Summer’s end.

The end of summer always brings me sadness — and I mean that quite literally, since I suffer from the mood disorder SAD (seasonal affective disorder) that always sets in around late August and usually sticks around until sometime in late January or early February, when the days start to become noticeably longer.

It seems incongruous to me that it is still so swelteringly hot (we hit 90 degrees F today) and yet signs of fall are everywhere: Halloween (and even Thanksgiving and Christmas) products and decorations in the stores,  kids going back to school, the presence of school buses on the roads when I drive to work in the morning, a few falling leaves here and there,  and that tired, wilted, look the trees and shrubs get before they begin to turn their fall colors (around here, that usually means dingy brown).  And, of course, the dreaded Pumpkin Spice Everything.

Another sign that summer is at its end is the closing of public swimming pools.  Even though it’s still as hot as the inside of a locked car in Miami, the municipal pool has closed its doors until next Memorial Day.   I found that out when I drove over there this afternoon, hoping to enjoy a quick cool down in the water.   Instead of the welcome sight and sounds of people splashing happily in the refreshing turquoise water and the occasional whistle from the lifeguard, what I found instead was a completely abandoned concrete building guarding the pool, which was half-drained so whatever water was left looked as refreshing as thick green pond scum.  The surrounding chain link fence with its rusty Master locks keeping the gates closed completed the desolate look.  The fact I was sweating balls under the blistering sun and the sky was a deep bright summer blue dotted with fluffy cumulus clouds made the sight seem even sadder somehow.

There was also not one person in sight.

I took a few photos so my visit there wouldn’t be a total waste of time.

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I enhanced the above “closed” announcement on the main building with a sepia toned filter for a nostalgic effect.

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In the above photo, I used a color enhancing filter, making the water a more lurid green and the sky even bluer than it actually was.

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Abandoned pool and lifeguard chair in black and white.
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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.

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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!

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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!

The Progression of Autumn: September 13

There haven’t been too many changes yet, but it’s definitely looking less like summer, with the first day of fall only a week from now. Today felt very fall-like, with temperatures only in the 60s.

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It’s hard to see here, but these trees are showing yellow now.

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It definitely looks like autumn here.

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My roses are still hanging in there. 🙂

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My tuxedo cat, Sheldon, enjoying the cooler temperatures. I know the garden looks like crap. I got lazy and let it go.

Previous post in this series:
Summer into Fall: The Progression of Autumn: September 7

Summer into Fall: The Progression of Autumn: September 7

If you’ve been around here awhile, you may remember my “Progression of Spring” series, which I ran weekly from early March through early May. That series was a lot of fun for me, because spring is my favorite season. I love the way everything comes alive, the flowers are blooming, the days are getting warmer and longer, and the heavy winter clothing can finally be put away.

I don’t get as excited about Fall, because although it’s pretty (at least through early November or so), it depresses me. The days are growing shorter, the changes (to me) aren’t as spectacular as those in the spring (the changing colors–which are shortlived–just mean the leaves are about to die and fall to the ground to rot), and although the cooler temperatures are a relief after the hot days of summer, it also means the ice and snow aren’t far behind. You may have guessed I’m not a big fan of winter.

I do like Halloween and Thanksgiving, but the string of holidays during the Fall (including the ridiculously overblown and overcommercialized Christmas season), fail to bring that much cheer to the depressing, gloomy, cold chill of late fall with all its monotonous dark browns and gray overcast skies and long freezing nights.

All that being said, autumn is still pretty, so I decided to start a Progression of Autumn series. This is the first installment. Maybe by doing this, I’ll start to appreciate it more!

This year has been a strange one: Fall came early. I started noticing the trees changing colors as early as mid-August. Obviously this wasn’t due to cool temperatures since it’s still swelteringly hot, but probably having such a dry summer that stressed the trees.

So this is the first set of photos I took for this series, which I’ll try to continue each week until things start to look like winter again (ugh).

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Early changing colors.

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Crabapples on these trees!

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Early evening, around 5:30 PM

I think I’m about to hear some very good news!

My daughter wants me to come over today because she and her boyfriend say they have some important news. They want her father (my ex) there too.
They are obviously very much in love, going by their almost sickeningly adorable Facebook entries about each other, LOL!

Of course I immediately wanted to know if she was pregnant. She isn’t. That’s a relief!
I think I know what it’s going to be.

She has changed so much this past year, just as I have. She is so much more mature than she used to be and is finally making some good choices. She’s also talking seriously about going to college. I think this time she means it.

This isn’t related really, but these are some late summer flowers I took pictures of at church this morning.

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