The side streets in my part of the Heights were developed in the early 20th century and lined with sycamore trees – notable for their sloughing bark and brittle wood. In winter, their trunks are classic winter camo – a mix of white and heather and brown. In fall, they still wear the olive version.
Autumn usually comes early for sycamores; by mid-August, their leaves turn yellow at the edges, and then just surrender – turning brown and dropping to the ground without pausing for even a moment to show some color.
The leaves are thick and crisp underfoot. When it comes to the pleasure of walking your dog on a sunny fall day, if the crunch of dry leaves is like stepping on potato chips, then fallen sycamore leaves are like walking Kettle Cooked (which would admittedly be a waste and a shame).
On a street with sycamores, residents begin raking before Labor Day.
This year was different. It must have been the wet weather of August and the unusually warm September that kept the sycamore leaves aloft.
But autumn has clearly arrived and the sycamore leaves seem to have finally gotten the memo.