September belongs to both seasons, straddling the line between Summer and Fall.  The tug-o-war that will soon commence often leaves September as Summer’s anchor, further proving my theory that she is ultimately a trader.  September should mark the beginning of Fall, as the autumnal equinox falls squarely within her borders, yet she lists egregiously to one side.  Treasonous, I say!

This insufferable heat cannot be romanticized or categorized as Indian Summer.  Indian Summer generally occurs in late September – November, often after a killing frost.  This isn’t that.  This is just plain misery.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac details some very strict criteria in which a warming spell can  be considered an Indian Summer:  In addition to the unseasonable heat, the atmosphere is generally hazy with little to no wind, and the nights are markedly cooler.  All of this must occur between November 11th (St. Martin’s Day) and November 20th, and only after a cold spell or killing frost.  “If All Saints’ (i.e. November 1st) brings out winter, St. Martin’s brings out Indian Summer”.

The English too have adopted this term to describe a similar warming phase during early to late Fall.  The German’s refer to this time as “Altweibersommer”, meaning old women’s summer.  In Bulgaria they call it “Gypsy Summer” while in South America they refer to it as “Veranico”, literally translating to little summer.

For us, in the Lower Lakes Region as classified by the Farmer’s Almanac, September will vacillate between warm and cool, nothing terribly unusual with overall temperatures 2 degrees above average.  Fantastic.  Just fantastic.

“The perfect weather of Indian Summer lengthened and lingered, warm sunny days were followed by brisk nights with Halloween a presentiment in the air.”

-Wallace Stegner

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney