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Mellow temps have kept NYC locked in a much-longer-than-usual autumn this year. November was the warmest November on record. The week leading up to Christmas threatens to be downright balmy.

Have you noticed on your runs and walks this fall that you have nearly trampled underfoot any number of squirrels and chipmunks? In their nut-gathering frenzy they are constantly darting into your path, causing you to perform minor miracles of mid-air pace adjustment to avoid squishing them to kingdom come. Seriously, it’s a wonder that any of these creatures survive autumn, never mind the cold months.

Speaking of autumn, we were reminded today all over again one reason why it is that we head out morning after morning to put in a few miles. On South 9th Street, we crossed Wythe Ave just as the sun burst out from behind a cloud and absolutely LIT UP a beech tree whose leaves this week have turned bright yellow. It was such an amazing sight that we had to stop and take a mental picture or two.

And we were glad we weren’t carrying phone or we would have felt obliged to Instagram the moment rather than just let it be an amazing temporary thing, seared into our synapses rather than shared on the Interweb. Just one of the countless passing encounters that await when you hit the road.

You never know what you’ll run into (or onto) out there.