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It might have been lost in the excitement over Teddy, but fall arrived at 10:30 a.m. ADT/11:00 a.m. NDT last Tuesday. I think you’ll agree that the first weekend of the new season was quite lovely. Today, it feels like summer never left. Compression between the blocking Bermuda High and a slow-moving cold front approaching from the west is serving up a stretch of warm, humid weather.
I moved to Atlantic Canada more than 22 years ago; yet, each year, I’m amazed at how lovely the autumn season can be here. Back on the farm in Ontario, fall seemed to come and go very quickly. We were always sad to see September come: summer vacations were over, we were back in school and the garden was starting to look a little tired. Despite all of that, Grandma found something to celebrate. On September 29, she would be the first to wish everybody a happy Michaelmas Day; September 29 is the feast day of Saint Michael.
Traditionally, Michaelmas was the last day of the harvest season. In many areas of the country today, the harvest is still in full swing at the end of September. Our crops have been modified for higher yields, and in some cases require a longer growing season. Then there's the issue of our changing weather – more on that at another time.
As you know, Grandma watched the calendar quite closely, and on September 29, we would head out to assess the acorn situation. According to weather lore and Grandma, of course, - if there were lots acorns on the ground on Michaelmas, there would be snow on the ground before Christmas.
While we were counting acorns, some people were eating goose. In many parts of Europe, September 29 is called Goose Day: "Eat goose on Michaelmas Day, want not for money all year". I don't think Grandma knew about that one; things could have been quite different.
Michaelmas Day has a special meaning here on the East Coast: Saint Michael is the patron saint of the sea, Maritime lands, ships and boatmen.
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network