My childhood home was in one of Montana’s mountain valleys where the number of Ponderosa pine trees exceeded the humans by a factor of a gazillion to one. I loved to walk among these coniferous giants. Yet, I was always disappointed each autumn. Our town’s handful of deciduous trees never produced enough leaves for me to jump into towering mounds and play.
Those who visit or live in Minneapolis on the other hand are fortunate enough to enjoy a traditional fall. Last weekend, right on cue with the autumnal equinox, the air turned from languid to brisk. And the multi-use paths were sprinkled with the first dusting of leaves. This particular path along Minnehaha Parkway followed a lazy creek that ran through a neighborhood of stately older homes. A pair of ducks carried on an incessant conversation as they slalomed around an obstacle course of leaf clumps, while I kicked up the trail’s leaves and crunched them beneath my feet. We both seemed to delight in fall’s playground and decorations.