They didn't fall; they were pushed!
For those of you living in tropical climes, or whose hemisphere is currently spinning toward summer--I'd like to share a few photos of what it's like outside right now here in Northern Virginia. The autumn foliage is almost (but not quite) at peak color. Poplars and hickory nuts are eye-popping yellow; maples and sweet gums are turning flame-orange and red. In a couple weeks, a windy, stormy day will come and sweep everything off the branches (and into our gutters, grrrr), but until then the trees are putting on quite a show.
I'm not sure how I lived for more than a half century without understanding that leaves don't just fall off trees because of strong winds and foul weather. Evidently, shorter days signal deciduous trees to build up cells between their branches and the leaf stems, effectively sealing the branches, and cutting the leaves off. Trees know what people know: that cold wintry weather sucks, and that they have to do what's necessary to protect themselves from the dry winds and snow that are coming.
So leaves don't fall; they're pushed, which makes me wish I could convince the trees to hang on a little longer. Slow down! Winter is still a ways away. Your foliage is so much prettier up there than where it‘s going to end up--tangled between the teeth of a garden rake.
Suffering from a nasty head cold. Will have photos of the cake topper couple soon--they are coming out great (so far!)