I'm a person of some very regular habits. Year in and year out, for almost 20 years, at 5:30 AM weekdays I go for a 2.5 mile constitutional along the shores of Lake Michigan, with its unobstructed view of the eastern horizon. Then, at the end of the work day three days a week, I go to a Jazzercise class that gets out at 7:40. These by-the-clock habits make me very aware of the minute changes in the tilting of the earth, first to and then away from the sun, and back again. More so, I think, than those who suddenly bemoan the shortening days and celebrate the last day an overcoat is needed to go outdoors each spring.
Above are two captures from the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory's web cam pointed over Yellowstone Lake. The cam refreshes at two minutes past the hour every daylight hour. The top photo was nabbed only 44 days ago - July 29 - and miraculously caught a sleek cow elk gleaming in the bright morning sunlight. The second capture was from this morning, at the same early hour. The camera is pointed west-northwest, the pretty orange glow at the horizon is simply reflecting the predawn light from behind the observer.
I love the transition between seasons and all its promise of change to come. Chicago's 2010 summer was hot, sultry, and not much enjoyable to those of us sensitive to high humidity. Starting around September 1st, the daily humidities and temperatures moderated, and since Labor Day we've had many lovely days with clear skies and California-coast-like temperatures in the high 70s, and a few overnights that dropped into the high 50s. I don't need to tell you that this is fabulous sleeping weather, with the windows open a couple of inches and a light cover to snuggle in.
But I commented to my walking companion the other day, in spite of the couple of nippy mornings we've experienced, I still haven't been moved to think, "hmm, feels like Fall's in the air!" This in spite of the fact that it is completely dark when we head out for our trek these days, and the sun has not yet bobbed up over the eastern edge of Lake Michigan by the time we leave the lakefront 50 minutes later.
I'll know it's here when: I close all but one window at night; I switch from my yummy iced coffee to hot coffee in the morning; I terminate the liberation of my toes and give up sandals in favor of closed shoes for the duration. I love Fall, and I still look ahead with happy anticipation to Winter. I love the change of seasons.
(As always, do please click on the photos to appreciate the details.)