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There's Something in the Air...

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October is a remarkable time of year. It's around this time that I always get an unbelievable urge to see the seasons change. I long for the dramatic oranges, reds, purples and yellow that signal the end of summer and the beginning of a long, hard winter (well...not exactly, but you get the point).

As a kid growing up on the prairies, when fall rolled around it always looked as if someone had dipped a huge paintbrush in the richest colours of the rainbow and splashed it across the countryside. Living on a farm we didn't do a lot of leaf raking (no one really cares what your lawn looks like when your closest neighbors are cows) but longing for that suburban ritual of fall, my brother and I would rake the leaves ourselves and jump in them, scattering the pile everywhere. Then we'd do it again, and again, and again, until we had grass stained knees and runny noses and leaves stuck in our hair.

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Living in California for the past couple of years has made it a little difficult to witness this seasonal change to the same dramatic degree. In fact, I can't really remember the last time I saw enough fallen leaves in one place to rake into a pile big enough to jump in. Still, every year like clockwork something in my body alerts me that it's time for fall. Sometimes, this leads me to do goofy things like walk around on a 90 degree day and say that I feel a fall “chill” in the air, or pull out my sweaters and corduroys while everyone else is still wearing shorts and tank tops. It's all about what you believe...

Regardless, I now feel that I can say that fall has finally arrived. And while the signs aren't as obvious as they might be in other parts of the country there are a few tell tale signs that fall has in fact come to Los Angeles.

1. Pumpkin has arrived in every possible edible incarnation from pumpkin martinis to pumpkin cookies to pumpkin pickles.

2. A few sad little yellow leaves can be seen on lawns across the city.

3. College football is back!

4. Uggs have come out of the closet and can be seen on the feet of every USC girl in town.

5. The holiday machine is in full swing. Halloween paraphernalia line drug stores, supermarkets and your local Target. Thanksgiving and Christmas goods wait in the wings...

6. An extra blanket is needed to snuggle up under at night.

7. Grey skies return, making L.A. look slightly post-apocalyptic.

Photos by judo_dad1953 and thesullys via flickr