Today ushered in the first day of fall, which in Florida was marked by a continuation of horrible heat and humidity. Admittedly, one of the things I miss most about living in the Midwest is the change of season from summer to fall. As a child, my parents took us to see the beautiful fall colors along Lake Superior’s North Shore or down the Mississippi and Lake Pepin. Each drive is a bit different, but equally beautiful.
When we’d drive down the Mississippi, we would stop to see Maiden Rock. This is a famous location along Lake Pepin. It was on this bluff, where according to Dakotah Sioux legend an Indian maiden Wenonah jumped to her death. She chose to jump rather than marry a man she didn’t love.
A short jaunt from Maiden Rock, is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s girlhood home. As a young girl, Wilder’s books about growing up on the Prairie were some of my favorites. For me, it was a real joy to see where she was born. It is also where one my favorite books take place. Little House in the Big Woods, her first in the Little House on Prairie series, took place in Pepin, Wisconsin.
Sadly, in Florida there’s no fall color aside from the brown leaves on the trees felled by Irma. The heat and humidity continue to blast like a furnace and my hair hates it. Oddly, the leaves on our maple tree still change colors randomly throughout the year. The tree will then randomly drop a leaf or two. It’s odd, to say the least, to see a leaf change colors in April and not October, but I think I can adjust.
We here in Florida, not so patiently, await the end to the oppressive heat and rainy season. In the meantime, here’s a wonderful poem by John Keats on Autumn.