For those of you who may be reading this entry from south of the Mason-Dixon line...here's what late August in Southern Maine is like:
The humidity may be back, or it may not, but lately it's been cool. I've thrown an extra blanket on my bed, I'm up to two now. I close my windows at night, and I've been wearing long sleeves for three days.
The first yellow leaves have fallen to the ground, marring an otherwise emerald green summer lawn. Evenings, like watching the Perseids, you wear a sweatshirt.
When you get a hot day, you hold onto it because it might be the last. Once Labor Day hits, the heat is gone for good, days in the 70's are typical with brilliant blue sky because of no haze or humidity. The days are pretty, but there's an underlying heartache because you know fleeting summer is leaking away and it won't be back for 10 more months. The mood around here is best described as wistful.
Swimming in the ocean is never a good idea, the temps are in the 50s at the start of the season and only climb to about 68 in August. On the hottest day you might see a few kids in near-beach surf and adults standing ankle or shin deep. The water really is like ice cubes and each wave feels like a thousand needle pin pricks in your skin. Lake swimming is better because the shallow water heats up faster. Above, we start putting pool covers on at night to hold onto the day's warm water temps. Otherwise, it could lose 10 degrees overnight.
By the end of August you really enjoy the warmth in the car because the air has a bite and the warm inside car air reminds you of bone-warming heat that you got for two weeks in July and complained about then.
You cannot plant any more after Labor Day because first frost could come any night. The mood when you take your plants in is best described as stoic. 'We know what's coming' (winter's onslaught) but we are stoic. "We can take it", you think. "We're tough Yankees."
You can take it right up until you decide you can't take it any more. And then you move south.