The season of light and heat is alive in red cardinal flowers that blaze atop their spike of seeds that have been setting since August, and purple vervain blossoms at the tips of seed candelabras.
Sunlight and earth have created the lush green leaves of bean and tomato vines; carrot tops, lettuces, kale and cabbage. The surprise of a phoebe's song, a fixture of summer days, commands a second look, yes, there's the small bird's telltale pumping tail.
But the sun is losing its reign in the northern hemisphere: this week, hoar frost painted some of the green as a commotion of mist lifted from ponds where frigid air met warmer water. Morning glories bloom all day in the absence of a searing afternoon sun to wilt them. Mammals grow overcoats. Astronomically, summer concludes on the autumnal equinox, which occurs at 4:44 p.m. this Sunday, the 22nd.
In the sun's heat and light we grow our food, swim in wild waters, take pleasure in the flowering world and the intense activity of wildlife. When our star crosses the celestial equator from the northern to the southern hemisphere on Sunday, much of the green and the remaining summer migrants will follow by and by.
Sing the praises of the seasons and the change of season. Savor the green mantle that drapes the forested hills. Rise also to the red-leafed maples in wetlands that anticipate the all-encompassing, awe-inspiring colors to come.
A migration of sorts is building as autumn enthusiasts prepare to travel to our northeastern hills and mountains to be immersed in colored-leaf light by day and equal time for planet and stargazing by night, that now includes early morning!
To contact Judy Isacoff, M.A. go to: www.naturesturn.org