This morning it was dark enough for me during my morning walk to see the constellation Orion in the morning sky. High overhead, the constellation is a giant one, trailed by the Dog Star, Sirius. We think of Orion as a fall constellation, perhaps remembering the words of Robert Frost in his poem, The Star-Splitter, when he writes about it coming up sideways and “thowing a leg up over our fence of mountains.”
While it is true that Orion can first be seen in the evenings in the fall, it makes its first appearance in a while in the early mornings. And if I’d get up in the middle of the night, I could have seen it weeks ago. Orion is really almost a circumpolar constellation. It vanishes into the sunset about May and is invisible during July and July. It’s up above the horizon still but hidden by the sun. It’s sometime in August when it coincides with night times, and it becomes visible again.
To me it’s like meeting up with an old friend again. It’s a sure sign summer is on the wane. Now it’s time to think about preparing for the colder seasons—getting the fireplace checked, clearing off the decks, getting the air conditioner out of the window. Fall comes with a whole new set of chores, though I mind those less than the summer ones, primarily, I suspect, because it’s cool enough to accomplish them. I try to appreciate summer, and I’m better at it than I was, but it will never be a favorite season.