No, this is not where you escape the heat of the summer. This is the beginning of summer heat escaping from the pond.
It is 50 degrees this morning (10 Celsius), colder than it has been for months. Solar radiation has warmed the pond while the sun has been high and long in the sky. But now, we are closer to the equinox than the solstice, and things are beginning to change.
Water evaporating from the still-warm pond has condensed in the cool air above it, leaving wisps of mist to drift above the surface. As it condenses, heat escapes into the atmosphere and into space. Days ahead will produce more contrast and more mist, but here we can see an early loss of heat, the inevitable manifestation of the seasons.
Summer is making its escape as days shorten, warmth fades, and the tilted Earth continues on its orbit, the north pole of the axis pointing less directly at the Sun. It happens every year.
As we watch the heat go, the southern hemisphere watches it arrive. Welcome to the symmetry of the sphere.
My wife and I live on five hectares, mostly wooded, in central Massachusetts where I cut firewood, tend the garden, read Robert Frost and other poets, and observe the land, the sky and the living things nearby, often with camera in hand. I retired from Assumption College in Worcester, MA, last year. I taught biology and environmental science, and oversaw the design and construction of a new science building. I grew up outside of Chicago, the son of a teacher and a statistician. I started to pay close attention to the natural environment as an undergraduate, and continued on to graduate work in ecology. My fieldwork on plant-insect interactions has taken me to New York, California, Arizona, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. My latest book explores the intersection of poetry and natural history: Stopping by Woods: Robert Frost as New England Naturalist. Watch this site for pictures and posts about the pond at the end of my road, plus thoughts about my life.
August 24, 2020 at 11:43 am
clear explanation of the coming of fall and great photo illustration!
August 24, 2020 at 12:04 pm
Thank you, Alice!