As summer into autumn slips*

Fall is just about at its peak,


But summer returned yesterday, 81F (27C), and I swam in the lake (freezing).


My roses are still flowering on:


There are birds migrating through that I don’t usually see in midsummer, like this Yellow-rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata, less elegantly but appropriately known as a butter-butt:


Deep in the woods by a tiny pool, all alone, I found a Solitary Sandpiper, Tringa solitaria. 

Solitary Sandpiper

I have always thought of sandpipers as birds of the seashore, but this one likes shallow freshwater ponds, backwaters, and even ditches. It breeds in the summer in Alaska and Canada, and is passing through Maine on its way to the Caribbean or the Amazon basin for the winter. Not a bad life.

But then I wake up to a morning like this one, and I think perhaps I don’t want to migrate anywhere after all.


* My title is the name of a poem by Emily Dickinson:

As Summer into Autumn slips
And yet we sooner say
“The Summer” than “the Autumn,” lest
We turn the sun away,

And almost count it an Affront
The presence to concede
Of one however lovely, not
The one that we have loved —

So we evade the charge of Years
On one attempting shy
The Circumvention of the Shaft
Of Life’s Declivity.

2 thoughts on “As summer into autumn slips*”

  1. How lovely and thank you for the poem. I wish I had stayed another few days but then I would driving home in horrid rain. Grateful to have seen the trees and lake and a kingfisher and the loons quit especially you. 🙏


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