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The Sunny Side

My favorite harbingers of change this season are in now bloom: Joe Pye weed, goldenrod and ironweed. I consider these plants the brassy, colorful dance-hall girls of late summer.

The days are growing shorter, and on my evening walks, I notice very few fireflies. I feel a sense of loneliness each year as I imagine one last firefly, blinking all by his lonesome, and never getting an answer. But that's what this season is about — transitioning from the fullness of summer to the starkness, eventually, of winter.

Even so, I look forward to cooler days and nights and all the glory autumn brings. I have a few hikes in mind and have started to pull out light jackets and sweaters — just in case.

I hope we'll soon have some "open window" weather so I can turn off the air conditioner and sleep with fresh air flowing through the house. It's been a rough year on the weather front. A beautiful autumn would go a long way toward helping me forget the long. cold winter and steambath of a summer we've suffered through. (Spring? If you blinked, you missed it.)