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Autumn In Paradise

Autumn Roses

Autumn has always been my favourite season. It has the cooler evenings, the apples, plums and other fruits. The leaves turning golden and falling are one of my favourite sights of the year.

Autumn is different here, but looks set to be my favourite season here too. The sting of the summer sun has cooled, to a muscle relaxing heat. The light is more mellow, perhaps because the sun has dipped in the sky and is giving longer shadows.

A couple weeks ago we had our first cold snap. It brought night temperatures to 8c and day temperatures to 19c. It felt cold. Quilts and jumpers were brought out. This lasted just a couple days. It now feels like there has been a reprieve. Temperatures are back in the mid 20s which is normal for this time of year. Sometimes we have felt chilly only to realise that we are out at night and still in tee shirts.

The flowers that we would consider summer flowers in Britain are now in full bloom. There are yellow and orange marigolds in the park. Roses which have been in bloom throughout summer have perked up in the cooler temperatures and are vibrant. There are several different types, from the tiny miniature rose to standard varieties and big tea roses. The scents are wonderful and fill the air along with the jasmine that seems to always be in bloom, filling the air.

Citrus fruits are at their peak. Grapefruit was first and have given way to oranges, mandarins and tangerines. Walking along Asuncion streets the trees are heavy with fruit. There are even some Sicilian lemon trees, which are quite rare here.

A few trees are losing their leaves. Many trees, like mango are still as full and bushy as any other time of year. They are beginning to bud and giving promise of fruits to come in the summer. Some trees and shrubs are having their annual pruning. It was a bit of a shock to see all the leaves and quite a bit of branch being cut off. We thought the trees were being cut down, but this is pruning sub tropical style. The climate allows the return to vigorous growth, which has started already.

Flocks of migratory birds can be seen daily in their flight to warmer climes. They can be heard squawking as they encourage each other in their journey. Winter will be here soon and the opportunity for more new experiences and new sights and smells.

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