On the far southeast corner of our property are two old Cottonwood trees that are the first to show fall colors each year. As I return home from shopping in Wellington on Colorado State Highway 1, I see these trees from a long way off and sometimes as early as late August will notice a yellowing of the leaves, a sure sign that the season is morphing from summer to autumn. These two cottonwoods probably sprang up from the ground beside the irrigation ditch many years ago, much to the annoyance of the ditch riders and those water users downstream. When we bought our place back in 1972 the ditch was lined with stately cottonwoods all along its banks, continuing north as far as I could see, but our neighbor to the south, Dallas Horton, came by one day to tell me that he was going to have all but one of them removed as they impeded the operation of his walking sprinkler system. He apologized but said it was necessary. So these two old cottonwoods, and one north of our place, but not on our property, are the only survivors. I'm thankful for them for they provide refuge for crows, squirrels, and owls. I've never named these trees but think of them as the harbingers of fall.