Less traffic, parking spaces closer to our destination, shorter queues in the supermarkets. Favourite waiters at frequented restaurants missing in action, off finally on their well deserved breaks. 'Stock Out' end of season sales where merchants get that final seasonal burst of income required to keep them ticking over until the next influx of visitors. All indications that summer is drawing to a close.
Temperatures moderating, less of a gap between the highs and lows, a bit less light, a few cloudy hours creeping into some of the days - Autumn is approaching.
I enjoy the changing of the seasons, but there is something I find lacking in the Algarvean cycle. With the exception of our almond trees, there is little indication of senescence, of leaves dying and trees going into dormancy. The colour, the reds, yellows and browns, the harbinger of the colder (OK, in Algarve, cooler) weather that will eventually become winter is noticeable in it's absence. And this displeases my sense of what Autumn is - or rather should be. Would I, however, live anywhere else just in order to experience that which I find missing, would I abandon the Algarve for the Perthsire highlands of Scotland or leafy Vermont, both resplendent in Autumn?
Not for all the leaves in the forest.