August has been a long month of monotonous weather. Sunny and hot, sunny and hot, the occasional humid and very occasional torrential rainstorm, followed by more sunny and hot. Were it not for the lack of water we would be up to our eyeballs in sweet corn and tomatoes.
The leaves on the trees are turning, not from the sudden snap of cold temperatures at night, but the stress of our weather patterns. Those trees that are well-established with deep root systems are holding firm. Those that are younger or impaired or more delicate are showing signs of danger or have succumbed already. Our white birch took a hit and they seem to number the most in terms of standing skeletons dotting our landscape.
But there are other signs that the season changes. The geese have returned. I noticed them last week – a flock clustered at the far end of the parking lot, wing-weary and barely moving for those drivers who like to park far away. Over the next few days I saw more; a flock in the local farmer’s field, many flocks clustered in groups on the golf course. In spite of temperatures consistently in the 90’s and the high whine of cicada, the geese have started their travel through this place to warmer places.
I think that winter is upon us, creeping with a grim inevitability that will seek to catch us unawares.
I do not view these turns and changes with regret or concern. No, not me. For me it puts an extra spring in my step. I find my nose turning to the sky and scenting the wind, searching for that slight change. I look at my camping gear and dust off my backpack. I reseal my boots and check my water purifier. Time to head out to and look for the changes, to see if I can be the first to detect the turn of things.
But while I am packing, I leave you another chapter for The Far Reach – Giving Way.