Favoring fall above all other seasons
“The swallows are making them ready to fly,
“Wheeling out on a windy sky,
“Goodbye Summer, goodbye, goodbye.”
– J. G. Whyte-Melville
Can you feel the difference in the weather? It doesn’t take long for the weather and trees in Dayton to turn slowly toward winter.
I’ve said before that we have the most beautiful season from April to October. I don’t like too many outsiders to find out how great we have it nine months of the year.
Over the past 100 years the weather has changed a great deal. Some old-timers have noted that the severity of the weather in the early days was to be reckoned with.
I can’t get over the fact that it froze hard enough to cut ice from ponds and store it in icehouses or root cellars around town.
When we get a freeze now, it just nips the gardens but rarely freezes long enough to create a layer of ice that is nine to 12 inches thick.
Dayton native Victoria Pradere says in the old days, there was more of the four seasons than now.
She told us at a docents’ lecture how her father walked ahead of her on the way to school to mash the snow down to create a path. That’s unheard of now.
I don’t remember seeing more than 6 inches of snow on the ground since I moved here 20 years ago.
A few years ago the snow stayed on the ground about a month, but it was only about 4 inches deep in the shade.
Getting back to fall, it can be so breathtaking along the Carson River. The cottonwood trees are spectacular in their vivid dress of gold. Talk about gold country. The air is so crisp you can almost taste it.
You folks who are lucky enough to live where your house backs up to the river can really see the arrival of the fall colors.
The migratory birds are flying south and resting in the fields along the river. Thistles are dry and blowing in the cool breezes and replanting themselves where they can do it again next year.
Do I love the fall? You bet I do, right here in Dayton.
There must be something to it because there are many families who have been here since it all started back in 1849. They wouldn’t live anywhere else.
Those Italians among us like to visit Italy, but their home is here and will continue to be, I dare to say, forever. There are others who beam when they speak of Dayton, their homeland.
The Dayton Museum is on Shady Lane and Logan Street in Old Town Dayton, and is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Check out daytonnvhistory.org. Group tours are available. Call 246-5543, 246-0462 or 246-0441.
The Historical Society of Dayton Valley meets at noon on the third Wednesday of the month at the Dayton Valley Community Center. Visitors are always welcome.
• Ruby McFarland has lived in Dayton since October 1987, she serves as a board member of the Dayton historical society and a docent at the museum.