August To September

FTLComm - Prince Albert - Saturday, September 1, 2001

In much of Canada the end of one month and the beginning of another is seamless but in Saskatchewan there is a definite change that seems to occur as August becomes September. Its the snap in the air, the disappearance of many bugs and the little birds who all summer have twittered are gone.

Friday evening as sunset came to Prince Albert the sky was filling with the leading edge of a warm front stumbling into a cold air mass and aloft this produced these transparent cumulus clouds that caught the evening light.

As the evening deepened so did the cloud cover with the warmer air making its way across the farm land of Northeastern Saskatchewan. Combines were still chomping through the fields at Birch Hills and Weldon, even a few were still out from Kinistino to Melfort but from Melfort East all but the Canola and some canary seed is in the binds, on the ground or in the terminals as harvest around Tisdale is now more than 80% over.

I always think of Jo Ellen the Cape Breton teacher who now lives in the NWT when I see crows flying. For she

would always recite a verse from her Granny Doyle "One crow sadness two crows joy, three crows a daughter, four crows a boy. . ." The catholic girl and her cherished Celtic superstitions haunted her as she wore her culture as one would shoes, always with her leading her through each day.

But with the setting sun and the beginning of the Sabbath August, the last summer month ends and with darkness comes September, the beginning of autumn the month of chilling winds, gray days and showers, in Yukon September brings the first snow but here it usually only brings blankets to shield the tomatoes that should have already been picked anyway.

Looking out across the Saturday morning sky as the remnants of the front's stato-cumulus clouds wander off toward Manitoba the low light of the morning and the hush that comes with a still and resting wind mark the beginning of September.

It is always with regret we see summer flee our land leaving in its wake the prospect of a winter to come but still there are days, days of warm sun and crowded skies as the flocks of geese and ducks will begin their fall conferences in preparation for departure a full month away.

The berries on this bush are not for human consumption but await the overweight and ignorant waxwings to hold their winter feasts then decorate the driveway and all that is parked there.

Is this the enemy, this patch of yellow, this warning flag, this harbinger of the end of this year's cycle of life and the beginning of tree nudity.

Come fall, come winter bring on your best and worst as your life is a short as the following spring and summer to come..