The seasons are odd in these parts. In fact, people who have been here only a short time sometimes insist that there are no seasons at all. But it's not true... they may be subtle, compared to the explosions of color and dramatic drops in temperature one gets in temperate zones, but they are nonetheless present, to those who pay attention.
The air takes on a slightly different feel and smell. The leaves drop or change color (again, this is nowhere near as dramatic in most parts of Southern California as elsewhere, but it does occur). The hills gray, like the five o clock shadow on a man's face. When I walk in the woods, the flowers and berries have fallen, for the most part, and one sees many bare twigs, gray and dry, waiting for the winter rain that has already sporadically begun to fall.
Because of frequent bursts of heat late in the season, I usually delay putting my winter stuff out and stashing my summer stuff until November. This past week there were some quite hot days, perhaps 100 degrees, that made me glad I had waited just a little longer to put things away, but I think that this next week will be a good time to make the change, to commit to the coming season and put summer behind me, folded into a box, trunk, or plastic bag, till next May.