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!

7 Replies to “Is summer over?”

  1. Trees turning color before cold weather sets in is a sign of stress. The tree may need water, nutrients, or it is overheated (a common problem with city trees).

  2. Yes, there’s a maple tree in Ellis Hollow that’s having these same issues, but it’s likely to be stress. It just hasn’t been cold enough at night to spur real change.

  3. The leaves are coming off of my locust trees in a blizzard like fashion. Certainly not due to a lack of water. We had over seven inches of rain in July. I do think that locusts unleave a lot earlier than other trees, but I am not sure. I too have felt like my summer is at a premature end, and I haven’t even gone on vacation yet.

  4. Love shopping at Charlie Johns! You can find the best stuff there. And if you visit Speculator, do not miss a hamburger, long dill pickle and fries at King of the Frosties! This has been an annual summer pilgrimage for the Northview crew for years ‘n’ years, although we missed it due to fuel costs this summer:(

  5. I would no longer go to Wegmans if we had a Charlie Johns here. (Nor to Wal-Mart, Heid’s, Barnes and Noble, nor Dick’s Sporting Goods.) Alas, there is only one Charlie Johns.

  6. The maple probably has something called “maple decline”– has to do with the bad effects of road salt, generally does that to roadside and streetside maple trees. Stress, indeed, but, if you are salting the area, stop.

    As for the locusts, well, they just don’t have to bother with leaves for a long season– leaf out late, drop ’em early– because they are so outrageously efficient. Nitrogen-fixers, they basically make their own food (with the help of the symbiotic rhizobia). Ah, robinia pseudoacacia…whadda tree, whadda tree… but, you know how I feel about that :-)

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