“Autumn flings her fiery cloak over the sumac, beech and oak.”

The weather is quirky. One minute it is dark and gray then the next is sunny. The house is cold while outside is warm. Showers are predicted for later. On my way to breakfast, I noticed many leaves had fallen. Piles of yellow were on the road and sidewalks. I thought it strange. Many trees have yet to change color while others are almost bare. My oak is still green.

Nothing was more enticing than the piles of leaves in the gutters next to the sidewalk curbs on my way to school. I’d kick through the piles and spread leaves all over the side of the road. The dry leaves on the bottom made a crunching sound while the newest fallen leaves on the top always seemed a bit damp and filled with morning. Most of them were yellow leaves. The trees were spaced beside the sidewalk edge. In summer the sidewalk was shady; in winter it was bare and open to the wind. The sidewalk was a straightaway to school. From the top of the small hill I could see to the railroad tracks and once there I could see the front lawn of the school building, but I couldn’t see the statue. It was too far off the road. I never minded that walk except when it rained. That was when the straightway seemed to go on forever. If I had known how perfectly descriptive a word it was, I would have said I plodded my way home.

The Cape has few sidewalks. Only the oldest parts of some towns seem to have them. My town has a few which slope and have cracks. None of them have curbs. No one kicks leaves.

I remember my dad and all the other dads standing on the side of the road near the curb burning piles of leaves. By then the leaves were curled and brown. They burned easily. All of us kids stood near the fires and watched. Our clothes afterwards smelled of fire and burning leaves. It is still one of my favorite smells, one of my favorite memories.

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6 Comments on ““Autumn flings her fiery cloak over the sumac, beech and oak.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    All towns here have sidewalks everywhere except in areas that only have private homes. In the cities there are sidewalks everywhere.

    I only remember those orange maple leaves in the big park close to where I lived, we had to collect some every Friday for school. Our teacher seemed to love them, we not so much 🙂

    I had no problem seeing my school from my home, I lived 50 yards away 🙂 so it didn’t really matter what kind of weather we had 🙂

    I can’t remember when we had such a colorful autumn as we have this year, the road to work has all varieties of yellow, red and orange now but it won’t last for long because we have a strong and steady wind that tears the leafs from the trees now.

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      The cities here too have sidewalks and most towns do. Even here on the cape the down towns have sidewalks but there are few outside of town. My street and all the streets around me have none.

      The maple leaves here are yellowy-orange. We used to collect them and then iron them between two sheets of waxed paper to preserve them.

      I lived about4 or 5 blocks away.

      That is what took down our leaves as well-a strong wind on Friday.

      Enjoy your evening!

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Same weird weather up here.
    I was out earlier with Rocky. We went to the lake and I took some photos. It rained and I had to put my camera inside a clean doggy bag to keep it dry. I made a hole for the lens so I could keep taking pictures. It worked fairly well except when I held the camera up to my face I could smell the lavender scented bag. It could have been worse.
    It was still dark and drizzly when we got home. Rocky asked to go out a couple of hours ago. I opened the door and a rush of warm damp air came in. It’s warmer outside.
    Now it’s windy, too. I can hear some of the windows rattling and the thunk of falling walnuts every now and then. The lawn will be carpeted with leaves and nuts if this wind keeps up.

    I do miss the smell of burning leaves in the autumn. Sometimes I burn a handful as an homage to memory. There should be a Yankee Candle with that smell. They could call it Scent of Autumn. I’d buy it. 🙂

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      It is really warm today. I didn’t take Gracie on my errands as I didn’t want her waiting in the hot car. It was 64˚ when I went out this morning, and it is now 73˚.

      At least you had the extra doggie bag! Lavender is one of the pretty scents of the world.

      We haven’t yet had the rain they predicted, but it is starting to get humid so maybe we’ll get it after all.

      Yankee Candles have the best scents of all. They smell like the real thing. I’d also vote for burnt leaves.

      Have a great afternoon!

  3. Bob Says:

    After the quick rain on Saturday we are having beautiful weather. The high temperature today will be about 80 degrees with light winds and clear skies.

    I grew up in Texas in a newer neighborhood where the trees were not yet fully grown so the leaves were not a problem. In New York we raked them up and I can’t remember what we did with them. I know we didn’t burn them.

    Many neighborhoods here had no sidewalks as the developers wanted to give them a country look. Newer ones like the one I live in have sidewalks and curbs. My old neighborhood had the parkway between the sidewalk and the curb where people planted trees. I hate old neighborhoods where the trees are like a canopy across the street. Any time you park your car on the street it will either get covered in leaves, sap or bird poop.

    • katry Says:

      I’m so glad that heat of yours has finally disappeared. Maybe fall has finally arrived.

      Every Saturday the leaves were raked and them burned. Smoke rose into the sky from so many streets. I remember sometimes it was cold and the fire was warming.

      The cape roads, the old roads, have all been expanded over time so no sidewalks were added. The bike path is near to my house, and that serves as a sidewalk. It is the most traveled lane in town. The trees on my walk to school were not pine trees so no sap. Most were maples and all they dropped were leaves. They were pretty-most are even still there.

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