Writing My Life

Now and Then


Day 3 ~ Indian Summer: Gift from Ma Nature

I nky blackness veils the valley, signaling the return of the clocks’ set-back;

N earing Winter stalks the shorter days, but 

D eparts mere hours after Southern Winds

I nterrupt the first scrimmage. 

A utumn claims the victory.

N ow and again glimmers of gold

S himmer among aspens and

U ndulate across fields.

M ild warmth weaves a

M ist that huddles against foothills.

E rasing cold snaps and hard frosts.

R ain, turning to snow – not yet.

The term “Indian Summer” is a romantic one, I think. It’s long been in my vocabulary, along with the definition: a few days, maybe weeks, of warm weather – unexpected warmth, just when we’re bracing ourselves for winter. As I remember, this little respite often follows a “killing frost,” and some don’t consider the renewal of shirtsleeve weather an Indian Summer at all if that doesn’t happen.

I recently learned that the Rocky Mountain area is not usually associated with Indian Summers, and I beg to differ. Autumns in Idaho often included this pleasant surprise – not every year, but often enough that I always hoped for one.

Bill Deedler, weather historian, quoted a description of Indian Summer in his 2005 column: “The air is perfectly quiescent and all is stillness, as if Nature, after her exertions during the Summer, were now at rest.” While John Bradbury painted this word picture in 1817, the term actually reaches back to the 1700s, but TODAY Utah’s citizens reveled in the warmth of an Indian Summer day in November.

We thank you, Ma Nature!