August has arrived. To me that means fall is nearer and I am past midsummer. Unfortunately, that is not precisely true since summer hangs on officially for another 51 days. But by the time Labor Day weekend is over, weather tends to be decidedly fall-ish here on Roundtop Mtn., so for me this summer should be more than half over (Got that?).August, though often hot, is also often a quiet month on the mountain. The northwest winds that blow in the autumn weather are still mostly absent. The typically unsettled weather of spring and early summer is behind me. The leaves take on a deep green that soon begins to fade. The understory of shrubs and small trees begins to wither. I can begin to look ahead to fall even though that season is still far on the horizon. At least it is on the horizon, though.
Bird migration begins in August, though will be quite tepid until at least the middle of the month. The first hawkwatches opened on Sunday, but they are really pushing the season trying to count every migrant hawk of the entire migration season. Nearby Waggoners Gap found exactly 1 American Kestrel in 6.5 hours of counting that was deemed a migrant. I prefer hawkwatching when there’s a bit more action than that.
This past weekend at the cabin was comfortably cooler, and I made up for days of heat-induced lassitude by catching on up some housecleaning. I figure I’d better get to it now, because once hawkwatching season begins in earnest, I won’t have time to do much of it then. For me, housecleaning is something that takes a back seat to almost everything else. As a general rule, life is just too short to spend it indoors and cleaning.
August is arriving with a bit a haze and dark clouds, which made the morning even darker than it would otherwise be. The hours of daylight grow shorter, noticeably, already this year.
My photo this morning is the ruins of an old barn, looking down what used to be the lane to the farm. Now, it is simply a grassy area lined with trees, flatter where the lane used to run. I have to be right in the center of the old lane to see it. I often imagine what it must have looked like when this was a working farm, busy with the chores of the season. As time passes and the ruins fall, the lane gets ever harder to see and even my imagination begins to fail. The seasons are taking the memory of the farm with it as they pass.