Longing for a balmy Indian summer


Where did fall go?

It seems to me that we went straight from summer to winter.

But wait … I am forgetting about Indian summer, so there are hopes for a warming trend after the current cold snap is over. It should not last long.

What is Indian summer and where did it get its name?

Indian summer is what we have always called that spell after cold weather sets in. It is a cousin to blackberry winter or dogwood winter, and most definitions that I see say it is a period of “unseasonably warm, dry and calm temperatures following a frost or cold spell in the autumn” (in the Northern Hemisphere, of course).

There are many theories as to why the warm spell is referred to as “Indian summer,” but some beliefs say it falls at a time when the Native Americans harvested crops. The warming trend is more common in the central states that typically lie south of the jet stream and away from harsh weather patterns.

While climate warming is the reason given by some, this warm trend has been occurring for centuries as noted back in early settler days.

For whatever reason our climate is what it is. I will be happy to see some warmer crisp days ahead before the brutal winter months hit.

Perhaps God gives us this opportunity to get some outdoor things in shape before freezing temperatures hit for the long run. Who knows?

It is a term that I have heard all my life. And I am ready for it. I hope it lasts until spring.

What are your thoughts?

DENNIS RICHARDSON is president of Magic Valley Publishing, which includes The Bartlett Express.