Autumn

September 8th, 2022

The sun is just coming up. It’s cool outside. It will get hot as the morning progresses, but right now it’s sweatshirt weather. Maybe I shouldn’t use the term “hot”. It’s “hot” in Texas and California. Here it will be more like “unseasonably warm”. People will be wearing t-shirts and shorts by noon. Some of them will probably still be wearing those come November. Residents of Wisconsin are not easily affected by the cold.

Because it is warm now does not mean that we will have a mild winter. Climate change pushes conditions to extremes. In a few months the jet stream will dip south, and a polar vortex will land on our part of the country. Climate change equals hot summers and bitterly cold winters. The brief period of fall weather we experience will probably announce another taste of the Ice Age around here.

Despite the warm temperatures, I can discern the warning signs of autumn. There is a silver maple down the street that already has flashes of red in its leaves. The locust that towers over everything in our backyard has some yellow leaves. The linden has shed many of its leaves, and they litter the ground beneath it. It has been dry, and the trees are stressed from lack of water. They will all be changing color soon.

The golden rod is in full bloom, covered with tiny yellow blossoms. Golden rod is the last hurrah for flowers here. The branches of the apple tree bend almost to ground burdened with their fruit. The bees are busy flitting from one plant to the next, seeking blossoms while there are some to be had. Karin’s hummingbird feeder is desolate. The little birds have all left. Dragonflies zoom through the air like tiny jet fighters. They are in a hurry to do something, what I don’t know.

The sun rises later and sets earlier. The darkness is slowly gathering. It creeps up on me. A few weeks ago, I would get up at 5:00 to prepare breakfast for our little grandson, Asher. I could do it without turning on any lights. No more. The stars are out now when I drag myself out of bed, and that depresses me.

There is a sense of fatigue in the world around me. It is melancholy in a way. Nature is in a frenzy to prepare for the coming cold, and it will end the season exhausted.

I feel tired too.

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