Shades of Autumn

Sunday, October 17, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 7:09 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

It happens every year on the first of October, usually as I cross the street. A breeze overwhelms my senses with a particular combination of crisp scent and temperature.

Then things begin to change. Green leaves give way to gold and red — gradually at first, then all together in a sudden burst. People, too, change colors as they pull on their favorite sweaters. The browns and oranges of nature are reflected in the scarves and jackets making their first appearance in months.

Fall is the season of long conversations, crunching leaves and pumpkins. It’s the season in which a warm drink begins to feel perfect in my hands and extra layers of clothing feel cozy, not burdensome. Soon, the leaves will fall and a blanket of snow will cover Columbia. Until then, we are surrounded by autumn’s palette.


The first week of October brought brilliant hues of red, yellow and orange to the leaves of a maple tree in front of the Walnut Street home of Rex Stevens.


Afternoon sunlight illuminates the mane of Peepers the horse in his stall at the Stephens College stables on Old 63.


Wearing a sweater to ward off the chilly morning air, Jeremy Freeze reads over breakfast Oct. 7 at Uprise Bakery on Broadway.


Missouri native plants along the Grassland trail in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park take on the color of straw in early fall.


Pumpkins outside Westlake Ace Hardware soon will be bought and transformed into jack-o’-lanterns.

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