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Exit Summer, Welcome Fall

By Jane Whitmore - | Sep 15, 2020

It happened overnight – people traded swim suits for sweatshirts. We had one last day of Summer before Fall came knocking at the door. Labor Day weekend was the turning point.

This Summer we endured days on end of temperatures in the 80s and 90s and little to no rain anywhere. Here we are in September and things are starting to change.

It was a roller coaster three-day holiday weekend: Saturday was pleasant enough with a thunderstorm during the night (right close to a quarter inch of rain in my gauge); Sunday was another day in the 90s; then the bottom fell out on Monday with high temperatures in the mid-60s. I’m no meteorologist, but the forecast looks cold with chances of rain through the remainder of the week. And, when I say cold – I’m talking high temperatures in the 40s! It’s time to turn off the air conditioning.

Because we live in Iowa, next week looks like we will be back in the 70s. We can live with that. And, we will welcome any rain that comes our way, quelling the clouds of dust that roll across the land.

The Labor Day weekend was different in a lot of ways, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, and foremost, there was no weekend celebration in Graettinger. No parade and no carnival rides, and no games in the park for the kids. Another annual event that we will miss this month is the Clay County Fair. One of our favorite stops is at the Tom Thumb donuts stand.

Second, it was another summer holiday for ‘family-only’ gatherings. The pandemic continues to have an effect on social outings. We are accepting our sense of new normal.

Speaking of gatherings, the Monarchs are pretty much ignoring social distancing as they gather in groups to begin their migration to Mexico for the Winter. We watched as tags were placed on the butterfly wings last week. The tags will assist in tracking their migratory paths. It’s amazing that these delicate butterflies have the stamina to wing their way hundreds of miles

Signs of Fall are plentiful. The leaves are starting to fall from the trees. The corn is rapidly turning brown, and some soybean fields are now sporting yellow coats. Green and yellow, gold and brown are the colors of the season. Pumpkins and colorful mums decorate yards. Birds are doing their high wire act, perching on wires across the countryside as they watch the world go by. Soon we will see flocks gathering to begin their migration.

We are on the fast track to Autumn. The official ‘first day’ is Sept. 22. Break out the sweatshirts, pile some wood in the fire pit, make a mug of hot chocolate and pop some popcorn, and enjoy a crisp Fall evening.