The seasons are shifting faster and faster. It began with the slow, constant shortening of the days, the sun easing its way toward the south. By late August the first sliver of morning light had begun to brush the floor in south-facing rooms. The cool-season grasses had faded.
Then a line of blue-grey appears on the northwestern sky, and a galloping cold front chases thunderstorms, fog, and cool air down across the plains, dragging a grey blanket behind. The Grey Norther has come, and rain comes with it. Four inches in the next two weeks, and the highs remain below 90 F. Orion graces the morning shies, and the first acorns begin falling from the mature oak trees. Black and orange butterflies appear, early scouts for the Monarch migration, chased south by the cool and damp.
Things are looking up. The morning air carries the sharp, stinging scent of crushed plants and a hint of cinnamon-rich from the grasses. Dew blesses the world more and more often, and almost every week the temperatures dip a little lower. The roses surge into their third wind and the yard smells like honey and flowers and all the best in life and growing.
More birds are passing through, the fall flowers are beginning to make their appearances, and you get the sense that the world is putting out a burst of energy before winter sends everything to sleep.
The best time of the year is approaching. First the cool and grey, bringing moisture and the hope of a good season in the ground. Then crisp, cold, hard blue days, nights of Orion and wood smoke and the scents of the fair, of yellow and crimson leaves, and the sweetness of apples and honey, of clove and cinnamon, ginger and autumn.