Rustling Leaves and a Jumpy Texas Wind

For a guy who supposedly loves weather so much, I spend a lot of time indoors, and that’s among the reasons for starting this blog. As I communicate with other fans of weather around the world, I want to have to look at my own weather a little more closely. So, here I am on the front porch swing, my ever-present laptop on a wooden sewing table in front of me.

I’m in Austin, Texas, specifically South Austin. My latitude is 30 degrees and my longitude is 97 degrees. My elevation is 780 feet. I’m at the eastern edge of the Hill Country, although many locals would say that the true Hill Country begins about 20 miles west of here. All I know is that it’s hilly all the way from here to Kerrville, where they hold the annual folk festival, and that just a few miles east of here, heading toward the airport, things flatten out in a hurry.

A cold front came through in the last couple of hours, one of those dry cold fronts that changes the wind from south to north, drops the temperature, and changes the season from, in this case, mid-fall to late-fall in less than time than it takes to bake a pie.

Photo courtesy of Benjamin D. Esham

Photo courtesy of Benjamin D. Esham

About half of the leaves are still on the trees, but they’re coming off at a good clip. By morning, we’re liable to be down to around 30 percent. Many of the leaves that have fallen in the last couple of days are skittering across the street in front of my home, raising a faint scraping sound that would be faintly irritating if I let it be. It is 5:05 in the afternoon. The Sun will set in less than half an hour. The gusts of wind from the north are shaking the trees in loud murmurs and giving my neighbor’s wind chimes little tugs every so often.

I won’t introduce too much politics into my first post, but I will say this to anyone who has grown pessimistic or even despairing about the state of affairs with our climate: It’s going to be all right.

As for the here and now of where I am, at this minute, the temperature is 61 degrees, although after two and a half years in Texas it feels a good 10 degrees colder than that. The sky has gone from blue, yellow, and orange, to a dusky purple-gray. The trees, so vivid when I began, are silhouetted against the new sky. It’s time to go inside and eat some chicken-pot pie.

About Harold Ambler

I am a lifelong environmentalist. I started my journalism career at The New Yorker, where I worked as a copy editor. Since then, my own work has appeared in The New York Daily News, The National Review Online, The Atlantic Wire, The Huffington Post, The Berkeley Daily Planet, The Providence Journal, Brown Alumni Monthly, The Narragansett Times, Rhode Island Monthly, and Providence Business News.
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2 Responses to Rustling Leaves and a Jumpy Texas Wind

  1. Mr WordPress says:

    Hi, this is a comment.
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  2. Trey says:

    Thought I would say Hello since I am an Austinite too. I am in the 51st and ManorRd area. Found you through WUWT. Good luck with this site. I am going to bookmark it.

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