The red foliage of the sumac is one of the most brilliant this time of year.

Darla Horner Menking | Herald

Being a native Texan, I notice when people make comments, both good and the bad, about this great state. Sometimes the comments are simply neutral ones, but I still notice.

Lately, I’ve heard remarks on a couple of different topics, most recently about the “back and forth” changing of the weather.

It’s completely understandable to hear frustration over the weather since so many here in this area are from out of state. I know Texas is pretty different from most other states when it comes to climate.

Last week, temperatures went from warm, to cold (Texas cold, anyway), then right back to warm. People were scrambling to figure out what clothes to wear. In Texas, your closet has to have a wide variety of clothing at all times.

But you know what? I love Texas weather, vacillating temperatures and all. When I hear the exasperation, I simply reply, “Welcome to Texas.”

One thing we’ve learned here is to be flexible. What mystifies me is when locals seem perplexed by the weather. Temperature fluctuations happen often enough that they really shouldn’t faze “true Texans.”

Another recent focus of comments is about the lack of fall foliage in Central Texas.

I must disagree here. This area does have fall colors.

It may not be to the extent of states to the north of us, but we have color.

I have seen fall foliage in other states, and I think the biggest difference is the density of foliage.

Our trees change colors; we just seem to have fewer trees that are farther apart.

Yes, there are certain fall specimens that grow better farther north, and yes, they are beautiful. But I hope that doesn’t keep us from noticing what color we do have.

From the golds of cedar elms, cottonwoods, soapberrys and ash trees, and the rust of the bald cypresses, to the reds of the shumard oak, red oak and bigtooth maples, we have fall colors.

It’s not just our trees, but also the changing leaves of shrubs such as the sumacs, crape myrtles and possumhaws.

Darla Horner Menking is a Texas Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. Contact her at

(2) comments

Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er

Yes, CentralTexas does have own kind of foliage....
It all seems to be on my


is this what passes for news?

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