Summer’s not over yet!

As someone who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), I’m extremely sensitive to the shortening days and increased darkness of fall.    Believe it or not, my disorder actually begins to kick in during high summer–around early August–when the days are growing noticeably shorter, even though the heat and humidity is at its peak.  So it’s really the lessening light, and not cooler weather, that sends me into the yearly doldrums and makes me feel depressed.  I’ve sometimes wondered if SAD might be some kind of evolutionary throwback to a time when we still hibernated.  I know every year I want to go into hibernation and sleep away the fall and winter and  wake up again in early spring.

Another weird thing about my SAD is that it begins to dissipate sometime in late January or early February, when the days are beginning to grow noticeably longer.   Even though February days are still shorter than September days, it’s the increase of light every day that begins to improve  my mood, not the actual amount of light.

But I couldn’t feel too depressed about fall beginning in just a couple days when I saw this little treat in the front of my house.    I don’t know where this vine with these cute little red flowers came from–it looks like a type of morning glory (Bluebird of Bitterness might know what these are).   Maybe my daughter planted some seeds here, or maybe they’re just growing there all on their own.   However they got here, they made me smile this morning.


Also, my rose bush and the blue morning glories I planted back in April are turning my small garden into a riot of color (and I even spied a few bumblebees in the trumpet shaped flowers), so it seems like summer isn’t quite ready to go anywhere yet!


ETA:  I found out the small red-orange morning glories in front of the house are actually a very rare variety called “Orange Noah.”  They bloom in late summer and fall, when most other glories are ready to quit for the year.  But where they came from is still a mystery!

5 thoughts on “Summer’s not over yet!

  1. What pretty flowers! Summer’s having a last hurrah 🙂 Those look as if they’d attract hummingbirds.

    I was actually thinking about SAD after you described it and wondering if perhaps it had anything to do with the hibernation instinct. Maybe some humans still have it and others don’t. The fact that you say it’s the increase or decrease of light, not the weather, that drives it makes me think that might be true, since it seems to be the amount of daylight that drives animal migration, hibernation, etc. Not a disorder, you’re just more in tune with the changing of the seasons than the rest of us.

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    • I really think it might have something to do with the hibernation instinct. It makes sense. It’s only a disorder because modern life doesn’t allow us to do what comes natural–for some of us, that might mean to go into semi-hibernation. That might also be the reason why so many of us eat so much more when it starts to turn colder–piling up a fat storage to prepare for winter’s sleep.

      I agree those little orange-red flowers look like they’d attract hummingbirds! That would be cool if I found a hummingbird there.

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      • Makes perfect sense to me! The first time I heard about it, I thought, “That sounds like a perfectly understandable reaction to me.”

        That would be cool! There was a hummingbird in our yard a few days ago; they’re starting to migrate, but you might get lucky! 🙂

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  2. I know what you mean about SAD and the times of year. Right around Super Bowl Sunday I always start to feel better and I believe that’s around the very end of January. I eat more too in the cooler months. Im very sensitive to the cold. You can order a light box online but theyre not so cheap. But what you do is sit in front of it for a an hour or more every day and its supposed to replace some of the light youre missing. I think they are made just for SAD. Im sure I will be a little bummed out this Winter but like you noticing your flowers, Im trying to appreciate the special gifts of each Season. Like I only really use my fake fireplace stove in the cold seasons. Things like spiced cider too. Im really going to try and do at least some cards for Christmas this year. I find it takes some effort though to do those things. I would mind taking a walk on a 35 or so degree day, but, if I take the time to layer my clothing, zip up a coat, wear mittens, scarf, and hat, I might enjoy it. Katie really got me noticing nature and it was around the time I started going to church so now I want to appreciate God’s Seasons. Im lazy and dont like taking the time to layer, but, that sounds like a habit I have to break.

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    • Katie’s advice is good. She is so inspiring! I don’t like layering either. I’m lazy, and it just takes so much time. Fortunately I don’t live in a part of the country that gets THAT cold (well, not usually) so sometimes just a sweater and jacket will do. If I try hard enough, I can find nice things about winter, but I’ve realized that no matter how hard I try, I’m never going to be a fan.
      I thought about ordering one of those Light boxes. They are made just for people with SAD, but they are expensive!

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