The sweltering heat of summer is behind us (at least up North that's the case) and the icy blast of winter isn't upon us yet. The weather in Septober can be, not to put too fine a point on it, perfect. To tell the truth, with the exception of a rather too warmish spell of a couple of days, it has been very fine as of late. The kind of day it is a pleasure to be alive. Provided, of course, that all else is fine. (If you're sick, or in dire straits of one form or another then it doesn't matter how bloody nice the weather, if'n you get my drift.)
So I like this concept of Septober, summer has just passed and the nastier weather which autumn can bring hasn't started yet. But thinking about that concept sent me down other paths, which happens often, sometimes in the same sentence. (But I digress...)
I have lived in a number of places in my travels, most of them very nice indeed, but very different from my native New England. Not all of these places were blessed (perhaps cursed) with four distinct seasons such as we lay claim to here in the Northeast. (And truth be told, much of the Northeastern United States is beautiful, once you get away from the big cities that is.)
First stop on my world travels was Denver, I would return there some years later. What I remember of the climate there was that Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and Cheyenne (up in Wyoming but not far from northern Colorado) were all very different weather-wise.
In Denver it was usually warm during the day, then it cooled off rapidly at night. In the winter the weather could be brutal and my first November in the Mile High City made me think that November was unending rain, cold, and misery. When I returned seven years later, November wasn't that wet. But in the fall of '75 all I can remember is marching in the rain with a soaking wet hat and an Air Force raincoat that was apparently designed to funnel the rain from one's cap down the neck of one's raincoat.
In '82 when I came back for 13 months, November was just fine. But in December we received three feet of snow on Christmas Eve. A week later most of it was melted. Leaving me to believe that Denver was cold and snowy one day, then seventy degrees the next. No one in that fair city has the slightest clue of how to drive in the snow. Not one.
I didn't spend much time in the Springs, it just seemed that it snowed down there every week. At least that's what the Denver weather guessers led me to believe. But Fort Collins, that was paradise. (Perhaps it still is?)
Warm (sometimes hot) during the day in summer, a thunderstorm every afternoon around 4:30, then cool nights which made for perfect sleeping weather. In early December we would get a very picturesque snowfall which would, of course, completely melt before Christmas. Heavy snow was fairly rare, had one big snowfall in the three and a half years we were there.
Cheyenne, Wyoming was like an outpost on the last frontier. The Rockies were visible in the far distance, it was always cold in the winter and the wind never stopped blowing. Ever. At least that is how I remember it. (The Nuke was born outside Denver in an Army hospital, The WSO was born in the Air Force clinic at F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne. Just as points of reference.)
Okinawa was generally boiling hot in the summer (but not as bad as Biloxi, MS) but tended to be in the 50s and 60s during the winter. Oh and there were really only two seasons, raining and not raining. Again, that's how I remember it.
Korea was either scorching hot in the summer, or frigid cold in the winter. In the spring it would rain, in the fall it would also rain. But it was tolerable, some parts of Korea actually have four seasons, they reminded me of New England. Well, except for the Buddhist temples and the lack of signs in English. (Upon my return from Asia after six plus years my Dad got a chuckle from my expressed amazement at how "the signs, wow, they're all in English!")
Germany (where I lived, not far from Aachen, not far from Köln, right on the Dutch border) had two seasons, raining and drop dead beautiful. Well, actually it rained frequently in my little corner of Nordrhein-Westfalen. (Think Westphalia, somewhere near Basingstoke. Skip ahead to the 0:46 mark, if you must, but the entire bit is hysterical.)
Anyway, as I was saying, it rained quite a bit in my little corner of Deutschland, so much so that a colleague of mine who grew up in the area quizzed me one day as to how one could tell it was summer in Germany.
"I don't know Johannes, how can you tell if it's summer in Germany?"
"The rain is warm."
Anyhoo. When it wasn't raining it was really gorgeous, Germany (even in winter) is very green. (It's all that rain dontcha know?)
Now that I've regaled you with "the Sarge's global weather experience" I need to address that "Six Seasons" thing. When I was researching Septober, I stumbled across a reference to six seasons as opposed to four. Which rather matches my own experiences here in Little Rhody. (Doesn't quite apply universally in the Northeast, but Rhode Island, on the coast, is a match.)
Those six seasons are - (Source for this is here. Sigh, yes, I know, it's Wikipedia but it matches my experiences in many cases.)
- Prevernal (early or pre-spring) - Think the season of big snow is past, but it's not that warm yet, tolerable but the nights are still cold. And the wind blows all of the time.
- Vernal (spring) - Seeing more rain, the air is starting to warm up. And the wind blows all of the time.
- Estival (high summer) - Scorching heat and high humidity. And the wind blows only when it isn't scorching hot. In other words, when a nice sea breeze would be just the thing, it ain't happening
- Serotinal (late summer) - Still hot early in this season, Septober falls in here. It's also hurricane season. At least from what I've seen this is when those big storms brush my neck of the woods.
- Autumnal (autumn) - Rains a lot. And the wind blows all of the time.
- Hibernal (winter) - Colder than a businessman's heart. And the wind blows all of the time. Sometimes it snows, but never at Christmas. Then it's either warm and sunny or cold and rainy. At least that's my experience. And the wind blows all of the time. (Yes, I know I said that twice. The wind seldom stops in the colder months.)
And yes, "Spring" is my favorite from that piece. Though Autumn is my favorite season. Until November, then I pray for Spring.
And yes, Vivaldi's Four Seasons is one of my favorite pieces of music. YMMV...