Is it okay to call these glorious, dry, warm Fall days “Indian Summer?,” my friend Teresa asked as we looked around from the top of Mt. Riley the other day. There we were, in shirt sleeves, in September– with dry boots too–
She meant if using the term itself is culturally appropriate– I’m not completely sure, but I think it’s okay. I don’t know for certain, do you? I do know that this technically isn’t Indian Summer, even if the weather is unseasonable, the flowers are all on steroids, and the blue skies and teal sea seem photo-shopped, though my images don’t do them justice.
On the East Coast where Indian Summer is said to originate, it was used to described a surprise stretch of warm weather with high pressure and clear skies that arrives following the first frost in what was Algonquin country, usually in mid or late October. (At least according to the Farmer’s Almanac.)
We haven’t had a frost yet, and it doesn’t look as if one is coming anytime soon. That is not good for moose hunting, which begins Saturday. The mosquitoes were so bad last weekend up the river that I wore a head net setting up camp, and was bit through two shirts. I couldn’t eat lunch because I had to keep spitting them out.
Still, it’s a small price to pay for these days:
(Yup, there are a lot of bears around.These are tracks from this morning’s dog walk.)
What I want to say is: What a wonderful world this is. How lucky am I in to live in a place where there are enough of the original inhabitants to wonder if our modern terms cause offense, and to care that they don’t?– And that the Chilkat Valley still looks so much like it has since, as those old timers say, “time immemorial.”