Bits and pieces of autumn, painted in watercolor and colored pencil

The signs of fall are very subtle here, in our subtropical climate zone. But if you look carefully, you will see them everywhere: the tiny flame in the Japanese maple leaf, the freckled yellow of dying foxgrape vines. Littering the ground, the leaves of the water oak are latte-colored. Thorny pyracantha spills over the tops of backyard fences to offer a treat to birds. In south Alabama, fall tiptoes gradually into view.