Summer Meditation #7 – Indian Summer

“The bright days of Indian summer are choice along the Potomac. Maples are crimson; sumac and dogwood, a rich dark red; gum trees and paw paw, yellow; willow oak, a dull gold. There are fall days when the leaves have not yet fallen and when no breeze touches the trees. Then it’s as if the woods were holding their breath, lest a leaf be lost.” — William O. Douglas, My Wilderness

Surely it is Indian Summer now. Have you noticed that the light has changed? Once again, the sun is shifting to a southerly exposure, and there’s just something different  about the angle of light that makes the greens and yellows of the leaves shimmer.

I’m not sure that the heat of summer is over, but somehow the shifting light is an indication to me, a hope of cooler days to come and an end to the unbearable heat we suffered here in Oklahoma for the second summer in a row. The cicadas are gone and the tree frogs are back, singing in a chorus after the sun has set.

Northerly breezes tickle my face as I sit outside in the morning, and the birds are busy. Some of them may be preparing for their long trip to southern climes. These birds we call neotropical migrants, and they include the Oklahoma state bird, the scissortail flycatcher. Even the robins move south for the winter. Soon, we’ll hear  geese and the ducks quacking overhead as they move wing their way along the path known as the Central Flyway to warmer winter feeding grounds.

Other birds  – like the Cardinals and the Black-capped Chickadees – will stay here with us all winter.

What will the coming weeks bring? More hot winds, or cooling breezes. will there be color this fall, or only the browns and yellows of leaves falling from trees that suffered from summer heat stroke?

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