It's starting to have an autumn feel out there. The wind has been gusty for the past couple of days and it's been blowing a lot of the leaves off the trees. Even though it's barely September, the dried leaves crackle beneath your feet as though it's properly autumn. The strong winds feel wonderful as they whip around my face, blowing my hair into manageable tangles and surrounding me with a tornado of fallen leaves.
Unfortunately, the winds aren't so kind in other ways. When I came out of work on Friday, there was the cutest little creature lying on the sidewalk. It sort of looked like a baby alien, in a fetal position with little paws making little begging motions as they curled under its chin.
I didn't know what it was, to be honest. It was bald with a little mouse-like face, a rats tail but bigger than a baby mouse or rat. I ended up having to take a picture and my sister identified it as a baby squirrel.
It was hard seeing it so helpless like that. The wind had clearly blown it out of its nest and it must have fallen twenty feet at the very least. It was going to die, I knew that. But the optimist in me wanted to hope that maybe it was going to be fine so I scooped it up on a little piece of paper and gently laid it on softer ground and covered it partially with leaves, just in case its mother came looking for it.
Sadly, today, it's still there but it's no longer moving. It clearly succumbed to the shock of its fall. I think I might have to give it a proper burial. It was so tiny and helpless. Combined with the bunnies from this weekend, it was a sad sort of weekend for tiny newborn creatures.
It's interesting though that there are baby creatures around. I was always under the delusion that most mammal babies were born in the spring. Obviously not.
Yet even though it's starting to feel like autumn out there, I have to be careful not to get sucked into the delusion. This is the Midwest. In the Midwest, one day it may be a beautiful 70 degree day with a night temperature low of 50 degrees. Then, the next day, temperatures will rocket up to 95 degrees with a high humidity rate. This is why it snows sometimes in May and we have 85 degree days in December. You just can't predict it. In a way, that's fun. In other ways, when you're ready for the oranges and browns of Autumn and the hinted promise of winter snow, it's a bit of a disappointment when it's too hot for a jacket and the Halloween pumpkins turn brown and mushy in the heat.
Still, I'm starting to look forward to the cooler, crisper nights when it feels nice to sit outside, hands wrapped around a cup of pumpkin tea and smell the leaf fires that people are having in their yards.
I'm curious to see how the puppies handle the cooler temperatures. They were born in December so they have known winter but mostly, in their older puppy years, they've known only warm days with hot nights where they get hot in the sun. I have a feeling they're going to be bit babies when it comes to getting cold. Rory has already taken to crawling under the bedcovers on nights where I turn the air conditioning off and let the window fans bring in the cool night air. She's a bit of a bed hog too. She slowly worms her way over so that she's stretched horizontally across the bed. Since she's a dachshund and is quite long, this is quite a lot of space.
I'm trying to debate if I'll need to get the girls little coats for the winter. I tend to be opposed to dog clothes. They might look cute but it's weird to put clothes on a dog. Coats, on the other hand, aren't really clothes as much as necessities when it gets too cold and you have a shivering dog on your hands.
I probably shouldn’t look quite so far ahead. That would mean winter and my mother, who reads my blog, is genetically opposed to winter. It's best not to remind her that it's coming. She knows. She's already muttering about it even though it's several months away. I keep telling her to embrace autumn first in all it's apple-y goodness but she finds it hard to enjoy autumn because it means winter is not far behind.
Still, for me, I can't wait until autumn is officially here and I am able to burn my pumpkin spice candles, drink pumpkin tea and wish I liked pumpkin pie instead of just pumpkin flavoured things.
In the meantime, I'll enjoy the fact that even though it's still summer, autumn is cheating a little and barging its way in, forcing the leaves to fall a little early and the heat to ebb back a little. It's nice to have almost-chilly nights where the cool air makes sleeping a little easier, even if it does mean sharing my bedcovers with a dog with a cold nose.
Now, if her sister decides to sleep under the covers too, we might have a space issue.