Wednesday, 3 August 2011


We have plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures left, but it never seizes to amaze me how every year, come August, I start to think about fall and fall clothing. I am not one of those who start wearing black tights by looking at the calendar, but autumn is, hands down, my favourite season to get dressed. I anticipate the subtle hints of fall, even if a part of me dreads its arrival. I love the smells of late summer: crisp fruitiness, slowly decaying plants, the earth.

There are several things I miss about Finland. One is the gradual disappearance of sunlit evenings in late summer. One day in August you just notice that it is getting darker much faster than you anticipated. Going for a walk with a friend would suddenly involve strolling under streetlights after months of midnight sun. The apples we stole were cold on the surface. My mother would need to think of extra light fixtures for her annual garden crayfish party.

I haven't pinned down those small phases of August here in upstate New York. My instincts don't recognize patterns yet. I don't go walking late at night here. I don't steal any apples, and there is no crayfish party. To me, at this point anyway, August feels just like July. The days are so warm, the crickets loud and the evenings sweaty.

The pictures are from my inspiration scrap book.


Madeline Quaint said...

Cold apples - it's so strange how evocative this small phrase became. It made me sense so many things about your story. You write wonderfully.

I love autumn too - for one thing, who doesn't love layering? Makes dressing up so much more fun. :)

Gracey said...

I start thinking about fall in August too. In fact, I just finished putting together my fall shopping list. I'm definitely a summer person, but I do love fall. It's just so beautiful and the air is so crisp - I love riding my bike to work in autumn the best, I think.

Love the inspiration photos - that first jacket is especially brilliant.

Cynthia said...

The catalogs coming to my door are trying to make me think of fall, but with temperatures hovering near 102 it's hard to even glance at those lovely wooly clothes. I find myself looking at end of season summer sales, finding items that will go into fall because of their color or styling even though they're summer weight.

The northern rituals of fall (well, except the crayfish festival) sound very much like Wisconsin. All of a sudden it's dark at night after late late sun.

Charlotte Holmes said...

I like the photos, Waves. Usually I notice autumn's arrival first by a subtle shift in light. Suddenly it's slightly more blue, has lost its harsh yellow glare. Even on hot days, it's softened.

This summer has been one for the record books, but in a normal year we start getting bits of crisp weather toward the end of August. The birds begin massing, readying to migrate.

I agree--I look forward to wearing cool-weather clothes. I'm tired of being sweaty and uncomfortable in everything I put on.

Teeny said...

I don't often go out retail shopping anymore...when i do it strikes me how seasons come early to the shops. We're still in Winter here and a couple of weeks ago I went out to buy some tops for my son and discovered that Spring had arrived in all the women's clothing stores! What? Crayfish parties...i want one.

metscan said...

Living here in Finland, I know what you mean.
Like Charlotte wrote, my first notices of fall is the change of natural light, it´s clearness.
Days are shortening rapidly and the need for something warm in the mornings and evenings to wear is obvious.

Carolyn said...

Oh, me too, I just autumn the best!
Your description of autumn in Finland is beautifully evocative. I can see why you miss those little signposts so... but over time your new home will have its own little seasonal aspects that you will grow to look forward to, I hope.
And ohmigosh, I just adore those inspiration photos!! Seriously!

Shey said...

Oh Finland sounds like another perfect place to be at this time. For us in Texas, the heat will not stop till mid-September is we are lucky, I'm so glad I left for three weeks, even though right now I'm feeling to home-sick and tired of this extreme heat. I don't know how the whether is in New York but from what I hear the seasons are extreme too.

Susanna-Cole King said...

You paint a lovely picture with your words ... this is a cliché phrase, I'm afraid, but I truly do think so ... imagery is my favorite component in a body of words.

A few weeks ago the heat index was 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and it still feels nothing like fall here. I anxiously await the arrival of cooler temperatures, as it's entirely too hot and sticky to even cross one's legs.