It’s still dark when I step out on the porch with my little buddy Scout for his morning walk. The motion sensor turns on the lights in my yard but the mmountain is still dark. I can hear the dry leaves continue to tumble through the branches and hit the forest floor. Scout is part Beagle and aware of every little scent on the wind. Normally when we’re out his nose is in the grass trailing whatever has passed by his yard in the night but this time he raises his head and scents the air. I can hear the wind on the ridge line rushing through the trees. The mountains shelter my home from the high winds in all but the worst storms so I pay attention to the sounds above me. When I look skyward the first thing I noticed was that the thin slice of sky has no stars. I looked back down at Scout and he’s still got his nose in the air flaring his nostrils one at a time. “What is it buddy? Is it rain?” I asked him. He replies by dancing his front paws like he does every time I pick up on what he’s telling me. We go back inside and finish the morning routine which ends up with me climbing into the big blue truck and rolling into the Kanawha valley.
The road ahead seems to manifest itself from the thick fog giving the impression that the day is still being written just moments before I reach the edge of reality. For the first time in months I turned knob on the dashboard from air conditioning to heat and crank the window slightly to allow the heat to vent. And, as cooler air curls in through the crack in the window I can smell the rain myself.
I reached the river just as the morning sun breaks over Gauley Mountain revealing the beautiful clouds that have gathered overnight. Over the course of the couple of days the rain has fallen steadily and while the deeper roots are still dry the rain promises to fall softly for the next few days. We just might have those Fall Colors after all.
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