Indian Summer on the Coast of Maine

(Saturday, October 8, 2011, 3:44 p.m. EST, 80 degrees F)


This week we had two nights of frost—a definite shock to my system. But today’s temperature was back up into the 80s—hitting 87 degrees at one point!

This seasonal confusion can only mean one thing: Indian summer. NOAA defines Indian Summer is “an unseasonably warm period near the middle of autumn, usually following a substantial period of cool weather.”

But here’s the thing…even though the temperatures can almost fool me into believing it’s summer again, I know it’s too good to be true. Several days ago I blogged about winter coming….today I’m taking a video of the beach looking like it’s summer. Later this week it will be fall again. Then perhaps we’ll have another dip into winter before switching back to fall once again.

Such are seasonal changes in Maine, one step forward then two steps back. On one hand, it gives us plenty of time to prepare for the next season—on the other hand, we get almost enough time to get used to one season before it changes again. Of course this can only go on so long before the inevitability of winter settles in.

Meanwhile in the garden, the zinnias have now been hit by a heavy frost, so their colors have faded to brown, but the tree leaves are starting to change colors in earnest. So we continue to have color in the garden!


  1. Lovely.
    The weather has cooled considerably here in AZ. And it’s such a relief after our long hot summer. I’m loving hanging out outside again! I’ve heard it’s supposed to heat up into the high 90’s this week…but I’m hoping that’s just a nasty rumor. 🙂

  2. Erika Marks says:

    Oh, I remember these days well. How startling those post-frost mornings are. How quickly summer warmth flees. But it is such a precious time of year in Maine, isn’t it?

  3. Shary says:

    Love the photo of changing leaves. Beautiful!

  4. That is beautiful. I love the water…I bet it can get pretty cold out there. Enjoy your 80s while they last.

  5. Deborah says:

    Yes, enjoy while you can! Love the colours in the tree photo – I’ve put a very similar one up today. Very cheerful.

  6. Cynthia, YAY for cooler temps for you — I know this summer has been awful! I hope, too, that the 90s are a rumor for you. On the other hand, one of the nice things about a late summer heat wave is I can always tell myself that it’s bound to be short lived!

    Erika, Yes, this is one of the times in Maine, like the few weeks of spring, when it’s simply blissful! The air is fresh and dry and there’s a light breeze…. the days we wait for! As you say, precious!

    Shary, Glad you enjoyed the photo! It’s so beautiful to watch the changing!

    SouthMainMuse, Absolutely true, when the wind blows the water gets very very cold! In a few months we’ll be standing out there making movies of ICE… yikes, hard to believe today!

    Deborah, I loved the tree pic on your post! I agree, it’s a cheerful beauty but a pensive time of year… as I consider the changes to come!

  7. Maybe there’ll still be some color when I get to upstate New York the middle of this week. It’s all brown here in Fairbanks, though no snow yet.

  8. Julia, this is one of those Twilight Zone moments.

    Brian called me yesterday from upstate New York (he’s on a nine-week contract job) at 3:46 EST. The first thing we talked about was the glorious weather – and I told him about your post about the first frost. While we talked I went to Wunderground and saw that the temp in your neck of the woods was . . . 80 degrees! That was only a few minutes after the time and date you put at the top of your post.

    I was going to tweet you after the phone call and say, “Yay! You’re having Indian Summer too!” But I never did get on Twitter yesterday. Imagine my big smile when I opened my wordsxo email and saw the title of your post :~D

    Loved your video and the picture too.

    ~ Milli

  9. Oh, yeah, forgot to say. I spent part of my Sunday afternoon today dressed in shorts and a bikini top sunbaking in the yard. But I’m not fooled either. I see that Tuesday the clouds will be moving back in. . . .

  10. homecomingbook, I hope you get lovely color in upstate NY. This year has not been as colorful as past years — and it seems that it’s later than usual. Still, every area is different, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you! Thanks for your comment and for your visit to my blog!

    Milli, That’s so funny!! As you say, Twilight Zone moment! Yes, I won’t let Mother Nature fool me either…. I know that by mid week we’ll be having cool cloudy even rainy weather (and I’m probably in the minority that will actually welcome it! 🙂

  11. I’m in PA and we are having the same strange weather. 30’s at night and 80’s later in the day. It’s crazy.

  12. Kelly, I guess it’s a whole east-coast thing, then! It is crazy weather, I agree — but in a good way! (Still, confusing to the system!)

  13. Susan says:

    Great picture! One of my son’s and his wife went to the Cape this weekend, and they said the temperatures were supposed to be in the 80’s, too. It’s actually a nice thing, because we know when the cold really sets in, they are here to stay…and stay and stay and stay!

  14. Ann says:

    What a beautiful picture of the leaves. Yeah…I suspect this is the last of the summer-type weather for you. While you’ve had beautiful weather, we’ve had rain, rain, rain! UGH!

    I really do complain about the weather a LOT! :o)

  15. We had a trade, Julia. This week is cold and thunderstorms in Perth, so the brief and unwanted flash of warm weather is held off just a little longer. 😉


  16. Pet says:

    We are warm blood creatures!

  17. Ashlee, So funny how your weather pattern is hanging onto the cold weather and ours is holding onto the warm! A whole new meaning to “tradewinds” 😉 How warm will your summer temps get in Perth?

    Pet, No question, absolutely warm blooded creatures! 🙂

  18. Susan, We are having a east-coast warm weather pattern: beautiful! As you say, it’s nice because once the cold really settles in, it will definitely be here to stay and stay and stay!

    Ann, Glad you enjoyed the photo of the leaves! I wish I could trade with you! I know you’d love this warmth — and I LOVE the rain! I don’t think you complain a lot about the weather — you just know what you like: HEAT! 🙂

  19. That’s a beautiful photo of the tree and fall leaves! I find it amazing that we’re on complete opposite sides of the coast, yet we seem to be experiencing the same weather trends. This weekend, it was warm and today feels like a dry warm summer/early fall day. Yet the nights are quite cold. I’m loving this Sunday comparison coast-to-coast.

  20. Leah, That’s so funny that we’re having the same weather trends! The comparisons really are fun. What will be REALLY surprising is if in December when we’re having sub-freezing temps, I find out that you’re having *those* weather trends. I’m guessing it won’t happen! 🙂