Apple cider and cream based soups are returning to the menu. Pumpkin spice lattes return to Starbucks. Pumpkin and apple breads enter the mix at Great Harvest. Apples and pumpkin pies replace strawberries and watermelons in the produce section displays. Ordering oatmeal for breakfast at Denny’s gets fewer strange glances from the waitress. But fall seems the most apparent at the house.

The corn has been harvested, the wildflowers have gone to seed and the last of the pears are stubbornly clinging to the tree. Evenings are cooler and the latest batch of kittens are hopping around the yard and attacking the blowing leaves. I am preparing the bird feeders and beginning to toss out a small amount of bird seed every morning and evening. The mated doves are visiting the cornfield. Brush piles are being built from the trimmed new growth of the crepe myrtle and hydrangeas. Burn piles have been built from the trimmed branches of the apple tree and the dead limbs and branches the dead oaks and maples. The back woods are becoming a rustle of dry leaves in the breeze.

The 0530 coffee is taken on the porch in the cooler, less humid air. The cats are the only other thing about: staring and demanding food. In a few minutes the birds find the seeds and the word spreads and the feeders are full. Hopefully this year the leaves will turn to autumn colors before falling to the ground.