There is something about mornings in September that makes them somehow special but I really don’t know what it is. Maybe it is that promise of a cooler day, that hint of things to come, the difference in the air. There is an occasional crispness that says October is not far away. There is the smell of harvest. Often there is also the smell of leaves beginning to decay – not leaves that were ready to fall, no, these are leaves ripped from their trees in all their greenness in the winds of a September hurricane. Or tropical storm.
Often there is the sound of chain saws buzzing clearing up the storm damage from the usual September Tropical mess.
The yellow buses roll by, their precious cargo yelling and laughing thru open windows, followed by the blue buses blasting loud Mexican music on their way to the fields.
The geese start to fly over, their noisy honking sometimes drowning out conversations. Usually these are the Canada geese moving around from pond to pond to marsh teaching the young ones how to fly in formation. Canada geese are noisier than Snows… or maybe it just seems that way. Maybe it is because there is a wider range of tones, I don’t know. Maybe it is the combination of juvenile voices with the older deeper ones. Whatever – I can tell without looking up if the geese are Canadas or Snows.
The morning bird songs that tell us spring is here have been replaced with crows cawing and the occasional chirping at the bird feeder. Jays still screech every once in a while, but the territorial proclamations have been stilled as nesting ended some time ago. Even fledging is over and the babies are getting their stronger feathers and preparing to travel south with their parents.
Mornings come later, I sleep in longer, happy to have a window open and not the artificially cold air of the air conditioner blowing thru the house.
There are hints of color in the leaves though the color is so muted here compared, say, to the joyous brilliance of the Poconos where leaves start to change in late August.
Long sleeved shirts are worn for comfort and not necessarily to keep the mosquitoes from having a snack. There is a chill in the air early in the morning. And spider webs! Have you noticed how many spider webs there seem to be this year? I walk thru the yard with a stick in front of me to knock the webs down before they get on my face and in my hair. Sorry, Grandmother Spider!
The tomato harvest is less. Pumpkins are not ready but soon, soon. Dogwoods are putting out their pretty berries. The zinnias have taken over the squash garden. The Rose of Sharon is magnificent this year even covered in morning dew and spider webs.
The first camellia of the season blooms. I have to stick my nose in it and breathe in its spicy fragrance. Soon there will be entire bushes of them all over the yard.
The fall azaleas are gearing up - never quite as spectacular as in the spring but a welcome touch of color nevertheless. I planted a beautyberry (Callicarpa americana, family Verbenaceae) bush next to an azalea and hoped the colors would work. I think they did.
I see a flash of bright red-orange up in the tree. The morning sunlight just lit up a trumpet vine blossom I didn’t have the heart to cut down.
Soon the silence of the day will be shattered by the noise of more farm equipment and more chain saws. One of the saws will be in my front yard taking the redbud back a few feet from the house and back from the driveway and street. Who would have believed it was a twig less than a foot tall 16 years ago?
Soon the yard will be busy with the screech of the blue jay as he comes looking for peanuts, the little noises of the cardinal family and chickadees as they get their morning snack. Soon the blue tailed skink will be crawling out on a concrete block to sun himself, saving up warmth for the coolness to come. Soon the phone will start ringing and the demands of the day will shatter the morningness that I treasure more than any other time of day.