Monday, August 30, 2010

Change of the Seasons

It's the end of August and things are starting to change. Sunrise comes later and sunset comes earlier than just a month ago. The long, oppressive humidity of this summer has broken and you can go outside without feeling like you're drowning in the air. Our daytime temperatures might spike into the upper 80s and low 90s, but it drops down into the upper 50s and lower 60s at night, enough to make you grab the extra blanket on the bed come midnight. We've opened up the windows again to let fresh air into the house and it's good to hear the birds and bugs outside again.

Well, to a certain point. We have a lot more bugs here at the new house, surrounded as we are by pasture and trees, and they're fairly loud. The cicadas have finally stopped their incessant yelling, but there are a myriad of crickets, tree crickets, katydids, and their kin. And they all have something to say, day and night. Most of it's along the lines of, "Hey, baby? Wanna get together?" There's not much point in being subtle in late summer if you're a bug.

In the next month many of these insects will die off and things will be much quieter around here. Already they're dying by the bucket load. I can say that authoritatively as an entomologist, but really I'm just basing it on the number of dead bodies I find on the front porch each morning. Sometimes the bodies are intact, as if they just collapsed and died there, while others are shriveled and empty or have clearly been chewed on by someone else. Clearly there's a lot going on our front porch long after we've gone to bed for the night.

But aside from the changes in temperature, hours of available light, and entomological activity, there are other signs that the seasons are turning. Every couple of days I notice a few more yellowed leaves, and some have begun to turn orangey-red. Fall is my favorite season and I think it's going to be right on time.






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