From Summer to Autumn

The Sunshine was cold this morning, and the grass was frosted. The sky was deep blue! The leaves are changing quickly. Yet, it is still September? I am not used to this early transition. It seems as though summer disappeared. The crickets are singing, but those evenings are numbered.

In recent years we’ve had very warm autumns and winters. The cold spell is hopefully short. When it passes, it will warm up. Not like summer though. This is the ON/OFF season when Thunderstorms seem to strengthen, especially at lower elevations. Its prime time for the Monsoon rains, but the last week we’ve had only blue sky and frosted mornings. It’s feels normal, which feels abnormal. I guess that’s Southern Utah in a five year drought.

Last October, 2003, Southern Utah witnessed some HUGE lightning storms. My cousin and I were photographing a petroglyph site near a small town called Ivins, near the Arizonan and Nevada borders. We watched the largest thunder and lightning display that I could remember in recent years. It came crashing down on us in a magnificent display. Every second a bolt was clapping. Although, I have a great fear of Lightning, I’ve always enjoyed the tension. I love the strength and power of gigantic thunderheads beating the landscape! The sky swelters in a dark blue haze. If you’re lucky, such a variety of clouds and sky can create gorgeous sunsets! In the Abstract sense, I feel that the colder air adds to the Beauty. During these mystical moments, Its always the last part of summer trying to hold on, but alas, the seasons are changing.

It will be time to pick Pine Nuts soon. The Pinion Trees of the Great Basin will be giving fruit. I’ll take the cousins to a place called Hamblin Valley which is about 80 miles west of Cedar City, UT. We’ll go fill the trunk of my Honda Civic with Pine Nuts!

This time of year is also great camping weather. The Rattle Snakes disappear. It’s no longer dangerous to hike into tight shady areas. You don’t have to worry about where you go, and you don’t have to think twice about where your going to set your foot. The snakes aren’t going to bother, because they’re sleeping.

Its autumn and time to put that good old summer behind. It’s time to welcome the new season with open arms. If it snows early, and winter comes in October, then so-be-it! If it warms back up again, let’s hope that the heat stays till January. It’s been known to happen. It sometimes rains in January, and snows in June. The weather is always strange on the West Desert. Not even the weatherman can predict the flash floods or the isolated storms, And Utah has been known to get a few RARE tornadoes!

This weekend, I’ll take my brother Joe, and my cousins camping and freeze beneath the desert stars. We will be surrounded by the safety of Juniper trees and a small camp fire. And my thoughts dwell on Mother Earth, she is always very beautiful, all the time!