The long Labor Day weekend has come bounding through the calendar to bring summer to a close. Autumn is sneaking up with all the subtlety of a defensive linebacker.
Nature moves through the change of seasons with predictable regularity but never on an appointed day. Still, everything happens in close proximity. Summer camps end, Chautauqua Institution's season closes, Labor Day arrives, schools open, overnight temperatures drop, leaves start turning. All of a sudden you will see signs along roadsides reminding us the Busti Apple Festival is the last Sunday in September.
The turning of the seasons always reminds us what a glorious part of the world we have right here.
Even as birds from the far northland pass through our region in their long southern migration, we know summer's death knell has not yet been sounded. Even as we see birds here beginning to form up for their own arduous journeys to places far to the south, we know warm weather still awaits us.
Our world outdoors is as vibrant and alive at the tailend of summer as it was at the beginning in the lusty month of May. But now it speaks with a deep-throated, earthy voice of autumn-blooming wildflowers and, soon, pumpkins ripening in the fields.
We welcome Labor Day 2012, a bookend of the summer season, with astonishment that it has arrived already. And let us all salute the working men and women everywhere who have more than earned this extra day off to relax with their families before turning to the busy season that awaits.