No, a calendar is not necessary to determine that fall is on the way. The beginning of fall can be heard and smelled. Believe it. Sometime at the end of July and beginning of August the sound of a multitude of crickets (maybe not, maybe some other insect) starts with solos and continues until there is a chorus. The sound is only for those who have to or want to be up at the crack of dawn or maybe on a cloudy, overcast day. The cricket sound seems to blend in the background just as a musical instrument in an orchestra can be heard, but the mind blends it as part of the whole and not just a single instrument. A familiar sound, it marks nature on the move and the realization to take the time to enjoy every last bit of summer before it goes away.
The start of fall also has its own smells. The dryness of summer creates a premature browning of some of the grasses. A hot August sun is able to lift these scents into the air and remind us of shortening days to come. It is not the scent of dying grass and leaves, but the pungent scent that reminds of a change that is occurring.
Summer's end and turn to fall is much like putting on your favorite glad rags and finding that cozy, secure, and familiar feeling. It's once again the passage of time through the seasons.
An end of summer recipe for today.
Sweet Onion, Tomato, and Corn Salad with Basil
1 Tbs chopped fresh basil
2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup basil leaves
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
½ cup thinly sliced Vidalia or sweet onion
1 cup fresh white corn kernels (about 3 ears)
Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl; stir well, and set aside.
Combine basil and remaining ingredients. Drizzle vinegar
mixture over and toss gently.
Adapted from Cooking Light, JUNE 1997