The end of summer

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I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for summer to be over. For one – and as always – I’m starting to really get excited about hunting season. Maybe glassing bucks from afar, as well as watching a couple of flocks of wild turkeys has something to do with it.

The truth is, however, that by the time the Northern Zone archery and turkey seasons roll around four weeks from now, these critters are often in parts unknown, especially in years when there’s a solid acorn and/or beechnut offering. The areas I’m seeing deer and turkeys in now usually dry up by mid-September, just about the time bucks shed their velvet and fawns lose their spots. Yet I still get my hopes up and will surely be hunting somewhere when Sept. 27 and Oct. 1 roll around.

I have to admit, another reason I’m ready to wave goodbye to summer is the heat. Unlike many of my Florida-bound friends who love this stuff, I’m not a hot weather person and neither is my wife, Adrienne. We’d rather retire in Alaska! The heat never used to bother me but since contacting Lyme disease over a decade ago, I’ve noticed a real sensitivity to it and a tendency to become dehydrated. Perhaps middle age has something to do with this also.

Extremely hot weather ruined a camping trip for us earlier this summer. We had a beautiful beach-front campsite on Lake Champlain the first weekend in August and had planned a three-night stay. The second day was a scorcher. I spent three years in college in nearby Plattsburgh and can’t recall a day when the wind didn’t blow. But not on this camping trip. We got up with sun on the third day, and likely woke up the same people who kept us up late the night before, and got out of there a day early.

With a few weeks to go before hunting season, there’s still some camping time left for us. Labor Day Weekend is a ritual, and the forecast is looking much cooler. We also camp just before the archery season kicks in, as the time around the Autumnal Equinox is also near our wedding anniversary. We’ve had some wonderful late summer/early fall camping trips over the years, but we also had one year (2017) when a late-September trip to the Finger Lakes featured temperatures in the low nineties. It was too hot even for a campfire.

We’ll see what this year brings. Sept. 1 marked the beginning of meteorological fall and that’s good news for those of us who like cooler weather, and a hint of fall in the air and a reminder that hunting seasons are nearly upon us.

Categories: Dan Ladd

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