Fall is a funny time of year when everything goes upside down. Leaves, which everybody knows are supposed to be green now turn a rainbow of unnatural colors before our very eyes. And leaves are supposed to be on trees—not on the ground. The sun is now going down way too early in the evening. Temperatures are dropping and water from the garden hose that felt cold all summer, now feels weirdly warm. Hummingbirds that seemed happy to hang out in our yard even just a couple of weeks ago, have suddenly packed up and left. What do they know that we don’t know?

As winter approaches, I feel strangely nostalgic about mowing the lawn. I never really liked mowing. But now that the grass no longer needs cutting and may eventually get covered with snow, I am feeling a little deprived at having that chore taken away. All winter, the mower will sit idle on the garage floor, its considerable, though specialized talents useless and inappropriate for the season. I should be able to flip a switch and convert the mower into a snow blower or at least a toboggan.

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