Thursday, September 11, 2008

Noticing the Natural World--Late Summer into Fall

Fall is coming in on hurricane wings... I realized this morning that with the storms moving through so steadily now (there's one in from Baja through Mexico right now, and they're saying Ike will be through Texas and on into Kansas by Monday), there isn't likely to be any last stand for Summer here in Wichita. It might fluctuate between warmer and colder/wetter, but it is going to remain Fall here no matter what--the Season has settled in for the duration. I'm hoping it's a long mellow duration, but I have this nagging feeling that Winter will also come in and settle early... and Spring will be a little late, maybe?.... Not sure on that one, too soon to see any signs.

I never knew I had this weather sense before. I think maybe it'sbecause I am paying better attention to the world around me now, and so I am more open to reading the Seasons and their turning. Before when I lived in a climate that didn't suit me I really kept myself closed off as a survival mechanism... although I was always right about how doggoned hot and/or dry it was going to be, and my rain predictions were way more accurate than the weather service's... so maybe this sense was partially awake even there...

I am learning to trust myself; the morning I felt Fall come to Wichita, I told myself not to be silly since it was only August... but time has shown that I did know what I felt when I felt it. I was accurate. It's kind of astonishing, yanno? I never expected that to be so. I didn't know weather watching was a skill that could improve with practice--I thought it was a gift that one either had, or did not.

Yesterday I noticed that although the leaves are still deep, deep Summer green, enough leaves have fallen to make the tree canopies more open and curiously more graceful-looking. AND we saw fireflies again! After the long heat, they have come back out... or maybe tis after the long dry spell they have come back out? Well heck, for all I know of firefly mating habits, maybe they just have two seasons, lol... but I loved seeing them whatever the reason.

My garden is much reduced. The squash bugs have almost completely decimated the vines, and so my glorious lush green "squash hedge" is gone. I miss that luxurious greenery! I haven't had to water in about two weeks, though; the flowerpots are wet clear through and now the basil and mint are finally starting to grow again. The verbena has new blooms and the oregano and tarragon are full of new growth. Ican see that summer in flowerpots on cement is hard for plants; the Autumn light is much kinder.

I notice in people's yards, the shade flowers have come into their own, the violets are putting up new leaves, and the mosses are re-sprouting. The occasional fence is covered in moss and lichens, as are some of the tree-trunks. It doesn't seem to be true that moss grows only on the north side of trees in the city, though... luckily Ican rely on the street signs if I ever get lost! *grin*

The hawks are still here, yet Summer's birds seem to be more visible again, and I am wondering if it might be the fledglings come into their own now. Certainly every morning is greeted with glorious birdsong!

The sky alternates between grey and brilliant blue, and the air between dry warmth and cool misty haziness. I confess, I never knew before that grey was an Autumn color; I always thought of the "earthtones" yanno, browns, mustards, oranges, scarlets... but I didn't know there were sky tones also, the misty greys, the warm deep blues. And although I am waiting happily for the leaves to turn their brilliant Autumn hues, I see that the deep mature green of full canopies and the intensely vivid carpeted green of new moss are also Autumn colors.

I can walk at night now with very few unsavory bugs--except those darned skeeters!--and the frogs no longer sing their mating songs (a good thing in the case of the frog that sounds like abandoned babies on the verge of death! eeep!), but the cicadas are still loud in the afternoons and evenings. A new sound has joined them, some sort of clicking beetle, and of course the crickets remain and are getting louder as the season turns.

What is like for you right now? What Season are you in? What has changed; what has stayed the same?

Curious as ever,


  1. We are just entering fall. I love fall. I can even put up with the days of solid rain we've had. I just put out all of my fall decor, my favorite.

    Thanks for the kind words about our grab bags! We really appreciate it. I just love my circle of quilters and am glad to share the pattern with you~~ I know you'll enjoy making a bag. :)

  2. "Autumn light is much kinder" -- how beautifully said, Cath!

    The describes what we are entering now, and I love you well you convey that in your post.


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