Stepping out of the house, I stopped. Stock still, I smelled the air. Breathing deeply. The sun lit only the sky, remaining an hour or more from touching the valley floor. A brief rain squall ran through town leaving black clouds over the ski hill and a rare morning rainbow framed Polar Peak. The pavement wet, dark. The moisture of the rain rose, an invisible steam off the pavement. The rain carried the cold of the night. Today, warmth lay ahead, but for now the cold of the night and the early morning rain held sway.

Fernie fall

And the smell. The smell was cold. Gun barrel cold. There was not the slightest hint of warmth. Cold.

This is fall.

After a summer of very few hot days and no long periods of clear weather, we are faced with the chill of fall.

The cottonwood at the end of my street began to turn a week ago. If you look carefully at the willows along the river, they carry a yellowish cast, a foretelling of a fall and the winter to come.

Walk out early in the morning, before the sun breaks the ridge, a chill pervades. Pull the air in and feel. Simply smell and feel.

The chill of fall.

And winter rides hard on its heels.

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