Early fall rhythms

Noticing flowering times, seasonal changes, and the cycles of the moon are all about sense of place and feeling at home wherever you are.

I wrote a post just now on Natural Gardening about a very late flowering volunteer Rudbeckia fulgida that's illuminating the path out the front door.

I love the anticipation of fall and the advent of cooler, crisper air. Here in the mountains of Western North Carolina that means clearer air, too, as the humidity drops and the "blue" of the Blue Ridge Mountains becomes a sharper version of its summer self.

Apparently, this happens in the Schwarzwald, too, as the more humid air of summer  (hmm, not by our Southeastern U.S. standards) gives way to drier cooler air.  Apparently on good days, you can see all the way to the Swiss Alps from the highest peaks.

Looking towards the Rhine River valley from a trail on the Kaiserstuhl
In mid-August to mid-September, there was haze from pollution in the broad valleys, as there is here, in the Asheville Basin.  Here is a wonderful view from the Kaiserstuhl, north of Freiburg  -- happily, it doesn't show much brown haze on this particular day.