in the foothills of the northern Rockies, summer - while far from over - is beginning
to wind down. Wild roses along the creek have hung their seeds. Along the edges
of the woods harebell blooms are beginning to fade, leaving only the goldenweed
to muster any sort of flash, its small, daisy-like flower heads looking fiercely
Just to the south, higher in the mountains, it's less a matter of summer slowing down than of coming to a screeching halt. On two different days last week, it snowed. Frequently, dawn now breaks over a tundra covered in frost - miles and miles of pincushion plants and loose scatters of arctic willow, wearing thin tissues of ice.
Some of my neighbors are feeling a little cheated by the fact that the last few months have been often wet and cool. Living this far north, it's hard to be robbed of the one time of year when you get to walk out into the afternoon and feel the sun deep in your bones. As for me I'm not so much bothered by it, happy to have dodged (at least so far) what earlier in the year had all the makings of a brutal fire season. If I do complain now and then it's only on certain mornings, when the temperature gets stuck in the lower 40's. Mornings when autumn seems impatient. When you can feel it out there somewhere, agitated, like somebody pacing. Like somebody on the shoulder of the road, anxious for a ride.