For me summer ends not on Labor Day but with the autumn equinox. I've been in a fall mood for the past couple of weeks, though. It's more than the unusually cool weather and the early sunsets (now occurring shortly after 7:30 p.m.). It's the retreat of the sun into the southern sky, imperceptible at first, but now impossible to miss. The angled light is somehow softer—still bright, but not as harsh to the eyes.
Today I realized that my current seat in the garden, which just a couple of weeks ago would be flooded with light by 1:00 p.m. as the sun rose above the trees and their shadows withdrew, is still in the shade; the sun is low enough in the sky to be behind the Flamingo.
Autumn may be one of my favorite seasons (spring is the other), but behind it lies the bitter, dreary Chicago winter, the winter that just a short time ago I longed to be over.