The Nature of September

September is a glorious month across much of America, taking us from the oppressive heat of August to the crisp nights of October. As the greens of summer fade, autumn colors paint the landscape and the waning sunlight, less direct and intense, casts a mellow light on nature's bounty.

Across the Heartland, the harvest has begun as flocks of shorebirds move toward southern shores. Songbirds will join the exodus within a few weeks and, by the end of the month, teal will gather on Midwestern Lakes. Out west, the first snows of autumn dust the higher peaks, elk descend toward mountain valleys and the glow of aspen builds toward a spectacular display in late September.

Of course, this month can also bring nature's fury. In the Southeast, hurricane season reaches its peak while, as is already evident, the fires of California take their annual toll, fed by the Santa Ana winds of early autumn. Nature is not sentimental; she can stir our souls and crush our dreams.