All things must change, as the seasons go by...

The lovely 100-year drought we are experiencing is slated to continue through November, thanks to the return of La Nina. For more information, read the article here. The person who brought this article to my attention received a stern email that only happy weather news was allowed. Happy weather news such as, this week is supposed to be rain! Hallelujah!

At least our earth-cracking heat is more or less over, with fall on the way. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, fall is here. I'm ready to break out the boots, chili, and pumpkin pie. I'm ready for my tree to look like this again:

I've always had a hard time coming to terms with when seasons began and ended. The reason is this... if you go by the solstice/equinox dates, it does not coincide with the weather, because it is always at the height of freezing/frying by the respective solstice. And on top of that, if June 21st is supposed to be the first day of summer, why is it called Midsummer's Eve? So I thought perhaps it was different from one country to the next. Not really so, as it just reverses as you cross the equator. Add to this that there is usually that significant day that often coincides with no particular date when you wake up and just feel the seasons have changed over night... and you have a very confused Alien Mind Girl who wants to celebrate the changing of seasons on three different schedules! This is why I was relieved to learn that there are two different types of ways to count the seasons.

The way that we are used to observing seasonal changes is by the astronomical calendar, and if you look up the definition of seasons in a text book you also normally get this same explanation. This is when winter starts on the winter solstice and ends at vernal equinox, spring is vernal equinox to summer solstice, summer is solstice through autumnal equinox, autumn is equinox to winter solstice. 

But there is also climatological seasons, based on meteorological changes, which are more intuitive weather-wise to us Okies: Winter is Dec, Jan, Feb. Spring is March-May. Summer, June-August, and fall is Sept-Nov. 

The climatological calendar explains a bit better why the summer solstice, the official first day of summer, might have come to be called Midsummer. I'm still a bit on the fence here since it isn't *exactly* the median date of June 1 - Aug 31st. Maybe this is where one of you dear readers will have more knowledge than I do...

Since I can't find a satisfactory consensus on season definitions and dates, I have decided to go rogue, and to call the season changes when I feel and see them. When I hit that day where I walk outside and it feels changed, I will call it such. According to the calendar of Alien Mind Girl, the first day of fall occurred at a date I don't recall, approximately two weeks ago. On this day I stepped outside to a crisp breeze for the second day in a row, just ahead of a gray drizzle, and noticed the trees had begun to change. To me, this is fall. Call it what you will. I celebrated that day with breakfast on the porch and a whole pot of honey chamomile tea au lait. I took my dogs for a long walk and noticed pine cones and spike balls on the sidewalks. And now I wait for my yellow tree and pumpkin pie, and rest assured that next year the growing season will not be so harsh.

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