July and August switched roles from a weather standpoint this summer. July was very hot and muggy, while August was comfortable during the day and extremely cool at night. Some nights got down into the 40’s in mid-August. These unusually cool August nights, after the July heat wave, fooled the swamp maples and some swamps are in fall color a month ahead of schedule. Take a ride up and over Pawling Mountain on Route 55, take a left onto Route 216, and you will go through what I call The Whaley Lake Swamp. This Red Maple swamp that began to change in mid-August, is now in peak fall color.
At 2AM on August 9, it began to rain. The rain was steady and hard for most of the day, and into the late evening. When the rain finally ended, Dutchess County Airport measured 5.15 inches of rain. It was the third highest rain event in a 24 hour period at the airport. I had 4.75 inches according to the Garden Center rain gauge. I did hear about some minor flooding in the Beekman, Dover and Pawling area. Impressive for a midsummer storm not affiliated with a hurricane.
With all this crazy summer weather behind us, it is now September. September is the early morning valley fog along Route 22, making the morning commute a challenging drive. September is the New England Aster, an extremely attractive native flower, with purple petals and a golden center. September is the Virginia Creeper vine turning bright red along stone walls and on tree trunks. September is cleaning out the wood stove and fire place, in preparations for the first fall fire. September is the first cold wind out of the north and the first frost in the valley. September is the hoot of the owl, the coyote yelp, the fox cry, the crow call, and the goose honk. September is the grape smell, the apple punk, and the pumpkin rind. September is putting away the shorts and taking out the hooded sweatshirt. September is some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets you will ever see. September is hickory nuts, apple cider, and raisins. September is the fall color working its way down from Canada. September is a time to remember.