Monday, August 21, 2006

I've just seen my first definitive sign that summer's winding down.

Starlings a few feet from me, in the front yard, have molted a lot of their iridescent, black summer plumage in favor of their duller, brown, spotted winter coloration.

Also, their bills have completed the switch from being bright yellow to dark brown.

There are still some hints of their summer plumage remaining. One bird ventured into full sunlight, which revealed that it still has some of the summer iridescent feathers remaining. But I know those won't be around much longer.

When I was a kid, I'd see my first glimpse of starlings with summer plumage, in February or so, and be pleased to realize that spring was coming. (For that matter, that sight still makes me feel that way NOW. :o) )

But at the end of summer, my first glance of winter plumage, in late August, would feel like seeing a "Back to School Sale!" sign. It'd serve as a reminder that summer vacation was nearly over, and all too soon I'd be back in school with those bullying, miserable excuses for human beings I called classmates. And even though school and summer vacations are things of the distant past, I still feel some lingering sadness when I'm reminded that summer is nearly over.

Or maybe it's just a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder, caused by the ever-decreasing amount of daylight that marks this time of year. Who knows?

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