September first, oh my gosh! What happened that fall has come so quickly? Oh you might be saying, "Summer is still here, it will be low 90's today!" I know differently, I have already begun to see the signs. I want to hang on to the end of summer, when the days are a little cooler and the sun is not a harsh. I don't want to notice the changes, but I do.
I actually began to notice last week, I just hated even mentioning it, for fear of accepting the truth of what is to come. When I spent a couple of nights in the tipi and awakened to something tickling my arm. I brushed off a black woolly worm that was walking on my sleeping bag. He curled up in a protective ball and pretended to hide from me. As I studied the ground and grass inside the tipi I noticed a couple more of these woolly caterpillars. I don't know what the difference in the colors mean, all of these were solid in color. I've seen no striped ones yet this year. Yesterday, I saw them marching across the road, I can't help but wonder why don't they travel the direction of the road? So this is the first official sign I made mental note of, regarding fall.
As I ran some errands yesterday, I detoured off the road home, just to drive a hilly, curvy road toward a local State Park. Yes, I see that the trees are looking tired from the summer of heat and dust. We need a good slow soaking rain, the earth has cracks that are eager to gulp the liquid from the sky. Then it happened, I noticed the leaves of a certain tree turning brown and crusty, they are showing off their produce that will soon fall and be harvested by the squirrels. I was shocked to see these changing trees among the still green forest of trees along the road.
I travel down the road, toward the sun, I can see the humidity in the air. It makes the air heavy, like summer. I remember that this is the last day of August and soon the air will be clear and crisp. I long for cooler air, breezes that rustle the leaves. The entire forest will soon be the colors of gold, rust, brown and reds.
As I find my way back to the familiar traveled roads, I notice the farmers corn is also changing from green to golden brown, the ears of corn are no longer upright, but drooping toward the ground. It will be an early harvest this year. Does that mean an early fall?
The birds songs have also changed. It is not as amorous and cheerful. It is quieter, they don't seem to start their songs as early in the morning either. I watch the hummingbirds still come to the feeder, it seems there are fewer now. I'll keep the feeders going for awhile, so the migrating hummers will have a place to rest and eat before continuing their journey. I have heard the young red-tailed hawk calling and calling from a tree top, maybe hoping a parent is not far off watching over him, bringing him a little meal. Is he ready to make it on his own? The blackbirds are gathering in their mass formations of air dancing. These groups will get bigger and bigger as September progresses. One day I'll notice how quiet it has become, they will have moved south.
I look at my impatients in the flower pots. I watered them again last night, they were wilted and leggy, they don't look as fresh as they did only a month ago. I always start thinking about some carnations in fall colors to sit at the porch edge. My sweetgrass is long and ready to braid and cut, it is harvest time.
I just want to enjoy each moment of the change that is bound to happen, ready or not.....