Autumn arrives early next week, on Monday, before dawn, before deer bed down from their nocturnal meandering, before flying squirrels end their night gliding and gathering, before honey bees bounce along the pink blossoms of the sedum.

Birds will be roosting when the night goes autumnal, the feathered ones now quiet when dawn’s murky light elbows its way between the branches. Chipmunks will be dozing in the dens, refueling for another September day of toting nuts.

Deer and flying squirrels, birds and chipmunks, all must feel something of the same no matter whether moving or at rest as the season tilts from summer to autumn.

At 2:50 a.m., the Big Dipper will be watching from the north, and the Milky Way will stretch out to see the arrival of autumn. I will awake to the new season, with no thought or care of where summer went. By August, I’m waiting for autumn.

Six weeks from now, however, I will ask how autumn vanished so quickly, the softness of September and color of October having slipped through the bare branches and into the steely November sky.

For now, though, my mind and feet will wander, summer soon behind me. In the words of poet Sarah H. Whitman:

“I love to wander through the woodlands hoary

In the soft light of an autumnal day,

When summer gathers up her robes of glory

And like a dream of beauty glides away.”

Greschner is the Rice Lake Chronotype sports editor.