The growing season is really over
Most of the vegetation has been cut back, with the exception of those laden with seeds for the birds, or those with particular winter interest. I have started putting pot shards over the cactus and lewisias to prevent winter wet, wrapped about half of the Japanese maples, mulched the cyclamen, cleaned up the vegetable gardens. The days are much shorter, with daylight Savings Time, the sun is setting well before 5 p.m.
All the signs are there, but what really indicates to me that winter is imminent and growing is done(other than seeds, thank you for seeds!) is that, single, sad, unavoidable fact: I washed dishes, dried my hands, and alas! my last callus is gone, the one on my left hand, the "load-bearing" callus on my ring finger, the one that bears the weight of the shovel or the fork or the rake...
It truly is about to be winter.