First Signs of Fall on the Coast of Maine

Sunday, September 4, 2011, 8:20 a.m. EST, 70 degrees F

It’s hard to believe what a difference a week makes: last week Hurricane Irene was looming and this week the water was as calm as calm can be. (However, the overall stillness of this week’s video is broken by the cars going by and a guy—out of camera view—arguing with his dog about going up the hill, away from the beach, to his car. I want to make sure to point out it’s a dog, lest you think he’s talking to a child—like I first did!)

“Pepper Pete,” as MEH (My Engineer
Husband) has nicknamed the potted
pepper plants, continues to produce
beautiful green and red peppers!

Fall is in the air. Not only are the leaves changing on some trees, including the ones within camera view, but the days are getting shorter. We hear crickets at night, the birds are flocking and starting to migrate, and school starts on Tuesday. Labor Day weekend is generally regarded as the end of tourist season in Maine, and even though we’ll still get some “outer-staters” coming in, things will start to quiet down and eventually wind down to winter.

Still, that’s a ways off, with leaf peeper season starting soon. Our peak season, when most of the leaves are at their height of color, may be earlier than the average mid-October; if you want to follow along, the state of Maine has a website with the weekly foliage report, starting on September 14.

The sadness of “late blight” on the tomatoes:
ultimately the whole plant will die, but
it’s a race between the blight and first
frost at this point!
Meanwhile in the garden….we still have as many tomatoes as we want (although unfortunately most of the plants have developed something called “late blight,” which will ultimately rot the fruit), pole beans, Swiss chard, lots of basil, winter squash, carrots, turnips, and kale. If the season lasts long enough, we may get a second crop of potatoes and hopefully some beets—it’s not been a good year for us with beets and our first planting didn’t produce even one!

What are the season changes bringing to your part of the world, if any? Does fall bring changes to your writing and household routines?



  1. Ann says:

    Wow! Fall is HERE! For the first time since late June we had a day that didn’t reach 90!

    Actually, I’ll break out my jeans in about a month and it will start getting into the low 80s and 70s….definitely jeans weather around here!

    My routine stays pretty much the same and since this is my first “fall” of blogging….we’ll see if THAT changes! I suspect I’ll be making more soups!

  2. Pet says:

    What about making tomato jam? Ready to spread on warm toasts, with a mug of coffee, in the winter days to come, a good book on hand.

  3. I’m so envious it’s Labor Day weekend and you’re seeing signs of fall. This is my favorite season and I wish we had more visual cues that it’s here. At least our pumpkins are growing. And the weather yesterday had that fall breeze in the air. Looking forward to your Sunday fall videos!

  4. Cynthia Robertson says:

    A little cooler at night here, in Arizona. But still hot as blazes during the day. July & August are my slowest writing months. Probably because I have garden watering duty and also must walk the dog before the sun comes all the way up. So looking forward to wonderful September, beautiful October, and perfect November.
    Hey, you’ve got a nice pepper there! Had the hardest time growing them in NH. Short season up that way.

  5. Guilie says:

    Man… I’m jealous. I live in Curacao, a teeny-weeny little island in the Caribbean (next to Aruba), and the only season we have here is summer. Weather fluctuates between “hot”, “extremely hot” and “bearably hot”… Sad, ain’t it? No changing colors on foliage, no sense of the world tilting at all; just the same overbearing heat year-round. It rarely falls below 80F, and mostly it’s above 90F. In winter (well… “winter”…) sometimes, at night, we may get lucky and have a couple of evenings at, say, 75F. *sigh* Please post pictures of your fall… I’ll sit and stare, and pretend I’m feeling a little nip in the air too 🙂

  6. Ann, That’s so funny how different your and my signs of fall are! You and I both are having our first falls of blogging — can’t wait to go through that together, and I am so excited for more soups, I LOVE good soup recipes!

    Pet, I never thought of making tomato jam, but I will check it out. The way you describe it makes it sound utterly delicious — giving me a taste of our garden in the middle of winter. I’ll report back on it! Thanks for a great idea!

    Leah, You are soooo lucky that you got some pumpkins! This is the first year in as many as I can remember that we have absolutely none, and I’m pretty sad about it. I can’t wait to see your photos of your pumpkins — and I promise you will definitely see fall videos as well as fall foliage blogs here at wordsxo!

    Cynthia, I know what you mean about walking the dog before the sun is all the way up — we do that too. I know what you mean about writing being slower during those months; I can’t wait to hear more about your September-October-November weather changes! (p.s. we finally learned the trick to peppers in Maine — a neighbor told them to grow them in containers so the soil stays a lot warmer. Once we started doing that last year, our yield went WAY up, but this year Pepper Pete is out of this world!

  7. Guilie, So many people would be so envious of your island weather and environs; so interesting that you miss the “sense of the world tilting” (what a lovely way to put it!). I promise lots of photos and videos of the fall foliage and the reflection of seasons — so stay tuned for the nip in the air. Then, come winter, when we’re all iced-in, you’ll be in your winter of 75F while we hover at below zero! Thanks for your visit to my blog!

  8. Spring definitely made its mark here. The thing I notice most is the change in the smells; we have a lot of trees that like to flower right at the beginning of spring, and it just makes the air so sweet and… it smells like growing.


  9. Ashlee, I will look forward to hearing about your Spring as we begin our descent into the cold icy winter months! I agree, Spring always begins with the wonderful smells: so sweet and of growing things. It must be absolutely lovely there!

  10. I absolutely cannot wait for fall! It was starting to feel a bit cooler here, but the humidity the past two weekends have been killer. I think I’m generally happier in the fall when the weather is cooler but not too cold, so I feel like I will be more productive in my writing as well.

  11. Jen, The humidity has been bad here, too, but I’m hoping this week — when we get rain from Hurricane Lee — that will start to shift. I agree, I’m more productive in the fall when it’s cooler but not cold (which we know far too well in Maine!). Here’s to low humidity all around! 🙂

  12. Erika Marks says:

    Oh, so it is! I can just hear my dad now, counting down the SECONDS of daylight we are losing every day! I always miss Maine in the fall (okay, yes, I miss it in all seasons…) but that crisp smell in the morning when the calender has decidedly turned–the chill, the faint smell of turning leaves.

    Oh, I can’t wait to see your autumn blogs, Julia!

  13. Erika, And so it is in Maine this time of year, lamenting the seconds as we descend into winter — isn’t it so!? I agree, Maine is quite special in fall, but I think spring is my favorite — so much hope! Fall always feels like a countdown to the bitter chill! I will try not to disappoint with the autumn posts!

  14. My tomatoes look like that, too! I’ve been trying to ‘air out’ our house somewhat since the air is cooler. I try and walk and run outside instead of going to the gym.

    Julia, I need to look into receiving your posts! I signed up a long time ago, and aren’t getting them, so am checking into that right now!!

  15. Reeling, I’m sorry your tomatoes got the blight too; so frustrating, isn’t it? It really is nice with the cooler and drier air to spend more time outside — especially since we know that winter is right around the corner! Not sure why you aren’t receiving the posts — I checked my feeburner and it seems to working okay. Have you tried resubscribing?

  16. Susan says:

    Still hot and humid here on the Virginia coast. Can’t believe you’re still getting all those veggies. Most of the farm markets are closed up now. I’m not complaining because I know the cold weather will come soon enough and I might as well enjoy the warmth while we still have it. Tired of my clothes, though!

  17. Susan, The veggies are great! That’s so interesting that your farm markets have closed up–ours are still open. I know what you mean about enjoying the warmth… our house was pretty cold today, but I know it will warm up again, and I refuse to turn up the heat this early!!