As I was coming up our street towards the house yesterday, I noticed that the leaves on one of the Honey Locust trees have started to turn to gold. Our nights are still in the 40's, with days in the high 80's (fifty degree temperature swings are normal, all year 'round in the high desert), but there's a forecast for a low of 39 later this week. It won't be long now before all the leaves start to show their autumn colors. It will be prettiest if we get cold without wet. Some years, below freezing temperatures start with a snowstorm, but some years we get the cold nights along with bright blue-sky days: Indian Summer.
My little shady nook is under a fruitless mulberry tree. Soon, that tree will turn yellow, but the leaves won't drop one-by-one. They'll hang on until one night the temperature will drop just enough, and then all the leaves let loose at once. If that night happens to be still, like last year, the carpet it lays down is a two-dimensional representation of the branches above. Then it's time to clean out beneath the chicken coop and start building the compost pile.