Almost Tropical Autumn

Technically, we live in the sub-tropics in the Piney Wood ecosystem, Texas.  I think I prefer Almost Tropical and to illustrate – we go from Hot as Hades to Freeze your Ass off.  Yesterday a cold front came in and unusually we have some autumnal foliage.  Most years a hurricane or storm system blows off the leaves before they can change color.

This is my walking path just at the end of my ‘hood’.  It is so lovely at this time of year with less sunscreen/warm sweaters needed.  You can always tell the recent snowbirds.  They wear shorts all year round and look at my layered sweaters with disbelief.  Having to communicate or at least wave to everyone on the walking path also causes them some consternation.  Bless their hearts…

Usually this display of copper and gold would warm my heart but the Grinch has stolen it.  My depression has been getting better but the time change has messed with my brain.  For the last few months the driving in our town had improved after an obvious police/trooper/constable presence.  Even my ice cold heart was warmed by seeing jackasses in trucks/Mercedes getting tickets or at least a scolding.  On Wednesday I had to return to my trusty physiotherapist because my right arm is sore and numb.  In route back home, I encountered a weaver in a truck.  Three lanes of traffic, going about 50 mph, and yet he felt he could get three cars ahead by weaving in and out of traffic dangerously. He swerved right in front of me and something broke in my brain.  To preface this, honking your horn is almost unheard of down here.  I put my hand on the horn and left it there.  All the lanes seemed to back away from me and I was left in a solitary bubble of road rage.  The next day the police were back and schadenfreude overtook me as I watched car after car getting booked.

Now I am less sore and grumpy, the Grinch has retreated and I am enjoying the autumnal leaves once more.  I even went to the mall to get my Nordstom’s coffee and enjoyed the repartee with the Israeli soap sellers.  Sometimes it drives me crazy and I feel like I have never left the souk.  Can someone tell me how to say, “Stop bothering me” in Hebrew?  Nothing too rude…their employers probably make them use persistent sale tactics.

Northerners laugh at us when we complain about almost freezing temperatures but we are acclimated to a long summer of hot and steamy.  It is usually in the high 90’s but the humidity shoots up the heat index.  When the first cold front arrived the temperature shot down by about 50 degrees.  Today it is bloody freezing and the heating isn’t working – eek!  I phoned our contractor in a panic and they are coming out in an hour even though it is Saturday.  My neurological issues and low blood pressure makes me feel really unwell when I am cold.  The gas fire is on and the space heater, too.

The other week I spotted something strange and big in the garden.  I racked my brain until I realized it was an old Great Horned Owl nest which had collapsed – it was about 3 feet across.  They usually steal someone’s else’s but it was huge and very nicely lined with a plastic grocery bag and pine needles.  Everyone is recycling these days. 🦉

 

41 thoughts on “Almost Tropical Autumn

  1. We have been having a semi-tropical Autumn here on the west coast of Canada. You would probably have a snowsuit if you came here. We have had very little rain bite my tongue as it is going to rain tomorrow. We live in the most pleasant area of Canada and where I live it is the hottest in Canada. Only because I live there lol It is the hottest in Canada. Having said that if you visit Canada at this time of year bring your woolies. Still BBQ weather. Well that is anytime of the year. Hope you are well.

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  2. I giggled when you talked about the difference between locals and snowbirds when it comes to attire haha! 🙂 As a SoCal resident, I layer up when the temperature drops below 70! If it drops below 60 I stay inside. But then all the tourists are wearing shorts and tank tops haha. Beautiful autumn photos!

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    • I didn’t realize you were a SoCal resident, MB. Somehow I thought you were a midwesterner. I was born in NoCal so that’s where my Grinchiness comes from…😁 One Christmas I was walking in our town center which attracts many tourists, wearing my Calvin Klein leopard print coat. The tourists were openly chatting about my clothes even though I could hear them. I don’t think they expected Texans to be stylish…

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  3. Wow!!!!!!!!! Wow!!! Can I pretty please come????? It’s so absolutely gorgeous… I’m so glad you’re getting the awesomeness especially if as you say it doesn’t always last.

    Lotsa love, light and glitter…

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    • It’s a real thing! The indigenous forest stretches north to south Texas all along our eastern border with Louisiana. On a road trip I took a wrong turn in the boondocks and wasn’t sure if I was still in TX. Strange little churches and shacks – felt like a Stephen King novel!

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  4. Winter here is getting close to tropical. Almost December and still warm enough to walk in short-sleeved shirts. I miss a colder winter and wish for snow. The summers are getting hotter and longer, and I see winged cockroaches on the streets during wintertime and daytime, when they used to roam the streets only on summer night. It gives me the creeps, those ugly creatures. Now I have to worry about them getting in my apartment during the winter and day. Can’t wait for summer to end, because it’ll be hot and cockroachy in the winter, too. Stop warming this planet!!!!!!!

    But I love the fall leaves colors. Looks like heaven to me. Leaves here don’t turn colors in autumn, but we do have jacarandas and poinciana trees blooming fire red and purple in the spring.

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    • I lived in Cairo for two years so I can get a visual of your environment. Our hibiscus still bloomed right up to December. Every so often if was really cold but usually warmed up during the day. We have the tree roaches here (winged) and locusts and giant grasshoppers – shudder! Our Egyptian cats used to love crunching them. LOL!

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  5. Wow, your trees are so vibrant! While it’s been warmer than usual the past couple of days (yesterday I think we got into the low 60s but I still consider this freezing). Today, it began pretty mildly but it’s been extremely windy and getting colder. This time of year typically sends me into a downward spiral so I’m taking a few days off until Monday and then the last two weeks in December. Definitely barricading myself indoors on Black Friday, I just don’t understand the frenzy, especially when there’s an option to shop online. Be well Kerry🤗

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