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The harbingers of fall begin to show

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Finally, after a long, hot summer, we have been able to sit on our screened porch again.

First it was a bodacious pollen season, then record temperatures to create a long spell of looking longingly through the glass door while embracing the air-conditioning.

But now, there is a tiny touch of fall in the air and we can enjoy our favorite fresh air abode, and there are other harbingers of fall besides the temperature.

The obedient plant is blooming in abundance and is almost covered with busy bees and butterflies. There is almost as much yellow from the swallowtails as there is lavender from the blossoms. And the hummingbirds are at the feeders nonstop as they prepare for their long flight south.

The heirloom tomato vines have dried and withered, and we have to be content with just a few smaller red tomatoes and the still plentiful cherries. The banana peppers continue their attempt to provide enough produce for a small country and I’m afraid my husband (who mostly likes to grow peppers, not eat them) is going to revolt if he is faced with my favorite pepper casserole yet again.

I turn on the windshield wipers for a couple of swipes each morning to clear away the sprinkling of dried leaves and there is the occasional tinge of red or yellow among the greens.

But, unfortunately, the surest harbinger of fall is the onslaught of hurricane season. As I write this, Dorian has turned away from Florida and is making her way up the coast toward us, with four more potential storms hot on her heels. By press time Dorian’s tale will be told and we could well be in the throes of another natural disaster with our state ravaged by wind and water.

I hope not. Hurricane season is a terrifying time and, while modern prediction methods give us time to prepare, there is still no way to stop the fury and we must accept what comes. But it is hard when it hits close to home.

Jean McCamy is a Wake Forest artist.


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