This time in the cycle of seasons has me entranced. I’ve told a few of my friends and classmates about it – this period and all the feelings that it brings.
There is a word to describe events and entities pertaining to this time of the year: serotinal. A lot of times it’s easy to live without noticing what the world is really doing unless something draws your attention back to your surroundings and the simple fact of this word’s existence can do that.
Most people are aware of Late Summer but it seems not fully concious of what it brings and what it means. The Serotinal season can stand apart from Summer and Fall and the temperate model of six ecological Seasons supports this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Season#Temperate
On the farm, in the woods, in the animals and people there is a distinct feeling.
Think: The weeds are at their highest ornamented with burned seedpods and the dry noise of insect death rattles and crepitations. The trees are yellowing to take on the blue of sky that burns into an afterimage in the sun. The Katydids are yielding to the crystal bells of the crickets and other night singers. It goes on and on and on.
Many farmers take this time of the year easy before the beginning of fall planting and it makes sense. Summer is a hazy blast of mania that slides into the focused work of Fall.
The Serotinal days are a transition within that transition – with Summer crops in the final stages of their bearing and some cooler weather plants beginning their reproduction. Things may appear weak at this time, but life around the farm is plenty strong.
Tomatoes, Okra, Basil (and most other herbs) are continuing to produce as preparations for the new crops are made. From the death of the Summer growth comes a new life and reflection on that is a large part of the mental space of this Season.
Celebrate Summer’s passing: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Tomato-and-Watermelon-Salad-352389
Embrace Fall’s comfort: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/old-fashioned-tomato-gravy
-Taylor Black 9/3/13