None of that here, yet --- although the brightest of nature's seasonal earthbound flora --- goldenrod and the various sunflowers --- are fading from blazing yellows to more subtle browns, setting the stage for airborne reds and golds when leaf canopies flame out into winter a little later.
It's the time of year I go looking for bottle gentians, the last of the old prairie flowers to bloom before hard freezes begin. These are subtle and low-growing plants --- gentian blue and in clusters, but low-growing and unobtrusive among taller grasses.
I found these late yesterday along the trail at Pin Oak Marsh. They have not yet begun to open, but even when they do there will not be a spectacular show. The blossoms remained cupped rather than splayed, hence the name "bottle."
The colony easiest to find --- I know of three at Pin Oak but most likely there are many more --- is just south of the most northerly bench along the concrete path. Walk south of the bench a few feet and start studying the low-growing plants among the grasses just west of the trail. If you're patient, you'll begin to see them. Feel free to wade into the grass for a closer look, but don't stomp.
There are other signs of autumn at the marsh, too --- an increase in the duck and goose population at various times of the day, seeds of thistles and the various milkweed preparing to take flight, a few early leaf colors. It's a great time of year, so get up from behind that computer and go take a walk --- it's almost light.