“Fall in Texas: Pretty sure Mother Nature is drunk in the morning, swings by to visit Texas, and then sobers up and leaves for elsewhere in the middle of the day. I’m going to regret this long-sleeve turtleneck later today.” ~ Krystal Fichtner I agree. Not much changes in a Texas fall. No cool breezes caressing the trees. No sweater weather. No long pants needed. Post-September 22 eases along as if it forgot the season. Hot, hot, and hotter. If we’ve had enough rain, the fields may still don a green carpet. More likely, though, the brown fields lie listlessly, weary from the heat. Trees, worn out in their faded greenery, gradually begin losing their driest leaves due to the prolonged heat.
However, every so often, cooler weather pokes its head out in the mornings, providing a nice reprieve. Great for sipping coffee on my porch. Then the temps rise to suffocating heights once again. It seems to take nearly two months before autumn actually arrives – and remains - in Texas, no matter what the date on the calendar. At least my idea of autumn temperatures. Nonetheless, once the milder weather settles in, it determines to enjoy a lengthy stay. As a 1976 northern transplant to Texas, I have missed every Wisconsin fall save one. Up north, it’s the only season that decks out in all its vibrant finery, splashing the countryside in an array of brilliant foliage. Those trees, showing off their designer clothes against the crystal blue skies, sway in the breeze like dancers at the prom. My only complaint is that it is all too brief.
Unless you have experienced a northern autumn, don’t even try to rhapsodize about fall in Texas. Oh sure, the occasional purple ornamental pear tree or the red leaves on the crepe myrtles shine if it rains enough. But the brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges? They pale compared to those up North. The northern pictures, although stellar, still don’t compare to experiencing it in person.
As a young woman, I used to sit on my upstairs deck on those crisp days, basking in its beauty. Soaking it in. Sigh. Nothing like it. Then, almost as suddenly as the colors explode against the skyline, they drop, blanketing the earth in a colorful, crunchy carpet. Finally, in a silent anthem to the changing seasons, the trees’ naked arms reach out to the heavens - waiting for their coat of snow to usher in their winter’s nap.
Yet, life is what we make it, whether decked out in its northern autumn finery or jacketed in its bland wardrobe. I do enjoy the eight months of mild Texas weather. After all, I’m still here, aren’t I? Over the years, the quiet, frigid beauty of a snowy winter loses its appeal. I’ll settle for pictures and the occasional snow day in Texas. While the northerners shrug on their heavy coats, trudging through piles of snow, sometimes I’m sipping a glass of wine on my screen porch smack dab in the middle of January. Not bad.