This is the first day in a long while that I've had time to wander on the pipeline, so I was glad to find that it was overcast and breezy this morning. I could tell that summer is losing its grip and that fall is just around the corner. It's interesting to note that in middle-age those once distinct seasons are now much more blurred together. I seem to notice many more slight differences in the patterns of nature as the seasons turn: the color of male goldfinch feathers, hickory nuts that fall early, Slender Lady's Tresses that bloom again, Cat Brier leaves that turn red as early as mid July, and small oak trees that are still putting out tiny, fuzzy leaves. The seasons are beginning to soften as I get older - each blending with the one before and after.
During this morning's ramble I discovered two new flowers (as yet unidentified and amazing that after 20 years I still find new flowers), and saw my first blue aster blooming for fall '09. (The Grass-leaved Golden Asters have been blooming for a couple weeks.) Thoroughworts (upland, round-leaved, and hyssop-leaved) are in late-bloom, Tall Goldenrods brighten the woodland edges, Elderberries are ripening, and the Joe Pye Weed is in full-glorious bloom. It was a beautiful day.