Study of the tundra as taken from the slope of Mount Bierstadt...
It's getting cooler at night. Sometimes, in the early mornings, as I'm running the hounds for the first time of the day, I catch the faint hint of woodsmoke on the wind. Up higher, upon the aspens and other deciduous, there are hints of gold and flame. Upon the upper tundra, the plants take on the first shades of rust. Sometimes, there has been that light dusting of snow upon the summits of the local fourteeners. Late August in our Sahel, in the High Country of Colorado, period. So it goes.
On some of those cooler nights, if being out and about, I've been given to wearing pants. Sabina has shot me forlorn and disapproving looks at this. Normally, the idea of her not wanting to see me in pants would be cause for excitement and high adventure, but it's not like that. For many years now, between late April to mid-May-depending on the weather-and late September to early mid-October, I live in shorts. Pants means the seasonal wheels are spinning. Autumn, nay, winter, is that much closer than not. So it goes.
Kids start school. Seniors go on vacation. Mosquitoes, like hummingbirds, are at their most ravenous just right before they disappear. Things slow down. Things speed up. The ebb and flow of seasonal tides in an area whose economy is based so heavily in tourism.
I catch myself looking forward to Labor Day. This year, it falls on my birthday-grillin' me some lobster tails muthafuckas!-but it's more than that, Labor Day is the diametrical opposite of Memorial Day; the end to one's beginning. Tourist season is done and over as of my birthday this year. Perhaps I should make a bigger deal of it, other than the mundanity of grilling lobster tails in north African chermoula butter.
It's more the day after, actually, that I'm excited about. What would've been my grandmother's birthday, but, in this context, a sainted Tuesday. No one will be on the trails at all. Not even the whore ones. And it'll be like that through a lot of the month, the exception being the few short weeks of aspen season. I find myself looking forward to September and October in a way that makes my teeth itch.
This time of year reminds me of the other three seasons. Summer's coming to its end, and it never seems long enough. Then again, it's the mountains; summer is short and sweet. That's what makes it so precious. These last few weeks of it, I'll ride the snake's tail for all its worth, yet looking forward to that bardo of early autumn before winter when the possibly of encountering another person during walkabout is between slim and none at all, and Slim has left town over the questionable homicide of a rabbit.
I'd say it's a wonderful time to be alive, but, then again, that's any time you ain't dead...