The Nip of Autumn

Aug 9, 2011 | 2 comments

Garden Cheer

     The other morning I mentioned to one of the Walking Women of Oysterville that there was already the feeling of fall in the air.  She disagreed with me, but then she often does and so I’m standing by my observation.
     For one thing, it is now dark when our five a.m. alarm rings.  Even a week or so ago, it wasn’t.  In the evening, too, dusk is coming earlier and the chickens are scurrying toward the coop sooner than they did at the beginning of August.  What a difference a few days make!
     Too, it does seem cooler in the early morning – not just cooler, but there’s that fall-ish quality to the air.  Not quite “crisp” but getting there.
     I can’t really tell much from the state of our garden.  Our apples are really late.  So were our rhodies back in May and our nasturtiums are just coming on now although I planted them several months ago.  On the other hand, the dahlias are early by at least three weeks.
     None of the Edible Garden Tour hosts mentioned “early” or “late” when we were admiring their crops on Sunday.  I did note that some of Vera Karnofski’s sunflowers are in bloom this year as compared to none at the same time last year, but she did tell me that she had planted them in stages this year so as not to have to harvest all at once.  So maybe the blooming ones were planted earlier.
     Sunflowers say both “summer” and “fall” to me.  “Summer,” because of the fields and fields of their bright blooms that we saw one hot July in the Loire Valley in France.  “Fall,” because they are so often a part of autumn floral arrangements.
     As for what the ‘official’ season is…  on traditional East Asian calendars, autumn begins on or around the 8th of August.  In Ireland, too, calendars based on ancient Celtic traditions count August, September and October as the autumn months.  I’m clearly feeling my Irish heritage.
      But no matter what the calendar or the sunflowers or my walking women neighbors say, I can’t help but lament those long, lazy days of summer.  They’re definitely gone for this year.


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    I agree with you, Sydney. Maybe your friend’s reluctance to admit that Autumn is whispering her name is because Summer seemed to be so stand-of-ish this year. The first Celtic Autumn festival is Lughnasadh, celebrating the first of the harvest on August 1st and the celebrations of the bounty of the Earth run right through to Samhain and the celebration of the turning of the seasonal year and the start of Winter by Celtic calculations. Autumn is my particular favorite season so come August I’m on the lookout for her. I feel a bit guilty this year because my Summer loving husband has not had his ration of hot sun, but he may get a few days yet and I won’t begrudge him because I know Autumn is waiting in the wings.

  2. Jo

    I, too, felt Autumn in the air this morning. As I drove to work at 6:30 AM, the fog was sitting in the tree tops. The air had that almost fall feel to it; not the crisp bite of true fall, but the gentle cooling of it’s hint of what’s to follow. Even the clouds have had a “fall” feel to them the last few days. Yesterday, they were full and fluffy, with gold-lit edges. A lovely way to start the day.


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