What a mild autumn we are having. That makes it easier to observe Mother Nature in her finest and most festive dress. We had more colorful leaves this year than I thought we would have and I certainly enjoyed that. We have heard and seen many more geese flying south than we have in a while.

What a mild autumn we are having. That makes it easier to observe Mother Nature in her finest and most festive dress. We had more colorful leaves this year than I thought we would have and I certainly enjoyed that. We have heard and seen many more geese flying south than we have in a while.
Cattle in the countryside look sleet and fat and there are many, many fall calves enjoying their "childhood" in many pastures. As we drive through the country, we see more people outside, either working or playing. That is good to see and no doubt is a result of warm temperatures. It is good to see children outside working with their parents, riding horses or playing ball.
We got lucky this year and witnessed our little ginkgo tree shed its leaves. On Wednesday morning, the day before Thanksgiving, Russell opened some blinds in our den and suddenly called out "The ginkgo leaves are falling!"
It had just started and we got to witness the entire thing.
The ginkgo is a very interesting plant. It is actually a fossil. I don't understand the science of it but it is quite unique.
The thing I like most about our ginkgo is that it loses its leave all within a half hour or so. When the magic hour arrives, the leave start to fall, It is a constant waterfall, and you can see several leaves at a time in the air until the tree is bare. When the magic is over, there is a nice, neat pile of ginkgo leaves lying all around the tree, like a yellow halo.
Our tree came from Mexico, Missouri. We were visiting our friends Rick and Sue Boyce many autumns ago when their ginkgo lost its leaves. We were so fascinated that Russell took a seed home and put it in the backyard. Thankfully, it grew right away and we have enjoyed it ever since. We don't always get to see it when shed its leaves but when we do, it is something to watch.
 I am expecting to see bald eagles any day now. They can be seen all over the county, but are most numerous in the Stella area. Eagles are such beautiful, magnificent birds with their snow-white heads and tails and their massive claws and beaks. I am so glad the bald eagle was chosen as our national symbol because it is easy to admire.
But with all the protest over our National Anthem and our inspiring stars and stripes, I guess the eagle is not safe from criticism. Many drops of blood have been spilt on battlefields around the world for these things we have long cherished.
I guess we are in the "Christmas season" now so things like addressing Christmas cards, shopping for special meals, attending song services, getting a few decorations ready and buying gifts will take up the next few weeks. All that is good, but don't forget to stop, sit down, take off your shoes and have a cup of hot chocolate. Christmas is for you as much as anyone else so enjoy the season.
 

Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.