It's not, contrary to widespread belief, that we don't have fall in Northern California, where I'm from. Autumn in the Wine Country or the foothills of the Sierras are both spectacular. I don't mean New England or Up North spectacular, but beautiful. Trust me on this.
No, it's when fall happens in California that's the problem.
Our warmest months are not in July or August, they're in September and early October. Just when I'm absolutely positively done with summer, when I'm ready to wear my snuggliest sweaters and boots and warm coats, that's when our temperatures start to climb.
Here in Michigan, we barely get through Labor Day weekend before we get at least a few days of people walking around saying, "Sure feels like fall!" Today is only Sept. 12, and the light has been different for days now. We have a low of 41 in the forecast for tomorrow. I haven't yet seen one leaf change color, but there's a golden quality to the air that takes my breath away.
This works a little bit in reverse in spring; in Northern California, where we can be well into spring when the Midwest is just getting settled for mid-winter. But anything that shortens summer is fine with me (although I know a whole lot of Michiganders who would disagree!).
Photo: My front yard last fall.