Crape myrtleBy Lynn R.  Mitchell

It’s August. We are now three-fourths of the way through the heat and humidity that make up what is commonly considered the last month of summer vacation although in our corner of Augusta County in the Shenandoah Valley it’s been a mild season. Only a handful of days have been in the 90s with no triple-digit temps, and it has been unusually rainy. The brown, crackly grass that is normally underfoot by the 4th of July never materialized.  We’ve still battled the mugginess and humidity of summer in Virginia but, all-in-all, it has been surprisingly comfortable.

Summer is waning. The signs are everywhere. Cicadas drone in the afternoon heat with backup from a cricket chorus. Spiders spin their intricate, wide-ranging webs that stretch across walkways and between balusters and shimmer with early morning dew. Squirrels busily scamper the grounds looking for hiding places for their cache of winter fortifications. The big rumbling yellow school bus returned this week as students gave up sleeping late and carefree days to return to classrooms already prepared by teachers whose summer vacation ended even earlier.

Miscellaneous tree leaves have jumped the gun and already flaunted their colorful palates, reminders of what the next two months will bring when a riot of color will fill the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountain ridges. Some evenings have been in the low 50s, a refreshing touch of autumn coolness.

Meanwhile, the crape myrtles are blooming in all their pink glory in the front yard, always a welcome splash of color during the hottest days of summer when multiple shade trees offer a respite from the broiling sun. Rocking on the front porch, the sounds of late summer are all around as we enjoy the cooling of a sweet Virginia breeze.

Summer in waning … fall is waiting just around the corner.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
August 20, 2015

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