Winter in the Jalisco highlands usually arrives in the second half of October.
This year, although rain is still coming down in mid-month, the signs of autumn abound in the mountains surrounding Guadalajara and Lake Chapala. Up in the shaded, brush-tangled arroyos the air suddenly has a different flavor to it and the edge of coming crispness as the sun drops.
Late September rainy season clouds had bloomed and boomed, shaking those high ridges into green pyramids greater than any ancient Nahua gods had promised, pouring falls of water down chutes of stone. But as early October came along, there was a warm pause as earth dried and thousands of bushy mountain greens seemed to go into waiting.
Then overnight, pushing out of bed into morning darkness became a startling experience that made you hurry into chilly clothes and out to begin chores before the first faintest light brought a brusque gray awakening to the surrounding peaks.