Walt's Look Around: The onset of autumn - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: The onset of autumn

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It seems like all of nature really comes alive here at the onset of sure enough autumn.

After we've flirted with a frost, first fall is that window of time when nature responds to the shortening of the days and leaves change color somewhat and you can see your breath some chilly nights or early mornings. (To me, the first time you can see your breath is the real first of autumn.)

But in ‘first fall' the last of summer is still playing out. The flowers are still blooming out in the flowerbeds. And perhaps they are most vibrant right now. Or maybe we perceive them as being that way because we know that it won't be long before they will be covered with frost some clear, cold morning not too far down the road and ‘second fall' will be here. Second fall being after things have died and are settling down for winter.

But that isn't here, yet. Some of the sights of first fall here in Mississippi include cotton fields in full boll. You almost have to look for a cotton field nowadays there's so much corn. Not like a few decades ago when cotton was still king and you could see cotton fields in your sleep this time of year.

And as rare as a cotton field is in Mississippi today, even rarer is a cotton gin. Many have been abandoned or torn down and relocated elsewhere, where they can be of more use. Or repurposed. Like this cotton gin in the lower Delta that now processes peanuts. And enough peanuts are grown here now to make a processing plant useful. Everything changes.

Which brings us back to fall again, the season with the most noticeable changes. Winter yawns into spring. And spring is fully leafed out that by the time summer gets here it's just another day.

Summer into fall is a seamless process at first, into first fall. But one morning soon we'll awaken to a whole new world. After nature has become frostbitten and our attention is turned indoors for the holidays while outdoors the world changes into its pajamas and gets ready for a few months deep sleep during the dark gray days of winter ahead.

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