August — a month of transition and fun

Published 8:24 am Wednesday, August 14, 2019

We’re almost at the midpoint of August. It’s a month of change, and can be unruly at times when it delivers excessive heat or fails to deliver untimely rain. Generally, it is a pretty pleasant month.
August is an exciting time. It’s back to school time. Children are excited about returning to the classroom and their friends. High school football season kicks off in another week, and the transition is gradually being made to fall, which is just weeks away.
Gardens are in full production now, even if produce is a little late. Tomatoes, especially. And sweet corn.
Color, too, August provides in abundance, especially the richly soothing hues of maturing crops, the various shades of green exhibited by potato vines, corn stalks and beans and the pale gold of ripening grain.
And the vivid blue of the sky. Is the sky ever any bluer than in summer? Is the moon ever any bigger?
August is the final month of meteorological summer (the warmest three months of the year). It often brings mixed emotions as well as mixed weather. There are usually hot and humid spells, and a few days where you can almost sense autumn. Sunlight conditions certainly change with the sun getting a bit lower in the sky, shadows lengthening, and night getting longer. Plants in the yard and forest often have reached their peak of glory and start to brown or shrivel a bit by month’s end
There are quite a few weather folklore and quotes from literature and poetry that deal with August.
– For every fog in August there will be a snowfall in the winter ahead.
– If the first week of August is unusually warm, the coming winter will be snowy and long.
– If a cold August follows a hot July, a foretells a winter hard and dry.
– August 24. If this day is misty with frost in the morning, a cold winter forecast is the warning.
– August 15. If on St. Mary’s Day we have sunshine, look forward to much good wine.
These are pleasures that the place provides. August is rich in pleasures that people provide, as well.
Late summer is also the season of festivals, outdoor concerts and more. In our region, we have the Appalachian Regional Fair, which will begin next week and brings a lot of fun with it.
The fair is a ‘summer classic’ for locals, famous for showcasing local traditions, businesses and food, and good entertainment
This week, it is Race Week at the Bristol Motor Speedway, and it’s all about cars and speed.
There’s still a lot of summer to enjoy. The Elizabethton Twins are playing baseball, and as of Tuesday, the team had worked its way back to number one in their league.
The swimming pools are still open and are inviting after a day at school or work. There are still backyard barbecues, and time for quiet strolls in the evening.
There’s the pleasure of sitting on the back porch with a cold drink and a book, listening to the sounds of a summer evening – katydids, locusts, and the honking of geese as they fly from one pond to another.
Ah! August. A most pleasant time of the year. Usually. Unless. But always a time to look ahead, anticipating the changes coming – harvest, back to school, and the vagaries of weather.
August: Always a month to appreciate.

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