I took a drive up the road earlier to check on the progression of autumn color. Here along the river, things are still mostly green, with only a few rusty yellow hints. Even the Virginia creeper curling up the trunks of of the sycamores shows barely a blush of pink; it will probably be a week or two before it turns a flaming crimson.
This isn't unusual—the autumn patchwork of yellows and scarlets, oranges, golds, lemons, scarlets, burgundies, and a hundred other hues, always lags behind that of the nearby roadsides and woodlands a few hundred yards away from the stream corridor. Whether it's the mitigating effect of the water, the slightly lower elevation, or the degree of protection afforded by the banks, I'm not certain. All I know is that sometimes, when I've not been beyond the mailbox for a few days in a row, the short jaunt to the grocery can prove a revelation.
However, this morning's brief recon ramble proved surprising in that there was less color other than the usual green out there than I expected. More color than here…but only a bit. Leaves on a single maple branch that had jumped-the-gun on their neighbors and turned orange or red or yellow. A few twists of crimson woodbine. Here and there a clump of sumac whose long leaves show a mix of scarlet among the green. The most colored-up tree I found was the little sugar maple pictured at the top of this post.
Autumn is definitely making its way into the southwest corner of Ohio, but it's creeping in slowly, taking its time. Which is fine—good things are worth the wait.