Was there even a summer this year?
Not that I’m complaining. I’m a cold-weather fan. It’s just that, well, after a winter that didn’t ever seem to leave, and a spring that was cool and a summer that was pretty wet, it’s hard to believe that now we’re looking down the barrel at fall.
You can’t deny it, though. In my Moshannon Valley yard, I already have leaves falling off of my cherry tree.
School buses are rolling again and morning drives to school are surprisingly chilly for August. Pumpkin spice lattes are showing up everywhere already.
But if you want a really good measure of how autumn is already knocking on the door, I give you apples.
Apples kind of define fall. Cider, apple picking, school field trips to Way Fruit Farm in Stormstown, Harner Farms in Ferguson Township or Kunes Apple Farm in Karthaus.
And on Saturday, Philipsburg will see what might be the area’s first apple festival of the season, about three weeks before the calendar acknowledges fall is even in the air.
The Wagon Wheel Music Park is closing out its 2014 season with the annual shindig from 4-10 p.m.
There will be a chicken barbecue, a wine walk and music with Gary Turner and the Silver Eagle Band.
On top of all that, though, there will be apples, apples and more apples. Apple dumplings. Apple pies. Homemade ice cream. Am I drooling? I feel like I’m drooling.
They won’t be the last apples of the season, not by a long shot.
We still have time for hot cider and mulled cider and apple crisp and apple brown butter and anything else you can do with a Granny Smith and a cinnamon stick.
But like the first snowflake of winter or the first robin of spring, there is always something special about that special something that heralds the start of fall, and for me that’s a good celebration of apple.