I've reached the time of the year when I feel like I can't take one more hot day. I think about chilly nights snuggled under quilts, fires in the fireplace, wonderful thick and flavorful autumn stews, falling leaves, crisp air, and hand-knit sweaters. When living in Indiana I suffered from this in August, but it's a little worse in South Carolina. True, it's not nearly as hot or humid as Indianapolis, but oh, the warm temperatures start in March here! So technically it's been summer for 6 months, and I am perfectly justified in my angst. Fall doesn't start in earnest here until late October/early November, so I'm feeling particularly antsy.
There are signs.
Our turkeys are back. They are here early fall until mid-spring every year.
Our Northern Cardinals have begun their fall molt.
Growing new feathers is itchy business!
They look a little funny now, but this cardinal will have a nice new growth of bright red feathers before too long.
Our local white-tail deer, which make themselves fairly scarce in the summer, are suddenly everywhere.
Fattening up for winter, perhaps? We've seen lots of older babies, so identified by their size and their protective white spots.
We've also seen a lot of newborns. Todd saw one that must've been just a day or so old drop to the ground in front of him as he was taking out the dog. As soon as the dog started barking, the fawn abandoned his pretense and dashed off.
I saw another newborn this morning, huddled against my neighbor's house by the woods.
I didn't see the mother nearby, but the newborn was able to climb shakily to his feet, get his bearings, and dash into the woods. A little fall magic.
It's not just the fawn-a (ahem) that tells me that summer is nearly over. The flora does, too. Our fall-blooming liriope is spiking purple flowers.
Nandina berries are taking on a bit of a blush.
Sweet Autumn Clematis is starting to bud.
And, Lord have mercy, the first of the leaves are starting to change colors.
All of these things must mean that despite a seemingly ceaseless succession of 90+ degree days, fall must be coming soon. I'll just have to be patient.