The Battle Joined

They first arrived Saturday.Gently at first, gaining strength as the day wore on. They paused on Sunday, as if to catch their breath. Then, successive waves Monday, Tuesday and today. Cold fronts! Born in the shortening, cooling days far to the north, they trek across Canada, gathering moisture over the lakes and deposit it here in NE Ohio: Misty fog, drizzle and showers in equal measure

The battle is joined. It will be fought here over the next month or so. Cold winds from the north versus warm breezes out of the south. The outcome is inevitable. The warmth will retreat to rest and rejuvenate in the South like snowbird on a Florida beach. The victory will be temporary. The warm air will return next year, but for now the battle.

The earth, parched by a few weeks of dry weather soaks up the rains. The trees, shrubs and especially the evergreens soak up the moisture to help fend off the drying winds of the coming winter.

The ground, dry and hard a few days ago is spongy moist underfoot. Squirrels plant their nuts and moles, voles and groundhogs dig their winter tunnels in the soft earth.

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