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Stepping through the curtain to fall

September 14, 2011
Westfield Republican
Was it only yesterday that Father Gordon De La Vars and parishioners set out on the front lawn of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church a table of cookies and lemonade to share with visitors who came to watch Mayville’s annual Fourth of July parade?

Seems like it was.

What a great summer that clear and sunny day presaged.

It was almost too much to have wished for. Remember spring? Incessantly gray and rainy weather turned the countryside into a big mud hole. Farmers could not use their heavy machinery to prepare fields for planting, let alone to actually put corn in the ground. The great advantage of using teams of horses instead of tractors to pull plows and disks was obvious. So too was the prediction that our Amish neighbors would have the only corn that was knee high by the Fourth of July. The elephant’s eye measure seemed impossible.

The rain played havoc with the high school spring sports schedules, too, and sent our lakes and tributaries flooding over their banks.

And then we walked through a curtain into summer and corn shot out of the ground after all. Our sunny and dry weather was perfect - except for a few weeks of being too hot - for most everything that was planned, from the operas at Chautauqua Institution to the 4-H competition at our county fairs.

We say “was perfect” because obvious signs are all around that we will step through the curtain again into another season - tonight, if weather predictions are correct. Temperatures all of a sudden will be cooler. Days already have grown shorter. Goldenrod started blooming a few weeks ago, purple asters will be along shortly and the fall migration is well under way. School is resuming and soon notices of the Busti Apple Festival will be in evidence along roadsides.

After such a fine summer, no matter what happens, we simply cannot complain about the weather from here on out. But, still, let us hope for a string of sunny days and cool nights this month so that the sugar produced in leaves will be trapped there as shorter daylight hours inevitably push trees toward winter dormancy.

From the sugar and sunlight, leaves make anthocyanin — the brilliant red color of maple leaves come October.

It will be a fitting way to prepare for another step through the curtain.


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