Indian Summer

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither.
Robert Frost (1874–1963)

Autumn Landscape with a Flock of Turkeys

Jean-Francois Millet (October 4, 1814 - January 20, 1875) was a French painter and one of the founders of the Barbizon school in rural France. He is noted for his scenes of peasant farmers. He can be categorized as part of the movement termed "naturalism", but also as part of the movement of "realism".

St. Martin’s Day, November 11, is considered the beginning of Indian summer, a period of warm weather following a cold spell or hard frost.

Although there are differing dates for Indian summer, for more than 200 years The Old Farmer’s Almanac has adhered to the saying “If All Saints’ (November 1) brings out winter, St. Martin’s brings out Indian summer.” Indian summer can occur between St. Martin’s Day and November 20.

If we don’t have a spell of fine weather during that time, there’s no Indian summer. As for the origin of the term, some say that it comes from the early Native Americans, who believed that the condition was caused by a warm wind sent from the court of their southwestern god, Cautantowwit.

If the geese on St. Martin’s Day stand on ice, they will walk in mud at Christmas.



Autumn, the year's last,
loveliest smile.
~William Cullen Bryant~

©2010 Jan Boults Photography


Campbell Falls, Southfield, MA

"O hushed October morning mild,

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;

Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,

Should waste them all.

The crows above the forest call;

Tomorrow they may form and go.

O hushed October morning mild,

Begin the hours of this day slow.

Make the day seem to us less brief.

Hearts not averse to being beguiled,

Beguile us in the way you know.

Release one leaf at break of day;

At noon release another leaf;

One from our trees, one far away."

[Robert Frost, October]

October Trees

How innocent were these Trees, that in

Mist-green May, blown by a prospering breeze,

Stood garlanded and gay;

Who now in sundown glow

Of serious color clad confront me with their show

As though resigned and sad,

Trees, who unwhispering stand umber, bronze, gold;

Pavilioning the land for one grown tired and old;

Elm, chestnut, aspen and pine, I am merged in you,

Who tell once more in tones of time,

Your foliaged farewell."

Siegfried Sassoon, October Trees



Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
Emily Brontë (1818–48)

Hail, old October, bright and chill,
First freedman from the summer sun!
Spice high the bowl, and drink your fill!
Thank heaven, at last the summer’s done!
Thomas Constable (1812–81)

©2010 Jan Boults Photography
"Autumn Light"
"Grasses in Autumn"


September Begins

The morrow was a bright September morn;

The earth was beautiful as if new-born;

There was that nameless splendor everywhere

That wild exhilaration in the air.

–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82)
"September Morning" by William Patterson

Tomorrow begins the seventh (septem) month in the old Roman calendar. When Julius Caesar decided to start the year with January instead of March, September kept its name but not its position. We love it right where it is.

Perhaps the only thing prettier than a September morn is the sight of the Full Harvest Moon rising, bathing the fields in golden light.  This year it will be full on September 23rd at 5:18 a.m.

In medieval Europe, harvest festivals started later this month, and the greatest of them was Michaelmas, on the 29th.

Amid the hustle and bustle of school starting, we take the first Monday of September off to honor workers.

Origin of Month Names

Named for the Roman god Janus, protector of gates and doorways. Janus is depicted with two faces, one looking into the past, the other into the future.

From the Latin word februa, "to cleanse." The Roman Februalia was a month of purification and atonement.

Named for the Roman god of war, Mars. This was the time of year to resume military campaigns that had been interrupted by winter.

From the Latin word aperio, "to open (bud)," because plants begin to grow in this month.

Named for the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants. Also from the Latin word maiores, "elders," who were celebrated during this month.

Named for the Roman goddess Juno, patroness of marriage and the well-being of women. Also from the Latin word juvenis, "young people."

Named to honor Roman dictator Julius Caesar (100 B.C.– 44 B.C.). In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar made one of his greatest contributions to history: With the help of Sosigenes, he developed the Julian calendar, the precursor to the Gregorian calendar we use today.

Named to honor the first Roman emperor (and grandnephew of Julius Caesar), Augustus Caesar (63 B.C.– A.D. 14).

From the Latin word septem, "seven," because this had been the seventh month of the early Roman calendar.

From the Latin word octo, "eight," because this had been the eighth month of the early Roman calendar.

From the Latin word novem, "nine," because this had been the ninth month of the early Roman calendar.

From the Latin word decem, "ten," because this had been the tenth month of the early Roman calendar.

[Information from The Farmer's Almanac]


Here and yonder, high and low,
Goldenrod and sunflowers glow.

Robert Kelley Weeks 1840-76