Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Sounds of the End of Summer?

The goldfinches are chittering. I heard them in our backyard, up the street and over in the park. This is the time of year when this season’s crop of birdlings leave the next and prepare for winter. For goldfinches this appears to begin with little outings in the neighborhood of the home nest, followed by longer flights until it is time to move on.

The nighthawks already seem to have moved farther afield. Usually we hear them until the week of Labour Day, hooting and buzzing in the night as they search for insects. Perhaps because the unusual cold—it has been down to 8 or 10 C (in the high 50s F) for the last three nights--they may have started to go south in search of bugs which--temporarily at least--have stopped flying around in the evening chill.

These are signs of summer coming to a close, just as are the yellow masses of Rudbeckia in many gardens and the wooden crates of red tomatoes at the Jean Talon Market. We may have some hot days yet—we surely will—but the sun is lower in the sky at midday. We are, after all, as far from the summer solstice as we were in late April.

All of which means that plans have got to be made for the next season. School, work, harvest. Makes me tired just to think of it....

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