This last day of August feels like someone pulled the switch and sent us abruptly into Autumn. The sky is overcast and the air is almost too cool for short sleeves. It is easy to believe that we could get our first frost by Labor Day, while in other years I can often stretch another several weeks out of the garden. The nodding sunflowers and straggling tomato vines have the look of the end of the growing season to them, though maybe the cooler weather will drive back the clouds of mosquitoes so that I can confirm what is left of the harvest. Thanks to the incredibly wet and buggy weather this summer, the lawn has certainly gone to seed and I'd like to get at least one more cutting done before the leaves start to fall.
The bright yellow bus that took my 1st and 4th graders to their first day back at school this morning looked as freshly scrubbed as they were today in their new clothes. The trees are still that deep shade of summer green, but late season asters and goldenrods grow in profusion in the woodlands and along roadsides. A restless humming bird visited the cardinal flowers and white turtleheads in my wildflower garden over the weekend.
There are signs on every side that the seasons have cycled another quarter turn, and perhaps I feel them more acutely for having been driven inside for most of the summer by cool wet weather and profusions of insects. We never did use the patio table, or watch the fireflies after dinner from our chairs in the the backyard. I am looking forward, then, to the onset of crisp Autumn days with crackling leaves underfoot and nary a cloud or a biting pest to be seen. Just as well that summer left before school began.