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The yard and gardens outside the home office window here at ST Publishing (North division) are filled with leaves.

When did this happen I ask, three or four times over as I've returned from two weeks in Cincinnati, Lexington, Cincinnati (again) and finally, a long arduous drive on the New York State Thruway after a speeding ticket near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. More on that another day.

We left for those points south two weeks ago today and it didn't feel like fall. It looked like fall with leaves on the trees, some chill in the air morning and evenings, but felt more like late summer. Sure there were cold mornings, but stopping by the Oklahoma Training Track to catch up with Chad Brown, George Weaver, Jim and Tina Bond, the McLaughlins, Jack Heissenbuttel at least made it feel like summer, or even spring.

The time down south tricked us, too, even though the second day of the Bourbon Chase two weekends back brought cold rain. By the next day it was bright and sunny going racing with friends. Keeneland on a warm day can fool you quickly, especially when the sun hits you in the face as you get to the bottom of a bowl of burgoo, bourbon, or beer.

The last few mornings in Lexington definitely made it feel a lot more like fall than summer and a visit to the barns on the Rice Road side, the ones you go to in the winter in search of an offseason story, drove home the point that winter's on its way. 

Snow, that's right, snow, in the air on the on the ground during a stretch between Cleveland and Erie, Pa., really drove it home.

Thankfully there wasn't any white stuff on the ground when we got back in the 518 area code, but like I said, the leaves are everywhere but the trees.

Anybody want to rake?