Saturday, August 25, 2007

Turn, turn, turn

The violent storms of August 23 bypassed Hyde Park. With the number of trees snapped in two and uprooted here during the storms of the past couple of years, it was a relief to me to come home from work that day and see everything still standing. The brunt of the storm hit further north.

With all the rain this month, the grass and trees are now Ireland green, and there's not much sign yet of changing colors. It feels like autumn to me, however.

- The birds are no longer collecting for their nests or chasing potential mates or rivals around.

- I have not been able to spend time in the garden, but during my few visits I have not seen the red admirals flitting about since I came back from Ann Arbor, even when the weather was warm and sunny and perfect for butterflies.

- I am starting to see plenty of Japanese ladybugs, which can become a pestilence at this time of year. They were clinging to the windows during the storm, and I found one in the living room this evening.

- Now I hear the "whine" of a dogday harvestfly or two—a sound that takes me back home 30 years ago, when hot August afternoons brought out the call of many dog day harvestfies in the woods. I had it in my head, quite illogically as I knew, that that "whine" had something to do with the outdoor TV antenna.

- The sun is noticeably further south in the sky, which helps to soften the brightness and harshness of the high midwestern sky to which I have never become accustomed.

- The sun sets significantly earlier every day. There is now little time after work to sit outside, and the evenings seem short, the night long.

- I have not seen fireflies at dusk when I've been out. I know roughly when they appear—the third week of June—but I've never known when they leave.

These, more than cooler temperatures or changing colors, are the signs of fall that I feel more than see or observe. The differences are subtle, yet they affect me and my mood deeply. This year, I have a sense that something that never truly began is already over.

I love the harvestflies, but I miss the red admirals.

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