The last few nights, the sun has looked strange: large and glowing peach, suspended in a milky sky. I am certainly not the only one who felt something slip in the pit of their stomach at the sight. Or had an eerie feeling about it looking wrong. It looks sickly. The smoke from the wildfires on the west coast have drifted up and moved in the jet stream over to the east coast. As I walked through the ferns that are slowly dying in the crisp fall nights we’ve been having, past the clusters of exuberant white snakeroot and starry wood aster, everything looked normal. But to look up to the sky was jarring.
Last week the sky was blue, the way a September sky should look. The goldenrod was the color of pastured butter, rife with pollinators of every stripe, bending and blowing in the wind. The green is still dense, but every so often I see a maple with a few orange leaves starting to show. Will milky skies become the norm? Will we one day pine for a blue sky?
Maybe I watched the orange sun a little too intently, the inside of my eyes were pulsing with glowing orbs every time I blinked. Soon they faded though, and the forest felt even darker and colder, as the end of my walk coincided with sunset. The afternoons are warm–welcome after a chilly start. The evenings get dark quickly; sunset is now at 7:00, and the sun takes its warmth quickly away.
As of today there are 46 more days until our presidential election. If you wanted to send in an absentee ballot, you should do so now. If you live near me, the Ulster County Board of Elections has all the information for you. I am going to vote in the Early Voting period. There are so many people out there to help get your vote heard!