You can tell it's that time of year when summer begins to wane and the changes in the summer season become evident. Here in southern Oregon I see those minute changes where others don't but then, some of them have not lived here their entire lives, or have left only to come home again.
They are subtle changes not always apparent to the everyday eye. Watching, as I was today, a fledgling robin find its way in my front outdoor room was one of those changes. Only beginning to get its rusty coloring, its chest speckled for now, it was calm as robins are in that peculiar way that other birds are not. I could approach it to within two feet and it would remain still and look at me for the longest time hoping that if it remained still enough I would not see it.
And I may be seeing the end of the reign of the neighborhood bunnies too. I haveonly seen one in the past week. It was not long after Beta died that Alpha disappeared. Homer and Frac could be seen hanging out together often in the neighborhood but now it is only Frac. The dishes of rabbit pellets are still nearly full since I filled them a week and a half ago. The apples are still there but one or two are missing. I think it is a young opossum that has been enjoying the fruit late at night. I did see the little smuggler a few weeks ago, snatching the odd bug or snail from under a plank and munching away happily, or so it seemed.
There is the way the sunlight changes this time of year, thought not seeming as
bright in the late afternoons and early evenings, its heat is intense even when the tint of the tilting light is not.
And it is getting darker earlier now. At one point the sun didn't go down until almost 9 pm. Now it is setting around 8pm, but then that is the way of it, isn't it? It is consequently darker in the morning when the sun does not rise until about 6:35 am when it was coming up around 5:30 am before.
And of course there are the way-to-early geese already a step ahead of their.
fellows, migrating a bit too soon for my tastes, but then, I'm not a OCD angle of geese either.
Of course we know that school will start soon. All the commercialism tells us that as well as the city maintenance crews repainting crosswalks and bike lanes, new bus drivers practicing their routes and learning the new tricks of the trade, namely, security, how to deal with unruly students, bullying and the like. I usually find someone's new pair of mittens laying in the street in front of my house when the cold mornings finally arrive, or the rubber bracelet representing some cause in the gutter. So much for living strong.
The other thing, and this is one I dread every fall, is the recklessness of high school students speeding down residential streets, cutting into oncoming lanes of traffic, running stop signs, drag racing down my street at lunch time, the dumped fast food wrappers and soda cups on everyone's lawns and the foul language shouted as loudly as possible without regard for the originator's respect, much less for anyone else's. I know to never try to leave my driveway before noon or a bit thereafter as I may lose the front of the bimmer or the back. And this goes for around 8 or 8:30 am and 2:30 to 3 pm as well. In such a hurry to get there and then in such a double hurry to leave. Education: so important. Traveling to and from it: a risk at best.
And church, that spiritual thing that I love. It is still the "green season" and yet we know that the choir will soon be starting up again with it's "choir camp" come September, and Sunday school will begin again in earnest with all the children back home.
The blessing of the animals in October is also a telltale sign that fall has arrived, and the labyrinth in the Trinity garden will be alive with the fauna of our homes. From gerbils, hamsters, birds, and bunnies to cats, kittens, puppies and dogs--and maybe the odd sugarglider, iquana, gecko or tarantula-- they will arrive with humans in tow for Rev. Anne's blessings. And they are, blessings to young and old alike, the firm and infirm, the happy and the sad. Even Murphy, our priest's golden retriever will be there to help make all of our animal friends comfortable...or create a tiny bit of chaos perhaps. After all, Murphy is only a year or so old and you know what that means...toddler behavior and slap-happy antics!
Fall gardeners will be busy in their beds [garden beds, people!] harvesting summer produce and perhaps planting fall vegetables for harvest later. I have already picked what seems like a billion tomatoes and have some in my food dehydrator as I type. I also dry zucchini for putting into stews, soups and marinara sauces during the colder months. Some I will send to my brother in Portland for the same purposes in a regular "care package"--along with some coconut macaroons--that he gets more often during the winter than the rest of the year since his work keeps him from visiting often.
As more fall reminders come to mind, I will share those observations with you. In the meantime, enjoy the waning days of summer as if the season would go on forever. It will last longer that way.