The first indication is the change in the atmosphere, a feeling that comes into the Antelope Valley, as you look up and see the rustle of the leaves…gentle, at first, then more robust, as the tree branches sway and leaves begin to fall in earnest.

Clouds roll into the skies above us, white-cotton-candy clouds at first, then pink and purple clouds, the kind that mean business.

Then come the winds, sharp and purposeful winds that take your breath away if you are outside, making rumbling noises in the chimney and fireplace. It’s coming, you think, will there be a transition from summer to autumn or will we skip autumn altogether and fall directly into the sharp cold winds of winter?

It’s a good day to make beef and barley soup, or French onion soup, or even vegetable soup, simmering on a back burner; its a good day to mix the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal raisin or –to have a fire in the wood burning stove and wrap yourself into a quilt and read a book.  Or, it’s a good day to stay in bed, especially if you the sounds of an oncoming thundershower.

I like the change of seasons but not quite as much as those we were used to in the san Fernando Valley.

The changes in seasons are more abrupt, more drastic, in the high desert.

Sandra Lee Smith

Sandy’s note: if you are wondering why I am writing about windstorms when the weather here has been scorching hot–despite the heat, we have had high winds that are a force to be reckoned with–while in other states and other countries, there have been terrible rains and floods.

Originally composed October, 2012, updated July 8, 2018

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