The season advances -- 10/24/02

It's really autumn now.

Many trees are changing color now with the season. Some places a majority have changed but other clumps of trees may still be half green. We have so many oaks around here (my house is surrounded by them) and oaks like to stay green as late as possible and then turn yellow and tan overnight. (Oh, okay, not exactly, but it does seem like that.) The colors are more spectacular deeper into New England (New Hampshire, Vermont, inland Massachusetts) and in upstate New York. They tend to have more maples than we do around here and maples put on the most eye-catching displays. Still, we do have beautiful autumn foliage, just not quite as showy, some greens staying around late (those oaks) and many of the colors are more muted. We have many shades of red, most of them darker, more muted reds, almost deep maroons, but while driving on Rt. 138 across Jamestown island this morning I was noticing what appear to be a few flame red maples at the edge of the woods along the road. I love seeing the flame reds mixed in with the darker reds and the myriad shades of yellow and gold.

Temperatures are down... through September and most of early October we had very mild weather, as if late summer refused to depart, but things are colder now. We had frost a few days ago and yesterday there were reports of snow flurries in parts of Massachusetts. Yesterday morning was chilly and damp with periods of rain (but no flurries here), lows did get down into the mid-thirties. Things cleared up in the afternoon, an amazing change from dark skies and rain showers to blue skies and sunshine, but it stayed in the mid to upper forties. Today my car windows (and my daughter's car windows as well) were covered with frost and I had to spend time scraping the windows. Nancy keeps her car in the garage all year round but my side always fills up with bicycles and lawn mowers and wheelbarrows and trash cans and recycle bins... I did clear space for my car through two winters but not this past winter (which was quite mild)... It's a toss-up decision which is more trouble, scraping frost or keeping enough space clear to be able to park in the garage.

I went rooting around in a box of old photographs and selected a few Halloween-related shots from various years past and scanned them. My thought was to use them as decoration during the days leading up to Halloween. Thus, the pumpkins flanking this entry's title (actually just one pumpkin appearing twice). That pumpkin dated to Halloween of 1980, our first Halloween in the first house we owned. It was carved into a jack-o-lantern that will appear as decoration in a future entry.

I worked from home yesterday. I had actually made a lunch, filled my travel mug with coffee, and had driven four or five miles on my way to work through the cold morning rain... and I got to thinking about the work I had to do and the possible interruptions and distractions in the office... and made a u-turn and came back home and worked there. It did prove to be a productive day, although my connection got a bit clogged in the afternoon when I attempted to replicate my Lotus Notes email and it took almost two hours (I was connected by phone line; my laptop still refuses to play nicely with my home LAN so that I could connect using my cable Internet connection)... someone had sent me an attachment that exceeded thirty-three megabytes (and that was as a zipped file... it was a huge collection of files once I got it unzipped). I still don't know how they did that because Notes has always refused to allow me to add more than ten megabytes worth of attachments.

This had started out last night to be an Oct. 23rd entry. I'd set up the pumpkins and typed the first sentence when Sean came home from drill (he's joined the local volunteer fire department) and we got to talking. He told me about tonight's drill and how he needs to get a scanner to listen to the local fire signals. We talked about the videography course he's taking and some of the assignments he has done and his plans for others. We talked about distance learning (e-learning, computer mediated instruction, etc.) and some work I did in that area thirty-five years ago and a movie that a friend and I had made for a media course when we were in college... and about Macs vs. PCs and how he plans to fasten speakers to the walls in his room. Eventually it became time to go to sleep and this entry got morphed from a 10/23/02 entry to a 10/24/02 entry with everything after "It's really autumn now." written today.

It's seven o'clock in the evening... Sean has just taken my car to go to his scout meeting, Nancy is off playing tennis (although she was complaining that, as much as she loves tennis, it's getting to be too chilly to play outdoors) and Jennifer is sleeping (I'll wake her up around ten so she can get to work at eleven). I'm going to post this to the web and then fix dinner so Nancy and I can eat when she gets home.

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