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Opinion: Falling into autumn

It’s that time of year again, because that’s how seasons work

Fall! The time of year when leaves start to turn, the wind begins to nip, and pumpkin spice everything seems to have been everywhere since the dawn of time.

A sure sign that fall is here is the disappearance of election signs from the landscape. If you happen to spot any signs that have escaped collection and are still roaming free, please do the decent thing and put them out of their misery.

And now, a word from a special guest: your furnace.

“Hi there! It’s your furnace speaking. I know, I know, you haven’t thought about me for a while, except for the odd ‘It’s hotter than a furnace out here’ in June and July. I’ve just been sitting here quietly, biding my time, waiting for the arguments to start. You know, the ones about when it’s time to turn me on for the season.

“I’ve heard some doozies in my time, let me tell you. See, there’s always one person who says ‘It’s still officially summer’ or ‘It’s not that cold yet, just put on a sweater’ and someone else who says ‘I don’t care what the calendar says, there’s snow on the mountaintops,’ and things go south after that.

“Me? I don’t care when you turn me on. Just check the filter, if you haven’t already. You wouldn’t believe what’s in there after the summer we’ve had. I’m still going to smell like burnt dust the first time you fire me up, though. Sorry about that.”

Fall! If you’re a serious gardener you can harvest the last of the season’s bounty, and make a note not to plant so much zucchini next year. Sprinkler systems need to be properly drained, and so do hoses, which hopefully you remember to do before storing them in the shed for winter.

If you’re not a serious gardener, you can take comfort in the fact that no less a body than the Nature Conservancy of Canada says it’s perfectly fine not to rake your leaves, as they provide cover for woodland creatures and valuable nutrients for lawns and gardens. You’re welcome.

Fall! Time to start thinking about the magical season of ghosties and ghoulies, aka Halloween. It’s certainly not too early to start planning your Halloween night strategy, given that having children come right up to the door might be problematic. A simple and safe solution is to decorate some plastic cups with Halloween stickers, put the candies in them, and place them on a table on your driveway, so trick-or-treaters can help themselves. Alternatively, you can act as if things are back to normal by turning off all your lights and not answering the door, as usual. Your call.

Fall! Geese are flying south, spiders are returning indoors after their summer vacation, and bears are fattening up for winter. Speaking of which, look who’s just dropped in the office! It’s Bernard, the hungry bruin! I’m going to give Bernard a very wide berth and let him say a few words.

“Why thanks! Just wanted to pop in and say hi while I’m in town. First of all, I’m loving the prune plums this year. Best crop in years, and I appreciate you leaving them lying around. And for those of you who’ve already put out birdseed, good job! Those extra calories are appreciated.

“And what can I say about garbage, except keep it coming? I really hate eating and running, though, so if a few more of you could put your bins out the night before collection, instead of in the morning, that would be just …”

I’m afraid I’m going to have to stop you there, Bernard, because we’re almost out of space. Thanks for stopping by.

Fall! Because it comes after summer; that’s how seasons work. And after the summer we’ve just had, we deserve a good one.

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