“It is kind of sad.”

sailing into autumn - 1


This was the opening statement yesterday on the Cliff Mass Weather and Climate blog, out of Seattle.  He’s the author of The Weather of the Pacific Northwest, a book that’s way too technical for me, but I love reading what he has to say about the weather that’s headed my way.  He continued on, “Today, accompanied by glorious heat and sun, was probably the last day above 80F until next spring.”

The same here, though our 70F high is even better, up against the Rocky Mountains.  We are a day later than Seattle, so, today, is our last glorious day.  Then, the cold front coming onshore in Seattle, reaches us tomorrow with rain and cold for days and days ahead.  Everybody I know has been basking in these glorious final days of September.  Friends come by in boats, and we hopped aboard one of them to go dock at The Raven Bar in Wood’s Bay for beer and fish tacos.  My friend who’s soon leaving for her winter home–the one who is struggling with those goodbyes–called me yesterday afternoon to talk about how she is sad on these stunningly beautiful days.  She had spent the morning sitting by the water, with her aging/ailing kitty, at her lovely home across the lake from me.  The blue air and warm sunshine just broke her heart open, as she wondered whether this is the last season for her beloved kitty.  She’s leaving for the south in a week, and has put her garden to bed, but can’t bear to pick the tomatoes which are in their highest glory.  She knew I would understand, which I did, of course, and told her I’ve been in a puddle of sweet tears this breathtaking week.

I pulled all the dead geraniums at water’s edge, and threw out the various pots of flowers which have been ravaged by deer long ago.  We took the screen doors off the front porch to let more light into the house.  The grass has been mowed for the last time.  I need to put away the wicker chairs and cushions down by the water, but I cling to the hope that there will be a spell of Indian Summer sometime in October.  There are always those days when you can sit by the campfire on a sun-filled afternoon and watch the remaining gold quaking leaves twirl in the air on the Aspen trees.  But, as Cliff Mass writes, “…after that, it is simply too late to get very warm, with the sun weakening and the nights getting longer.”

“The first flash of color always excites me as much as the first frail, courageous bloom of spring. This is, in a sense, my season–sometimes warm and, when the wind blows an alert, sometimes cold. But there is a clarity about September. On clear days, the sun seems brighter, the sky more blue, the white clouds take on marvelous shapes; the moon is a wonderful apparition, rising gold, cooling to silver; and the stars are so big. The September storms–the hurricane warnings far away, the sudden gales, the downpour of rain that we have so badly needed here for so long–are exhilarating, and there’s a promise that what September starts, October will carry on, catching the torch flung into her hand.”
Faith Baldwin, Evening Star


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