The leaves have started to fall.

I noticed it earlier when Devon and I went out the front door. The sidewalk was littered with leaves from the giant tree out front, leaves that weren't there this morning. There was a gentle, cool wind blowing as we went on out evening walk. It was perfect roaming weather, so we walked all over downtown, taking a meandering, constantly looping route. The sun was still out, but slowly disappearing, and the streets around downtown were strangely deserted. No conventioneers, no office workers rushing home, no diners ducking into restaurants.

There were a few people in athletic clothes, out for their evening run. At the riverside tennis courts, two men and two women were playing mixed doubles. A security guard was making his rounds outside the Tech Museum. That was it. Even the bums who normally occupy the benches at the riverwalk weren't there. And on Park Avenue, between Cesar Chavez Plaza and the Adobe Systems headquarters, half the streetlights were out.

The wind picked up as we neared the end of our walk, and it became very cold. Cold, at least, for this time of year, and for the way I was dressed. Snorty started sniffing and marking every tree. He tried to chase a cat that was out for a walk with its owner. (Yes, a cat. On a walk. With its owner. ) I accidentally stepped on Sheddy's front paw as I was yanking on his leash to stop him from running after the poor feline.

It was dark by the time we got back home. There were even more leaves on the sidewalk, and by this time they were being flown and pushed around by the wind. It felt like a winter storm was approaching. But of course it's not a winter storm, as it's only early fall. My favorite time of year, because there's a nice chill in the air, but the winter rains have yet to come.

Wound the evening down by watching TV. On the couch, glued to a CSI marathon, with the dog next to me. His head and front paws were on my lap, and he was snoring softly as I stroked his ears. He was still sleeping next to me by the time Weeds came on at 10.

Good times. Would have been even better if Bill were here.