The rhythm of my years has been governed by the start and end of school for a very long time. My own schooling, followed by a few years off, then the schooling of our children, and my return to teaching have ingrained in me the thought of new beginnings come September.
However, before a beginning there must be an end, and so, to end the carefree days of summer, we took a short boating trip last weekend. After anchoring our boat in Annette Inlet on Friday evening, we ate a simple supper of soup and salad, read our books, and soaked in the peace and quiet. Later, I awoke in the darkness of early morning to hear the lovely soft sound of raindrops on the roof. Light rain fell for several hours and the clouds remained grey all day.
After lunch, the rain eased up and we went exploring. I've long admired kingfishers and have despaired of capturing them with my camera. They are jittery birds who dart from perch to perch with a sharp chit-chit-chit to evade anyone coming close. I was thrilled when this handsome fellow remained in place long enough for me to get a few photos.
We walked through an abandoned orchard, now part of a provincial park, where apple and plum trees were loaded with almost-ripe fruit. This pretty doe stood under an apple tree, perhaps waiting for fruit to fall. Although the flies were terrible if one stood still, they didn't bite, but were highly annoying.
Cloudy skies mingled with remnants of wildfire smoke lent a melancholy air to the atmosphere. Grey skies, grey water. Landscape photos were not at all satisfactory, so I focused on the details. The golden grass speaks more of autumn than summer.
The path wound around the head of a small bay out along a narrow peninsula, through damp forests to rocky outcroppings covered with dry grass and weathered wood.
The trail to the light beacon is an old sheep trail, and I believe that sheep still travel it occasionally today. This bit of sheep's wool caught in a branch lends credence to that idea.
False dandelion seeds, perhaps a cat's ear, are ready to abandon the stem and sail away.
Maple leaf samaras, called helicopters by children and adults alike, are almost ready to twirl downwards.
Back at the meadow and abandoned orchard dozens of hawthorne trees are showing off their red berries. We were there once, in the spring, when every tree danced with pale pink flowers where bees were having a party. Here is the result of that party - food for birds for the winter.
As the season changes, so does my schedule. No more days of getting up with several choices of what to do, or the choice of doing nothing much. I started back to work on Monday although the students don't return until after the Labour Day weekend. It's busy and exciting as we prepare for students next week, and I'm glad we had this quiet weekend beforehand.
Does the end of summer spell a change in schedule for you?