Outside with Charlie: Autumn’s in the air

By From page A9 | September 20, 2013


We are in the waning ‘Dog Days’ of summer, aptly named because Sirius, the dog star, is on stage in the sky.

There’s about two weeks of summer left. The autumnal equinox is Sept. 22, at 1:44 pm. PDT, marking the end of the long days/shorter nights we’ve enjoyed.

On Sept. 22, day and night will become about equal in length. Then, slowly, the days get shorter and the nights a little longer.

Autumn will have arrived.

Each year this signals a subtle shift in outdoor recreation for those on the trails, up in the mountains, or  in kayaks and canoes on one of our fabulous lakes.

As the daylight hours shorten, so do the outdoor activities. Misjudging daylight hours can lead to an aborted hike due to darkness.

The same goes with paddling around in your canoe or kayak. Lakes in the Crystal Basin don’t have as much water so those really cool rocks  you used to glide over are now obstacles. Being able to see them will save your worthy craft from becoming a cousin to a bumper car at the fair.

Cyclists really have to pay attention to the daylight. Lights powered by fresh batteries is important to see where you’re pedaling is good — being seen by cars that you’re sharing the road with is even better.

Even with all of the smoke from the Rim fire filtering up into our neck of the woods, hiking, wandering, and outdoor recreation is still really good but that’s not to say that the smokey conditions are gone entirely.

With all of the schools now in session, the number of people out on the trails and lakes has dropped. Take advantage of the late summer transition into autumn and get outside.

Charlie Ferris

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