Fall is in the air and the hillsides here in Denver, where I’m at a conference, are covered in splotches of red and gold.  There are leaves on the sidewalk; the air is clear and smells like woodsmoke.

In Abu Dhabi, we don’t so much get the whole foliage thing, alas, which of course means no hordes of leaf-peepers, either, but that doesn’t mean that the sidewalks aren’t littered with the signs of a changing season.  Instead of leaves, we have…


Rows of date palms line the streets and sidewalks; there are smushed dates on the sidewalk instead of old chewing gum.  Some of the date palms, particularly those along the highways, have green net sacks tied around the date bunches, to prevent dates falling down onto passing windshields.

And while I wouldn’t eat these windfall dates, I will say that one of my favorite snacks here is a handful of fresh dates, each with a sliver of almond or candied orange in the middle. Yum.