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September in Appalachia and the Dying of Summer

September in Appalachia

In southern Appalachia we’re in that weird time period between summer and fall.

We’ve had a few teases of fall, but plenty of heat to remind us summer isn’t gone just yet.

In one of my recent videos I discussed September and the dying of summer—my least favorite time of the year.

I hope you enjoyed the video! Have you felt the touch of fall around your place yet?

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Tipper

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 15, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Where is Ken Roper? I hope he is enjoying this cooler fall weather today!

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    September 15, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    We woke up to temperatures in the 50’s in Central Virginia. I am so ready for cooler weather, because we have had one hot summer! I enjoyed your video. I just love hearing you talk.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    September 15, 2020 at 10:59 am

    Tipper, I loved your reflections on September. Though I do love this time of year, so much of what you said resonates with me. You and your videos bring so much joy to Appalachians. Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    September 15, 2020 at 10:56 am

    it was cool this morning in Middle TN but getting hot now. I’m still picking green beans. We made a lot of boo boos with the running beans since we have always had bush beans. The two rows grew up and joined at the top of their fences–we had to go through & cut the tangle enough to go through. I didn’t realize that they make later than the others. I’ve been scrounging for every bean and now I’m afraid of being overwhelmed.

    This time of year is sad to me–I wish fall would come on sooner. I love the cooler weather and the beautiful trees. We are invited to go to Gattlinburg next month–don’t know if we will because of the virus. Last year we were also invited but my husband had to have a hernia surgery!! My oldest brother & his wife have both had covid–she was in ICU for several days. They are better but she still sounds terribly weak. We usually go to West TN for Thanksgiving but may not be able to do that either. Looks like we’re home-bound for the foreseeable future.

  • Reply
    Gaye Blaine
    September 15, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Recalls to mind a poem I had to memorize in elementary.
    The goldenrod is yellow
    The leaves are turning brown
    The trees in apple orchard
    With fruit are bending down…

  • Reply
    Quinn
    September 15, 2020 at 9:43 am

    Dipped below 40 here last night – was 44 when I went out this morning. Seems I just took the comforter off the bed and now it’s time to put it back on.

  • Reply
    Val
    September 15, 2020 at 9:41 am

    This time of year always makes me a little sad. I hate to see summer end. I associate this time of year with school starting back, which I always dreaded as a kid. Unlike you though, I don’t look forward to the first killing frost. I love all the different wildflowers in bloom now. Goldenrod, boneset, pink and purple asters, joe pye weed, ironweed, virgin’s bower – it’s like summer is putting on one final show because she knows it will all end soon. I wish it could all stay a while longer.

    I had never thought before about how we use spring of the year and fall of the year, but not winter or summer of the year. I suppose we say it that way because we use spring and fall as verbs. In spring, everything springs to life, and in fall, everything falls down.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    September 15, 2020 at 9:11 am

    Here in NE Ohio, we’ve hit the strange time of furnace at night and AC during the day. I’m completely on board with your idea of the “dying of summer. ” That nails it.

    Also, really enjoying the videos. I’m going to make use of them when my Appalachian Lit course circles around again.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    September 15, 2020 at 9:09 am

    September is one of the busiest months of the year and the most depressing too. I’m cleaning up the garden, saving seeds, helping to clean my chimney and seal my driveway. All these things have to be done while it’s still warm outside. The hunters are hanging trail cameras, bush hogging areas where crops aren’t planted and dreaming of getting a trophy deer.
    We also say spring of the year and fall of the year but I’ve never heard anyone say winter or summer of the year. It’s hard to believe it’s mid September! Where has this year gone?

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 15, 2020 at 9:03 am

    My Dad used to love John Parris. He read his news paper article every day and bought books as he wrote them. My Dad was mountain born and raised.
    As I took my regular morning walk today I made note of all the flowers that were blooming. I know the names of some of them but not all. I have been astonished at how many different flower plants grow along the side of the country road I walk on. Until Covid arrived I went to the gym every day and now I’m looking for other ways to get exercise and morning walks have become a part of my routine. So, I’ve noticed the spring and summer flowers and now I’m seeing the fall flowers. There is a whole world of beauty right there on the side of the road. One day in the summer I counted 20 different flowers in one day, right there by the road. I was astonished at the number of varieties.
    I hear this called God’s Country and I guess that’s so!

