Yes, the calendar still technically reads August, and we have yet to celebrate Labor Day, so summer has not fully come to a close. However, I have been seeing signs that it is indeed waning, and slowly yielding its hold to autumn.
For starters, the leaves are starting to turn and drop. Looking skyward, I see the topmost tips changing to yellow and gold. Beneath my feet dried browns crunch and crackle. Personally, I do love that sound.
In the evenings, the wind blows cooler. In the mornings, as I walk my dog and watch the sun rising, the air carries a new nip, reminiscent of last year. The stifling humidity of the last weeks seems to have blown away in the wind.
My coleus plantings, once grown from harvested seeds and flourishing so prettily on the porch are now blooming themselves. Soon I shall have to harvest their seeds for next spring’s plantings. Additionally, the ferns and other plants who have summered over on the porch will soon need their baths and be moved indoors for the winter.
Inside, my bird, Taz, has begun his seasonal molt. Feathers large and small abound like a windstorm of blue and gold. The cats and collie are slowly beginning to grow in their thicker fur coats. After a summer of trying to stay ahead of their endless dust bunnies of fur, I am about to throw in the towel and admit defeat.
What’s more, nature is also whispering her suggestion to the wildlife. Recently I have caught my resident squirrel population busy amid the oaks, scampering from limb to limb as they gnaw off acorns and sometimes entire branches of acorns. They drop to the ground like pelts of hail. Later, I see the discarded remnants of the twigs and leaves, now minus their precious winter nut reserves.
A few days ago I sat on the porch with my dog, relaxing before it was time to go to work. Around us countless Robins gathered in a triangle of trees. Used to seeing them hopping around the ground in search of food, their gathering display caught my eye. They were fairly quiet, not prone to loud squawks. I could hear their wings beating as they continued to fly in and join ranks with their robin brethren. I suspect a migration plan was underway.
So taking in all these clear and obvious indicators, I can only deduce summer is fading and autumn is stepping in. For me, this is a welcome time of year. I have survived yet another sweltering summer’s heat wave. Autumn brings lovely colors, cooler days, refreshing breezes and the promise of winter on the horizon. My thoughts turn to baking, (usually for self preservation to stay warm) and retiring to bed early to dip into a good book and long periods of reclining on my porch, with something to read or write and my dog at my side. I watch the birds and squirrels and the world pass by. It also means the seasonal holidays are not too far away and year’s end, which is a time of reflections and goals and chances for do-overs.
But first I must tend to my yard and garden, which admittedly has become neglected as of late. I thin I will tape a brush to my hand to keep up with the endless shedding of the pets and a broom in the other to sweep up the blue and gold feathers floating along the floor. But wait…if I have a brush in one hand and a broom in the other, what will I use to hold the books?
However perfect autumn is, it isn’t without a problem or two.