Labor Day

Labor Day

Today is the Labor Day holiday in the United States. America’s May Day.

Labor Day is traditionally the end of summer when friends and family gather for the last summer barbecue. It vies with Christmas and New Years to be the least worked day of the U.S. year.

Vacations end, schools reopen, the fall sports season begins particularly American football, the culture season begins in the great cities especially operas and symphonies, and everyone piles back to work.

Many species of birds are flying through and many of our own species are readying to leave. The wild turkey are eating madly to beef up for winter. Deer fawn are grown and losing their spots. Our pet dogs are shedding handfuls of hair all over the place.

Where I live in the Driftless Area near the Mississippi River in the Upper Midwest, the great green forests are beginning to change color. Soon there will be piles of yellow and red leaves where now there are only patches. The sumac are a deep red, elm turn yellow, maple become blood red and oak a warm, deep orange.

Many species of birds are flying through going south and many of our own species like the hummingbird and red-winged blackbird are readying to leave. Shots can be heard along the great Mississippi as hunters try to get some of the migrating ducks.

Days shorten. Right now we have 13 hours of sunlight, but that’s shrinking by nearly 3 minutes a day until December 21 when we’ll have less than 9 hours.

And we all know that right around the corner the leafless forest will be covered in snow.