Summer’s end brings another kind of sweetness | Editorial

There’s a sweetness in the air as summer gives way to fall.

Tomatoes, in glorious shades of reds and oranges, are finally ripening. The fall-bearing raspberry bushes outside our home are yielding just enough fruit for a fresh bowl each morning. Vines are heavy with blackberries. Zucchinis are proliferating.

And while many of our Island’s mellifluous birds have already begun their migrations south, they’ve been replaced by other natural wonders — like the bioluminescence that turns our beaches into places of magic this time of year.

Twice last week, various configurations of our family made our way to KVI Beach in the cover of night to see if we could find that fleeting fairy dust in the sand. We weren’t disappointed.

When our dog ran, her paw prints glowed in the dark behind her. When we jumped, our own prints created such an impact that it looked like someone had spilled a carton of milk — though only for a few seconds. When we took a stick and ran it through the wet sand, symbols suddenly appeared and then faded away, like some kind of secret code.

Our exchange student, a teenager from Liechtenstein, a country that’s double-landlocked, as he likes to point out, asked what it was. Though we’d looked it up before, we couldn’t quite recall enough details to explain it. Couldn’t we just call it the magic of the world?

It’s been a week of such wonders.

We got a call at The Beachcomber from an Islander a few days ago who just learned that Vashon is home to northern flying squirrels, a discovery she made, unfortunately, when her cat dragged one into her home. Who knew, she said, that such delicate and rare creatures — nocturnal animals that sleep in tree cavities during the day — lived on the Island? Didn’t we want to write a news story about them, she asked?

Another Island friend emailed to say she’d seen a coyote on Vashon — her first sighting in her many years on the Island. She, too, thought maybe there was a story here.

And while kayaking the other day, we were amazed by the thousands of jellies that surrounded our boat, milky-translucent critters that floated past in thick, ethereal clouds.

Of course, none of these wonders are inexplicable. It’s all part of the ecosystem we inhabit — a delightfully temperate place blessed with a species-rich inland sea, forests that harbor mammals and birds and humans who love to till the soil.

Taken together, we live in a blessed part of the world. And so it seems especially now, on these golden days of September — summer’s last hurrah.

— Leslie Brown, editor


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