Last Day of Summer

Today is the last day of summer here in North Puffin.


Since the rotation axis of the Earth is almost perpendicular to its orbital plane, today is the last day in which we have more light than dark. An equinox occurs twice a year when the constant tilt of the Earth’s axis aligns the Sun vertically above the Equator. In the coming winter months the Earth’s axis will incline farther and farther away from the Sun and we will gladly entertain thoughts of Global Warming as we stoke the wood stove in a vain attempt at Local Warming.

Schizophrenic weather.

Pretty cool here this morning at 48̊ outside and 60̊ in the bathroom when I arose. On the other hand, it is sunny and mild with the thermometer headed perhaps for the upper 70s. That means an afternoon for shorts and sandals bracketed by flannels morning and night. Not cold enough to start the wood stove. Too cold not to. My fingers and my bald head got colder just typing that.

I need a sale on toques.

Last night I sat on the deck looking out over the Lake. A couple of errant ducks paddled around thinking duck-like thoughts and a lone fisherman cast his line occasionally from a boat drifting in the shallows. The late afternoon sun continued to warm me after a couple of hours of yard work. The deck offered an oasis for an adult beverage, a bowl of peanuts, and the final chapters of Wicked Prey, John Sandford’s latest beach book set against the Republican convention last year in Minnesnowta. The sunset painted the sky as character Letty West returned to school with her new name.

The lush, kaleidoscopic foliage display will start soon. Some of the brain dead locust leaves here in North Puffin began dropping in July but our canopy will stay mostly green for another week or maybe tow. As a photographer, I will celebrate and luxuriate in the colors of our hills and valleys but I will miss the long days of summer.

People ask, this time of year, “What’s your favorite season?” Fall is grand for its colors. Winter brings quiet solitude and peace. Spring signals rebirth. Me, I like Daylight Savings Time.

Some pan Daylight Savings as an artificial construct but I find it more comfortable to have that extra hour of daylight during my waking hours. In fact, I believe … I believe … I believe we should insist that Congress prescribe an extra hour of daylight in every day, winter and summer, spring and fall. Congress believes it can legislate human behavior; why not change some natural law, too.

Today is the last day in which we have more light than dark. I hope that is not a metaphor for the political dark ages now approaching.