In ancient Israel, an indicator that an extra, “leap,” month was needed to realign the lunar calendar with the solar in time for Pesach in spring was when the almond trees were not yet blooming by Tu Bi-Shvat–the second full moon after the winter solstice. However, I have a leading indicator right now: no pomegranates!
Tonight is the new moon closest to the autumnal equinox. So it is Rosh HaShannah. But pomegranates, a fruit often associated with the holiday, are not in the stores yet. Our own trees, moved from the former finca and pitcured below, are just getting established. That one fruit you see has since fallen and likely would not have been ripe by now anyway.
So while it feels like fall, it is not. In fact, with about two weeks before the autumnal equinox, this is about as early as Rosh HaShannah can be. It seems this new year will need an extra month to keep the lunar and solar in alignment.
In any case, here’s wishing everyone a sweet and fruitful leap year, 5771!