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Autumnal equinox: a different kind of twilight

Fall officially arrives Sept. 22. Weren't we just celebrating the Fourth of July?

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There's something in the air: an unmistakable scent of burning wood at night; in the mornings, a cold wind blows through my open bedroom window, shuddering me awake, serving far better than any alarm clock.

Here in Colorado, the aspens in the nearby mountains are just beginning to turn yellow, giving some slopes a five o'clock shadow; when it rains these days, there's a chance that it might be snowing in the higher elevations above 10,000 feet.

We've reached that time of year again – whether we like it or not.

It's the twilight of the changing seasons, that gray area in between summer and fall where anything goes as far as weather is concerned. It's a sort of purgatory. Nothing is for certain. The verdict is out; nature is in the midst of deliberating.

The recent spikes and drops in temperatures have me confused: I'm wiping my brow by midday, reaching for my jacket by sunset, huddling under down blankets by midnight.

If the month of March comes in like a lion it will go out like a lamb. It's a proverb we were all taught in grade school. In the town of Punxsutawney, Pa., folks have a groundhog to help predict the approaching spring.

Yet we've got no gauge on when fall will actually make landfall and the manner in which its presence will be felt.

But as sure as night follows day and morning midnight, it's coming, if not already here.

And despite all this, there are people still out there who are in major denial and clinging to the summer. They're living in the past.

Yes, technically it is still summer. And mathematically, yes, the Chicago Cubs still have a shot at the National League Wild Card. But you get the point.


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