Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fall into Texas

To fall into Texas Fall, fall into her with both feet. She isn't about grandiose colored leaves, such as the maple (except in a secret place called Lost Maples). She is not about blankets of color on the ground that must be sucked up and composted to get to the grass. She will not dazzle you with the first snow at Thanksgiving or allow you to wear those furry boots but for a few extra chilly days in February.  She comes with a first slight norther or a good rain storm from the Gulf.

Texas reserves her Autumn beauty for the hiker....the one who gets off the road and steps away from easy sight seeing and into a true cross-country slog, through brambles and poison ivy, and knee hi King Ranch grass....but Fall in Texas is marked by something unique....

Something interesting. She comes with a sigh of relief that the interminable heat of Summer has eased and the trees and grass can actually perk up a bit. The grass gets greener in the Fall here, more bright, as if to steal a moment of attention before the frost.

Leaves have color here, but you must look close at the poison oak you avoided all year; at the Sumac and Red bud that hide way across the hill and appear as gold mittens waving at you in the breeze. Tiny heart shaped red leaves hug the edge of savanna grass, ant trails around them. Spanish Oak perhaps are the most traditional color, but even they are gnarled and stunted by the drought and rocky soil from which they cling to life.

 Look for mushrooms  and lichens, cause they are rare except in the Fall....They appear suddenly after a rain and when the night temperature drops to goose-pimple levels.....

I can recommend this. Put on your dirty boots and some jeans. A big sweat shirt and bring you phone for pictures. It is best to be a little depressed or blue about something as you walk out of your door and into a Texas Fall. Begin there, and stay off the regular trails.

And remember that a slightly veiled beauty is the beauty-est.....

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