Like it or not, I’m realizing that winter’s almost here. We’ve had a couple of false starts, with temperatures plummeting and then, two days later, it’s short-sleeve weather again. The museum where I work is in the mountains, and there’s always about a 10-degree temperature difference, and usually a 2-week difference in season changes from there and where we live, in the foothills. The leaves are just about completely gone from any of the trees around the museum, but down in the foothills, the leaves might have another week.
The Bradford Pear trees in our front yard have been holding on valiantly.
For some reason, the Bradford Pears on the side of the house are reddish orange, while the ones in the front of the house range from burgundy near the top to mostly yellow.
We’re gonna have some big-time raking. Raking party, anyone?
This morning, as Tucker and I started off on our morning constitutional, he sneezed, like he does every morning (he sneezes when he’s excited, for some reason, and he’s always excited to get outside). This time, when he sneezed, about 107 leaves spontaneously fell off the trees in front of the house. We looked at each other with raised eyebrows. I told him he better quit sneezing or we’d have to start raking, pronto.
I’m all for seasons changing, but it feels like someone has hit the fast-forward button. Didn’t we just do winter?
Looking for a fall-themed book to read to my preschool art class, the Doodlebug Club, a few weeks ago, I found one whose main character also has a hard time letting go of fall (just like me) – it’s the little fox from Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson, illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke. I’m a sucker for good illustrations, and the ones in this book are fantastic, but the story is so good, too. Rawlinson does a great job creating Fletcher’s personality and explaining the changing seasons through his eyes. Excellent for wee ones.
Fletcher has a favorite tree and as autumn ends, he notices his tree is losing its leaves. He’s worried about his tree and decides to help. He gets other woodland creatures involved. He tries to counsel the tree. But nothing works. Those leaves just keep on a’fallin’. Now that I think of it, that’s quite a metaphor for a variety of difficult circumstances that are going to keep on a’goin’ no matter how you try to stop them. Hmmm…might need to think on that one a minute.
Fletcher telling his mom about his tree.
Only one leaf left.
Even his bird friends try to help by picking up leaves and poking them onto branches. But the wind knocks them off again. (Or somebody else’s Tucker sneezed, either way.)
Not long after the leaves are gone completely, Fletcher visits his tree to find all of the leaves gone, but the tree has given him a sparkly, icicle-y surprise.
Ah Fletcher. I know how you feel.
This book definitely has a spot waiting for it on The Littlest’s bookshelf, just waiting for a snuggly November storytime. And, wouldn’t you know, there are sequels – one for every season. I’m sure Fletcher will become a good friend.