Six hours and thirty-three minutes. That represents how much less sunlight we experience on October 31 compared with the date that summer officially began. That was when life was green and smiled on us like a benevolent nursemaid. Now she doesnt care, and has informed us in no uncertain terms by her behaviour that she soon will be leaving, deserting us to winter. If we arent prepared then it's too bad; she's leaving anyway.
It was in late September that we first noticed them. A forest of over 120 mushrooms (or were they toadstools?) literally erupted from the ground between our place and neighbour John's. They were beautiful, maturing from bright yellow bulbs to flat topped saucers held aloft by a sturdy stalk. Some measured as much as 18 cm (7.25) inches across. We had encountered these before but never in these numbers. Another forty of them sprouted beneath the conifers lining our driveway. On walks through the bush we encountered them. What was this invasion?
Rains of late August and September wash away the high temperatures that characterize our late summer and introduce 'fall' - a beautifully appropriate name for a season on the same scale as the name 'spring'-when the leaves of our deciduous trees fall off, an adaptation of survival for the coming winter. Indeed, the word deciduous is derived from Latin meaning cut or fall off.