Saturday, September 6, 2008

Summer's Fading Fast

This Monarch Buttery was enjoying goldenrod along Clayton Road as I walked to Hemple Road this morning. The day was young enough that the dew was still heavy and he seemed reluctant to open his wings very far. His favorite plant - milkweed - is plentiful just now. We are only about four weeks away from the first frost so a sight such as this butterfly will soon be but a fond memory.

With the early morning sun beginning to bake the bricks at the front of our house, I thought some of you might enjoy seeing Pinehaven as it looks right now. About the only change from recent years is the heat pump on the lower left and the new shingle roof (not very visible from this low angle). Of course the south chimney - which served the old fuel oil furnace - is gone, too.

Finally, I noticed last evening that my allergies were much worse than usual and I suppose I have goldenrod to blame (ragweed, too). This goldenrod (below) was just at the budding stage three days ago but today it is in full bloom, bright and yellow. It, too, will fall victim to the upcoming frost. It will be haggard and dead in a single night.

Cooler weather has finally moved in after a little rain. Yesterday (09/05) morning I awoke at 5:15 a.m. to a thunderstorm booming just to our northeast. I lay there and listened for the rain and soon I had quite a downpour to enjoy. We've had less than half an inch of rain in the past 30 days so every drop was welcome.

When I think of how the seasons are changing - getting later, are they not? - I still anticipate each one with joy. I enjoy the change and could never survive in a place without seasons. How boring that would be.

My weather book shows that September began with an average temperature of 70 degrees but it will end with 62. September, then, drops by 2 degrees each week. By the end of October we'll be down to 49.

Tonight we'll drop into the mid 50's and I'll enjoy every minute of it. The heat pump has been quiet for a full day and the second floor a/c also becomes dormant. Our electric bills will fall for the next six weeks ... and then blossom beyond all imagining.

But isn't that a fair trade for such variety?