When you ask someone to name the seasons, the typical answer, at least in these environs, is "spring, summer, winter, fall". A friend of mine who is from Buffalo says there are two seasons up there, "winter, and July 4th". A recent caller to a national radio talk show declared there are also only two seasons in Houston (TX), "unbelievably hot and muggy", and "ungodly hot and muggy". Weather, it seems, is local, a corollary, perhaps to the famous saying that, "all politics is local."
I actually believe in our area there are five seasons: spring, summer, winter, fall, and Autumn.
Huh? Aren't "fall" and "Autumn" the same? In a word, No.
Autumn brings to mind the changes in the weather patterns, an end to what is normally hot and muggy conditions in July and August (although not much of that this year!), a slow cooling of the temperatures, the beginning of crisp, cooling breezes, the windows open at night for "great sleeping weather", the colors of the leaves as they change; high, wispy clouds under a bright but not overpowering sun, a last spurt of growth for the lawn before it settles down for a much needed slumber, late-blooming plants in the garden, the spectacular colors of earlier sunsets, and light jacket weather for football, campfires, and walks.
Fall, on the other hand, brings to mind the dropping of leaves from the trees; flowers and other plants dying back to the ground; wet, strong winds packing brown leaves into a mushy grass-killing mess on your lawn; your neighbors' leaves clogging up your gutters; dreary weather with gray skies, chilling rains, and bare-limbed trees.
Autumn is my favorite season, short though it is before the coming of fall.
Enjoy it while it lasts!