Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September First and the End of Summer

Today is the first day of September. To me, this date has always symbolized the end of summer. 


Technically, it is not.
  • The official first day of fall in the northern hemisphere is not until the Autumnal Equinox - which occurs on September 23rd this year. 
  • September is associated with the beginning of the school year, although I can't actually remember a time when school started on the first of September, instead of some time in August or (as when I was a child) after Labor Day. 
  • Even in Montana  the weather can often stay quite warm for the entire month of September, and sometimes it is even a nicer month for outdoor activities than July or August!

It feels like summer is over though.

Last week my son began his last year of high school. My daughter is now back on her college campus. Our much anticipated summer visitors, travels, and summer reunions are now just memories. 


I am starting to watch the weather forecast, to see if I should protect my still-productive plants from frost by covering them with sheets before I go to bed.  To me, today feels like the end of summer.

A smoky but busy week
Last week I was absent from this blog and the Internet. I took a complete vacation from writing and blogging to focus on my family. While I missed writing and keeping up with my usual social media and blogging interactions, it was a good break. Looking back over the past week and all that we crammed into those hours, I am not sure how I could possibly done one more thing.

Sadly, most of our time had to be spent indoors.

There was thick smoke in the air here all week from the wildfires burning in Montana and across the western US and Canada. 

Hazy, smoky skies - this go worse before it got better this week!
Our air quality has been too unhealthy to exert oneself outdoors, and  the first high school soccer games of the season had to be cancelled. Visibility was so poor that the mountains we see every day had all disappeared. An odor of smoke permeated our house; at times our eyes and throats have burned. Even though we are quite a distance from any of the fires currently burning, one morning I saw actual ashes falling from the sky. 

Hopefully some help from nature for the fire crews

Unpleasant as this is, when I think of all the people fighting these fires, I realize I have no right to complain. We worried about how the windy conditions we experienced over the weekend would fan the flames, and possibly endanger even more property and lives. It was wonderful when Sunday night the temperatures dropped, we got a little rain, and the smoke (temporarily) cleared out. 


We got up to beautiful clear skies, no wind, and sunshine yesterday morning. 

I am never one to want summer to come to an end. This year though, I am looking forward to a hopefully very productive fall, the next occasion when our family can all be together, and an end to fire season. 

I begin to mourn the end of summer on September 1st.
When do you begin to feel like summer ends and fall begins?


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20 comments :

  1. I am right there with you. Summer is my favorite season and while I like fall too, it is still a bit hard to see summer go I am starting to embrace fall. Glad to hear that you have clear skies again Susan!

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    1. Thanks Raquel - unfortunately the smoke has moved back in. Hoping for some rain this weekend to help the firefighters out!

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  2. Summer here in Carolina ends in late September. Football dominates the weekend and you begin to anticipate barbecue month in October. It's that day the humid air of summer gives way, and it's not quite a chill yet, but you can feel it coming.

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    1. Having lived in W.Va., Pennsylvania, and Ohio, I am quite familiar with hot humid days of summer. Your description of how summer gives way in such places describes it absolutely perfectly! Montana is more unpredictable. One day can be really hot, the next we awaken to snow, and then the following week might be summer-like again.

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  3. Down here in San Diego area, summer never ends until November. Then winter gives an obligatory shrug. Spring lasts about a month or two. The summer. No fall. Sigh.

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    1. I have heard San Diego described as having perfect weather - although if you are one to enjoy the change of seasons, perhaps it is not optimal.

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  4. Oh I hear ya! Some of the days this summer were just so smoky our mountains disappeared! Crazy. I never saw any ash floating around though. It does feel like the end of summer for me as well. My son has returned to college and my daughter leaves next week. Ouch. Too soon!

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    1. Enjoy every minute you have left with your daughter Kelly ! I miss mine already, and I'm so thankful my son has one more year of high school.

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  5. I was ready for fall last week when we were blessed with great weather. It is back to hot and humid now, so it is hard to think about it again. I do hope the fires stop soon and the weather plays nice for quite some time. I would be happy with a few straight months of 60s and 70s!

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    1. Hopefully it will be a nice fall for both of us Carlee!

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  6. In Australia we change our seasons on the first of the month, rather than the equinox. Which I think is wrong. Mind you, in the end it doesn't matter what the date is, nature calls the shots - just as she always has.
    I hope your fires can be brought under control quickly and completely.

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    1. You are right - we can assign any date we want, but we can't change the weather! Interesting to learn that your seasons change on the 1st. I didn't know that!

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  7. I'm the opposite, always impatient for summer to end so I can get cool again at last. I'm not a big fan of winter either, although we don't get the snow and ice happening here. Autumn is my favourite season, warm days with nights cool enough for comfortable sleeping.
    Hope the fires aren't causing too much distress and get put out soon.

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    1. Thanks for your good wishes River. Autumn might be my favorite season - if winter did not follow so close behind!

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  8. I'm not ready for summer to end! The wildfires have been so terrible this year, but it seems they are finally getting them under control. So glad to have you back!

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    1. The smoke really has robbed us of some pretty days - and our summers are too short not to be able to enjoy each one. I heard that you have been getting rain - hoping it is headed to Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana next! :)

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  9. After 44 years of living out here, I have learned to not like summer because of the fire danger and actual fires. It is depressing to see our beautiful Montana blue sky turn to gray. And...I hate the dead air in the house because we have to keep it closed up. UGH!!! I am praying for snow and then a nice fall. I have learned to embrace fall -- which I used to look at as the "dying" time of year. So...my favorite times of the year are late fall and spring! I pray nothing starts really close to us. In 1988 it got pretty close. I think our nice summer ended in June this year.

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    1. You have summed it all up so well Lynn. We are so used to our Big Blue Sky and seeing the sun at least part of nearly every day. Last week when it was so smoky, I found myself really on-edge. I knew no fires were burning close, but I really disliked not being able to tell the weather by just looking out the window. And yes - hoping that no fires start near either of us!

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  10. For me it's always been Labor Day weekend. The pools close and it just seems like the mornings start to become crisper (except here in SC), school is in session. I don't mind at all because Fall is my favorite season.

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    1. Labor Day always used to signal the end of summer for me as well Rena. But here, our outdoor pool closes on August 23rd ... when the lifeguards go back to school.

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