Thursday, October 23, 2014

Autumn on the Coast

I've come to miss the signs of fall that I grew up with on the east coast.  Back then  there was a nip in the air and the leaves would turn wonderful colors and eventually fall into big piles that we used to play in and one would be surrounded by the beautiful sounds and smells of the crisp leaves.

Here on the Oregon Coast there are signs of autumn, but it isn’t the changing colors of the trees.  Yes, some trees change color; like some maples and aspens but trees like the alders start shedding their leaves in early August but the colors don’t change.  The leaves of the alders are all gone by the time the first autumn wind storm happens.

The signs of autumn here start with roads.  Chipmunks cross the road in confusion and though one might slow down and hope the animal has decided on where it wants to be you will inevitably hear a thump under your rear tire as you pass. 

The next road hazards are the Woolly Bears.  These are the furry black and orange caterpillars that find it necessary to cross the roads.  I always try to avoid them with my tires, however when looking in the rear-view mirror after I pass them I find the wind from my vehicle blows them away and they roll up in a ball to try to defend themselves.

Wolly Bears are interesting creatures because according to folk lore you can use them to predict the severity of the up-coming winter by the amount of black fur they have.  The more black fir, the more severe the winter will be.  If they successfully consume enough food they will turn into a yellowish moth known as the Isabella Tiger Moth which will mate and lay clusters of eggs under leafs and the whole process begins again.
Though we have had our first rain and wind storm of the season the Wooly Bears are still crossing the roads, even in the rain.  Soon we will have our first frost and that will signify that that the process of autumn is nearing its end.  It will be green here throughout the winter, even if we get a dusting of snow.  

All the fall and winter rains will assure the first signs of spring in February with the sound of lawn mowers cutting the lawns for the first time as the crocus bulbs come alive with the sounds of the frogs chirping in the swamps.


11 Comments:

Blogger Auntie said...

Wow, I thought it was a first sign of the apocalypse when I saw that you posted a new article.

And then I read it.

No apocalypse, just wistful Guy talk. Personally I am looking forward to the first frost to kill all of the internal fruit flies in my house (is it the red wine attracting them?)

Cheers to Fall, my favorite season of all. Wooly Bears watch out, Auntie is at the wheel :)

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank's Guy. Auntie, yes the flies are at our place too a relentless amount! I felt ashamed and thought it was the sack's of beer can's in the garage that I have let accumulate over the summer. But this week at the library, they have them and even at my daughter's school, her classroom had flies. I look forward to frost. Anyone need a bunch of beer can's?

12:57 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I notice clouds of them at the produce section of Fred Meyer. We've had them from time to time, too. My advice is keep a class of red wine vinegar in the kitchen. Wash all fruit as soon as you bring it home. Refrigerate whatever you can, and empty your indoor compost bin daily.

2:27 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

The Astoria High School Band has a can and bottle drive on the first Sunday of the month. You know how I feel about using the grocery store bottle return. I donate all of our containers.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

""I donate all of our containers.""

And you drink all of what? One can of beer each year?
Wow; you're a big spender!

I can see that it is high time that I set you down at the shindig and give you some beer drinking lessons!
:-D

4:42 PM  
Blogger g said...

I'm wondering if the wooly bears have more black or orange?

9:26 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Gearhead, you buying?

g, depends on the year. This year it seems about equal.

5:42 AM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

I know that I'm going out on a limb due to Oregon's glut of clueless, detached, uneducated voters.
But how about this:
If Katzhelper and his chippy shackup broad wins the election, I buy beers.
If the honorable, upright, & straight Dennis Richardson wins, you buy. How's that?
But be aware that if Rockin Richardson wins, I may be really. really, really, really thirsty!

3:26 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I feel confident because the last politician you back that actually won was Reagan.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

I've missed you.

5:35 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Thanks Donna, just laying low. I'm still reading your posts. You've slowed down a bit, too I see.

5:24 AM  

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