Is summer over?

I can’t help feeling that this summer is coming to a premature end. I’ve been noticing that some of the trees around my house are looking like they want to start on the fall color now, especially a maple the next street over which, unbelievably, is half red now, and it’s not even August yet. Anyone else noticing anything like this?

Or maybe it’s because my summer trips are pretty much finished, ending with last week’s loop in the southern Adirondacks. This was supposed to be a trip to West Virginia that somehow got whittled down to something closer to home. Just the usual Old Forge-to-Blue Mountain Lake-to-Speculator circuit, but I hadn’t been up there for about 10 years, so it was comforting to see how little has really changed. (I also had a great concept for a new line of perfume: Adirondack Monsoon. The intoxicating scent of wet nylon and DEET. When I make my first million, I’ll be able to afford a real camp up there.)

Sean Kirst blogged about his favorite old-time hardware store. It’s not a hardware store (well, not exclusively), but I would include Speculator’s Charlie Johns supermarket in that general category of an establishment that doesn’t seem to have gentrified at all. If wealthier tourists from downstate even knew where Speculator was, there’s no way this establishment would have remained what it is — it would have been Starbucked long ago. It even still has 1981 Adirondack food prices, which, oddly enough, are comparable to 2008 Wegmans food prices. And, unlike most other groceries in the Park, it’s not 1981 food!