There is a difference in the air here at Big Creek this morning. The change has been gradually happening over the last week or ten days. There is coolness here now and the early sunrise fog hangs around later than it did during the previous month of July and days of early August. The weather of summer is in a state of serious transformation and clearly the days of continuous heat and humidity are numbered. It is just August 27 but the days rush past headed toward fall. Shorter days and much cooler weather will soon prevail. Ten o’clock each evening when I walk the dogs there is a definite chill in the night air that was not perceptible a few weeks ago. Now the coolness and the milky transparent mist slides down the steep hillsides expelled from the densely wooded forest above the house to encircle the tree trunks, hover just above the surface of the creek and chill my exposed ankles in the darkness. The boxwoods are shrouded in fog and look like chubby ghosts lurking about in the yard in the muted moonlight. Last night when I walked the dogs Moose saw (or smelled) something at the top of the driveway and punched a hole in the miasma as he charged up the driveway leaving a horizontal vortex up toward some unknown trespasser barking all the way shattering the stillness of the night with his mêlée. J.D. follows his example and Brownie too chases after them. She is like some wind-up out of control toy with a short stubby body and legs that barely function to propel her up the driveway behind the other two, always in third place.
This morning as I drove into own for a dentist appointment I noticed the wildflowers currently in bloom on the sides of the road. There was Joe Pye weed, iron weed, Queen Anne’s lace, rose pinks, lobelia cardinalis and lobelia syphilitica, wild ageratum, many varieties of rudbeckia and countless others including the mountain mint with its silver gray foliage. Most of these are native plants and thrive along the edges of the roads here in Gilmer County. While not as spectacular as many of the nonnative flowers these late bloomers fill a much needed slot between summer flowering plants and the late fall bloomers.