    • Reply
      Jackie
      September 15, 2020 at 1:50 pm

      Miss Cindy, Other evidence that this is God’s country is that H painted the sky Carolina blue and in Scripture we are told we have to go up Mt. Pisgah to get fitted for our wings to fly to Heaven.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    September 15, 2020 at 8:46 am

    Tipper, you need to take yourself to the maintenance shop and get your sensors recalibrated.

    This is a glorious time of the year.

    The fellow who has been spending about 12 hours a week mowing and trimming the local cemetery sees a time of respite in the near future.
    The katydids and katydidn’ts are still talking across the way to each other, but their conversations are more relaxed and thoughtful.
    Way back in the hills a grouse is drumming out a tune.
    The still evenings still heavy with moisture-laden air yield glorious purple haze in the valleys as a fiery red ball dips below Andrews Bald.
    I’d give more, but it’s about to warm up and I need to trim several plots at the cemetery before the sun pokes through the fog.

  • Reply
    Randy
    September 15, 2020 at 8:45 am

    I may be different but I love fall. It is my favorite time of the year with October being my favorite month. September with it’s occasional hint of fall pumps me up. My health is not as good as it once was and I can not take the heat of summer in SC too well . I have to get out very early in the morning and work a few hours and come inside but I can stay out all day in the fall. Fall gives me a feeling of a time to rest, you have worked hard all spring and summer, now you can slow down and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Yesterday, seeing Tipper’s pantry with the jars of food she not not only grew but canned and saved for winter is an example of what I mean.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 15, 2020 at 8:13 am

    I’m sure I have posted this before, but each year at this time I am reminded of what an old man I worked with called the “farewell to summer” blooms. I think he meant the goldenrod, the asters and all the other fall-blooming plants. Just like the color of red maple twigs heralds spring, those yellow blooms usher in the change of season.

    I think a lot of us have a mixture of feelings about now. There is a sadness about another summer ending yet an anticipation of fall colors, cool weather again and maybe the smell of leaves burning.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    September 15, 2020 at 7:33 am

    Tipper, you hit the nail on the head with this blog! You put into words that sinking feeling I get every year around this time. It’s because summer has pooped out and fall is surely upon us! I love the goldenrod which feeds many a bird through winter! It’s yellow beauty is stunning and some how a last taste of summer color. Its the beginning of being stuck indoors only looking out and wishing for a walk in the warm sunshine. It’s black walnut and acorn season as I’m reminded every moment as nuts bombard my metal roof scaring me and the cats especially in the still of the night. Oh how I love pumpkins and gourds and the seeds toasted! Oh it’s pie season so that’s a good thing! Goodbye summer and if I’m still here I will see you next year! “There is a time for every season under heaven: a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to keep and a time to throw away.”– Ecclesiastes 3

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 15, 2020 at 7:20 am

    Tipper–I enjoyed this, and a renewal of connection with John Parris is always a delight and a reminder of his wonderful literary talent. I reckon I’d differ a bit, because I think September sings a mighty sweet song, although admittedly it is in some ways a sad one.
    It’s ironweed and Joe Pye weed ablooming.
    It’s wild asters offering their special shade of purple.
    It’s the scarlet of sumac and the gold of those sentinels of fall, hickory trees.
    It’s a grand old buck running its scrape line and a hunter reading the sign.
    It’s a popcorn popper of a dove shoot with all its camaraderie.
    It’s the satisfaction of groaning shelves and knowing you’re ready for winter.
    It’s the delectable delight of a muscadine hull pie.
    September may have overtones of sadness, but it’s also a month with plenty of gladness.

    Perhaps most of all, it’s a reminder that the southern Appalachians are blessed with four truly distinctive seasons, something not everyone is privileged to enjoy.

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