Shhhh... listen very closely.... can you hear it yet? There, ever so faintly, like the fog creeping in on kitty cat paws, it's the end of Summer. Oh yes, Miss Autumn is approaching, inching closer by the not-as-beastly-hot days and cooler nights. Not that Old Man Summer is completely gone yet, but his gnarled grip is loosening like a sailor's hand on the rope when his ship comes to dock.
Right now my lawn is drinking up a much needed gentle rain, and the air is a cool 75 degrees. Yes, cool compared to what it's been here of late. All of us in the Hundred Acre Woods By The Inland Sea agree that this has been the swelteringest Summer ever! Due to our Northern proscriptions of living, we are really constitutionally unable to handle many days above 80 degrees. (ok, for you fans that are metricificated, 82F = 28C, take it from there...) My lovely, and loved, and loving wife turns the most endearing shade of corpulent green after a couple of "daze" in the heat. As for me, my usually adroit, and sometimes clever, articulation rapidly degrades to that of a snarling animal caught in a trap, that is in the process of chewing it's own leg off. Really, we do much better with cold than heat out there.
As loyal Northern Michiganders, we eschew certain modern contrivances, such as central air conditioning, in our homes. Our pioneering spirit barely allows the use of indoor plumbing (only for sanitary reasons, not because we enjoy it) and we'll probably be asked to leave the neighborhood when the scandal of having a bedroom ac unit is discovered. At the very least we should be shunned by all polite, and sweaty, company as befits our particular sin. But we have also discovered that now, in our slightly-after-prime years, if we don't sleep well then we function at a level comparable to, at best, an amoebae.
Another portent from the Autumnal Goddess is the behavior of our favorite bird species of all, the charming and vociferous Hummingbird! When they first arrive in late Spring, cheerfully announcing their presence by flying right to where uh hum the feeders are supposed to be, our little ADHD driven buddies happily consume the nectar we provide. As the season progresses, and more flowers bloom, our hovering hummers tend to be rather more picky customers at the feeders. Just a week ago you would see a single male or female perch on the little feeder and sip quietly and contentedly. But now, they greedily perform acrobatic dog fights worthy of Snoopy and the Red Baron! With the shift in time, each hummer has his, or her, own fave spot, and woe to the intruder that thinks to steal that sweet solution of life. And especially just before a storm, the antics really escalate! We have espied as many as seven hummers all juking and dodging each other just to make sure that someone else doesn't get "my" spot!
Other changes include watching the juvenile male Cardinal get his sinister, black mask and proud, red chest. Now if only his wings would turn all the way from brown, he would have it made. Also our beloved family of Rose Breasted Grosbeaks are no where in sight? Nor are the sporty Gold Finch family much evident now. Oh, and the In Laws have come and gone, another sure sign that Autumn is approaching. Our trees are just starting contemplate turning a new leaf, and the corn is sweet.
So listen very carefully... hear it? Our delicious planet is grooving around the Sun, and Life once again goes thru the complete cycle. How we love each other is truly the sweet part of Autumn.
Oh, the sunset picture is one I took, the top bit of art is from the Interwebby, and the three wonderful Hummingbird shots are from my dear friend Diane Land Cooper. She's a treasure!