There was a debate last night and it was raucous.
The wind blustered, knocking everything down. Leaves I had wanted to see color up in fall are lying on the ground, defeated. The wind did a smackdown.
The black gums in front are bare now, they won't compete for fall glory this year. Although the black gum in back by the bridge is still holding on to all its leaves.
And all the oaks still seem to be competing -- the wind did no damage to them and they offer the best red color now among all the fall trees. Even my skinny oak sapling in the side yard has a lot to offer.
The rain made a strong argument. A 2.75 inch argument for continuing the garden into November. After 28 days of dry weather, some trees and shrubs that I thought were desiccated from fall freezes actually made a comeback after all the rain. Well watered, some things picked up and look good again.
The temperatures moderated their earlier stands. It was warm and wet and summery after the skies cleared. A good day for boots and a walk. A real turnaround even though I know it's a false promise and the real intent is to return to fall chill soon.
Candidates for fall color are all over the map now. The hard freeze ruined so many, but let others go unaffected. The dry stretch made many brown up, but others display good color. There's just no consistency.
When I saw the browned leaves of the katsura tree, devoid of color and curled up and dried after the hard freeze, I gave up on it for any fall interest. It doesn't look like much now.
But if I stand in just the right spot, in between the little red oak and the dark green holly, right there in the middle of the sopping wet lawn, I catch a whiff of burnt sugar even though its leaves are brown. Redeemed.
Inconsistency, running hot and cold, takedowns and false promises, dry spells and torrents -- this season is having a confusing debate with itself. I can't keep up.