Summer wind-down

Even though summer technically goes until September 22nd this year, most people tend to consider Labour Day weekend (next weekend) as the true end of summer since school begins for many the following week.

Skies at this time of year are often quite dramatic early in the morning and late in the afternoon/evening with ground fog competing with cloud formations for attention.

I was heading out to run some errands when I looked up. As the fog lifted and the sun burned through the remaining clouds, I saw something bright red in the sky.

It’s the season. The annual #AtlanticInternationalBalloonFiesta is scheduled for the weekend after Labour Day, but a local pilot was getting in some advance practice. The winds on the ground and aloft tend to be more calm early in the morning so it’s the best time to fly.

It won’t be long before the sky will be alive with more. I love watching them sail over our town and surrounding farms. It’s worth getting out and in position bright and early. There are also flights scheduled later in the afternoon, but if the wind picks up (and it tends to later in the day) they can’t fly. So, mornings are the best.

In keeping with the ‘red’ theme, I checked on my cherry tomatoes. After a slow and shaky start, the plants are now laden with rapidly ripening fruit. These inch-long tomatoes burst with flavour when you pop them in your mouth – another of the small joys of late August.

Late summer and early autumn are my favourite times of the year. The days tend to be warm while the nights are cool enough to sleep comfortably with the windows open. There’s still some strength in the sun even as the days grow shorter. Later on, the leaves will begin to change to their gorgeous reds, golds and oranges signalling yet another impending change of season (that we won’t talk about yet!). When you’re out and about, even as leaves are already beginning to drop to the ground, there are fewer insects buzzing around to bug you while you enjoy a walk or a bike or horseback ride. Cats, dogs and livestock prepare for the coming season by shedding their lighter summer coats in favour of heavier winter wear.

So, while it lasts, enjoy the waning days of summer and the early days of autumn. Our family of hummingbirds is busy stocking up on syrup for their long migration south. They’ll be leaving during the next couple of weeks but it won’t be long before the over-wintering species will be coming around looking for a handout of seeds and nuts. My crop of sunflowers is done now so they’ve been placed along the shrubs at the edge of our property so birds and other critters can help themselves to the seeds. As other plants prepare for the end of the season, they, too, will be turned over to the foragers to help them make it through.

Enjoy the time!

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