“September days have the warmth of summer in their brief hours, but in their lengthening evenings a prophetic breath of autumn.”
Rowland E. Robinson 1833-1900
~ American writer and naturalist
These words speak well of this time of year, although hot would more accurately describe these last days of summer. Last weekend brought triple digits and the highest temperatures thus far for 2011. I recorded 110 on Saturday. And about those “lengthening evenings” – sounds good – then I realized it means getting dark earlier. Not good! My favorite time of day during the summer is after the sun sets. The magic begins as the sky transforms from a turquoise blue to an indigo one. A shifting breeze of warm and cool air currents begin. The stars and the crickets seem to synchronize as they come out to add their final touch to the summer’s night.
And much too soon, the first day of school arrived. There was a time when Labor Day signaled the start of another school year and the end of summer vacation. But over the last several years, classes are beginning earlier and earlier. August has become the new September. Why? Research shows kids forget too much over the summer. What about the new experiences and a chance to “just to be a kid” during this time? No matter the start time of school, the weather has never cooperated.
How fair is it that new school clothes are usually selected with cooler days in mind? With heat often continuing into fall, shorts, tank tops and a new bathing suit (not for school) would be more practical. This Monday was no exception – it was 100 degrees!
I remember a few kids being “excited to go back to school” according to their mothers. More accurately I recall moms saying in a convincing voice, “Now honey, won’t it be nice to see all of your friends again?” Honestly?
So, with the sun at our back and a new lunch box in hand, we bravely set off to meet the new school year. Along the way, friends (yes, friends) would join the march up the hill to Valley View. Does this sound like summer?
Even though my school was relatively new, it had no air conditioning. After lunch recess, we would line up for long drinks of water from the fountain. Then we were allowed to get paper towels (the brown folded kind) wet to cool our faces. Back in the classroom with lights off, the teacher would read to us while we rested with our heads down. In spite of the heat and being back in school (and not in the pool), these are wonderful memories.
Nice break from the heat, as this week slowly cooled. Friday through Labor Day weekend and into next week, temperatures will warm up again. The forecast calls for days not to exceed 90 and nights at around 65. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday … we are off to the Hollywood Bowl!
A footnote from one of our readers in regard to summer safety for pets: “To keep the coyotes out of my yard, I pick up all the avocados that drop off the tree. Coyotes eat them.”
Sue Kilpatrick is a Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at