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Ode to fall

There’s a rumor that winter is on its way — although the arrival of termination dust on Kethikan-area mountains seems anything but imminent.

We hear via the Juneau Empire that the upper reaches of the Eaglecrest Ski Area on Douglas Island saw an estimated two to three inches of snow overnight from Thursday to Friday.

Not so in Ketchikan. A panoramic photograph taken by Ken Arriola from Gravina Island’s California Ridge on Friday shows nary a smidgeon of snow on the mountain complex behind the town of Ketchikan.

Ketchikan began seeing rain on Friday evening, but  temperatures around town have stayed the 40s and 50s since then. Monday’s temperatures reached 57 degrees by late afternoon. Not really snowy weather.

This past year, a considerable snowfall had tagged Deer Mountain on Oct. 17. We won’t mind if snow shows around that time this year, but we’re in no hurry, either.

It’s been a lovely fall thus far, with some crisply beautiful days and nights. The winds haven’t yet howled, and precipitation has been more mist than deluge — although the hum of diesel generators at the Bailey Power Plant remind us that more rainfall would be helpful.

Alder leaves have begun to blanket local trails and back roads, and the certain scent of decaying salmon lies heavy near fish-bearing streams and lakes.

The town itself is shifting seasons. Schools have been in session for more than a month, and the last cruise ship of the 2018 season departed for points south on Saturday. Local fisheries have turned from salmon to sea cucumbers, geoduck clams and shrimp. Municipal elections are done (except for a Saxman City Council) run-off election). Tax-free day has come and gone. Ketchikan High School’s senior carnival is next Saturday. Ketchikan has settled into fall.

It’s the favorite time of year for many people, including some of us here at the Daily News. We’d be content to be able to enjoy a bit more of this season before the snows of winter set in.