As summer winds down….

I’m grateful to be able to experience the end of this long, hot summer on my own terms rather than having to drive 40 miles to roast in a sweltering classroom. This summer has been consistently warmer and persistent, in comparison to other years, and I can just imagine what the misery would be in my old classroom now that the shade trees are gone.

But I’m not there. Nonetheless, water scarcity, smoky skies and short tempers characterize the end of summer. The summer party crowd drives frenetically to reach their preferred cooling off sites. When I’m driving around town, I’m seeing more aggressive punching of accelerators, more frequent weaving in-and-out of traffic, more edgy, frayed moods.

Even the creatures feel it. Little finches, chickadees, and bushtits swarm the feeders. The fledgling crow gang stalks the backyard in the early mornings, swaggering with their new-found flight and foraging skills. Their scrub jay counterparts screech obscenities at them, and both groups have developed a new fascination with the wandering neighbor hen. Flies plague the horses even inside the arena, and Mocha is irritable and jumpy, pushing against her boundaries.

Soon the rains will come. Soon. Until then, everything paces and waits, irritable with too much heat and dust and summer light. Eventually rains and gray clouds will once again enfold the city, the bugs will die off, and the brown will turn to faint green, as leaves change to bright reds and yellows.

It’s just a matter of time.

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