Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Summer's Fading Glory

Yesterday, in the late afternoon, I heard a bird call in the tree outside my window. I didn't think much of it until Anya, who was sitting in the window, began to chatter, as cats will do when they see something they wish to hunt.

Getting up I looked outside and saw a blue jay dart off about his business. I know not where he was headed, only that he had sat for a few moments in my tree. No doubt Anya's chattering annoyed him as much as his ragged cry annoyed her.

Then it struck me, we don't see many blue jays in the summer, seeing them now means that fall, and then winter, are not too far off.

Monday was a cool day, cool enough where the air conditioning unit was shut down, windows were flung open and I was able to enjoy a brisk breeze blowing through the house. The cats like those kinds of days, they sit in the open windows and observe the world. From time to time they'll announce that there is something outside which bugs them. Like that blue jay.

Tuesday morning as I was coming in from the koi pond, I first heard a jay's raucous cry then saw the fine fellow himself drop down from the tree nearest the pond with something in his beak. Seems he had scored a rather nice looking sunflower seed.

While we don't have many sunflowers this year, in the past we've had quite a few. At one point in time The Missus Herself thought to gather the seeds and roast them for our consumption. The blue jays spoiled that harvest. While I thoroughly enjoyed their antics along our back fence, my better half was not so amused.

Monday was cool, Tuesday was hot. Not summertime hot and humid, just hot. Another reminder that the warm days of summer are dwindling fast. One "bad" thing about a really cool day followed by a hot day is that the bug population goes nuts. Thousands of gnats and such swarm in the sunlight, living out their brief lives doing what they do. Eating and making more gnats. (In that opening photo if you look closely, those bright dots are bugs, thousands of them!)

I put the word bad in quotation marks above because what to me, a human, seems not good, as in swarms of bugs are annoying as Hell, to the gnats it must be wonderful. A warm day in which to breed and do gnat things, it must be glorious to them.

The geese are returning from the Great White Up. I'm seeing more skeins of those big birds flying across the sky. Soon, no doubt, I'll be back at work wandering through the goose-crap minefield which my company's parking lot becomes when the geese come back.

I say "come back" but many geese are here year-round, just not as many of them. When you start seeing those big Vs winging across the sky, you know winter isn't too far behind.

I enjoy the changing seasons, though there are times when I wish that winter only lasted a couple of weeks. But that would pretty much ruin the ski season, so I'll bite the bullet on that one. After all, I used to ski, a long, long, long time ago. Of course, during the waning years of the last Ice Age there was more snow, dodging cave bears was no fun and the equipment was pretty primitive. But it was fun and I did enjoy it.

But Autumn is coming on, one of my favorite times of year. The sunlight is different, it is almost golden. Then there is the foliage and the smell of wood smoke in the air. I do enjoy Autumn. Even if people get far too carried away with the pumpkin spice! Gotta admit, I do enjoy having one (or two) of these once fall arrives...



  1. When I got up day before yesterday and went up to feed the Horses, I noticed, on my highly accurate outdoor thermometer, that it was a toasty 58 degrees. The high that day got to 92, so a very delightful day. I, of course, managed to spend it in my windowless office, but lunch at our favorite restaurant's courtyard was very pleasant. Autumn must be close.

    1. It's coming, slowly but surely. (Much like my recovery!)

  2. September is the warmest month of the year here in SoCal - and this year is also the most humid. The damn El Nino is making it miserable.

    When we lived in CT Sept was always the most bittersweet for me - I hate the cold. And it was the end of the warm season and way too short in my book. October might be pretty but its definitely not shorts and flops season . . .

    1. Yup, you've described September in New England to a T. A last bit of warm weather before the frosts arrive.

      October is most definitely not shorts and flops season!

  3. I love the fall, except the falling leaves makes it hard to find my golf ball even in the fairway...sometimes life can be so tough.

  4. The water temperature has plummeted to 80º here.
    HMMMMM, I think I can hear the snowbirds washing up their motor houses.

  5. Great post and great comments. The dingdong mercury broke 90 again today following an overcast night when the temperature fell only into the upper 50's. That's pretty much summer weather here! I know the season of hard living is approaching and that summer is easy and delightful, but it's mid-Septembler and I'm ready for some crisp nights and the smell of progressives -- er, leaves -- burning.

    1. p.s. -- great picture of the bugs! And the beer! Ale, whatever.

    2. Ah yes, nothing like the smell of burning progressives, er, leaves, really I meant to say leaves...

    3. The bug picture was pure luck and the excellence of my Canon.

      The beer (I always use beer as a generic term) is a Pumkinhead Ale from the Shipyard Brewing Company up in Portland, Maine. One of my favorite breweries!


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