far too much writing, far too many photos

This last week has looked and felt like autumn slipped summer a mickey, pushed it off the barstool and settled into its place. Part of that’s normal — the slant of the sun has changed, the days are growing shorter. But it’s had the feel of the real thing. Cool days, cold nights. Dramatic fall-style skies. Beautiful, all of it, but not your standard early to mid-August fare, at least not day after day after day of it like this.

The unbelievable soundtrack of songbird partying that I heard outside the house here during June and July began quieting down at the turn of the month, then pretty much disappeared altogether seven days ago, when summer took a powder. All I hear now are autumn/winter bird sounds — sparrows, chickadees, crows, bluejays, like that. And the annual migration cameos have started up. Two days ago, I’m sitting outside with a book, soaking up late-afternoon sunshine. Everything quiet. All of a sudden two pair of cedar waxwings appeared about ten feet away, at the edge of a long yarrow-covered slope. Birds that only pause here as a pit-stop on the haul south — in past years, always in September. (Extremely cool-looking critters, BTW — sleek and streamlined, looking like the superheroes of the feathered crowd.)

And on top of all that, three days ago I had my first autumn color sighting, in Montpelier. August 12th.

I don’t know what it all means. (Could be it don’t mean a thing.) But there it all is. The only summer holdouts have been the hummingbirds that frequent the household feeder, who put on a show for me a few hours ago, shooting around the yard. A season’s-end spectacular, maybe. Their usual day of departure is August 15th — today.

And me, I’m joining the exodus, kind of, heading up to Montreal tomorrow. Just a brief swing north — enough time to hang about the city a little, get together with a friend for the evening. Back on Thursday.

It’ll be interesting to see what the border crossing is like this time around. Probably the usual Q&A, the agent checking out my passport while giving me the x-ray eyeball, me turning on the understated charm until they weary of the whole routine and wave me through.

I’ll find out soon enough.

Anyway. Later.

España, te echo de menos.

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