the trees means …
The first hint of autumn’s approach? Several of those fancy ornamental trees — the first to put on their leaves in spring — are already shedding in the neighborhood. Weekend temperatures are supposed to be pleasant in the low 70s. Summer is getting old. The days are noticeably shorter. Stores are selling school backpacks. School buses will be on the road soon.
It has been a pleasant summer. Not once have we seen the word “drought” in a headline. It has been a disappointing season for tomatoes, but corn stands tall in the field. Temperatures have stayed below 100. We haven’t had a long stretch of scorching days.
But those first leaves falling from the trees are harbingers of many more to follow.

We may have fewer leaves to rake this fall at home. A storm pushed over several trees on the edge of the yard a month ago. The largest were a pair of sweet gum trees — the kind that produces thousands of sticky balls that hurt bare feet.
The trees, at least the sweet gumballs, won’t be missed.
The clean up, however, is still in progress. Too cheap to pay real woodsmen to do the job, I have employed my chainsaw on evenings and weekends to the monstrous task. My brother-in-law is collecting the firewood for his stove, and he may now have enough for the entire winter.
It has been a case study in wood splitting.
I had often marveled while watching Westerns when a cowboy easily splits firewood with an ax. The secret for easy splitting isn’t the cowboy’s muscles or the sharpness of his ax. More important is the type of …