It’s not time to change the clocks yet — that happens in another month — and with lingering heat and humidity there’s been no chill in the air either, but the seasonal shift has been palpable this year nonetheless. All around the Island, internal clocks are changing.

The frenetic pace of summer is gone now, replaced by the sigh of September. This is the month when summer flowers fade, giving way to tiny asters in wild meadows and pots of chrysanthemums on doorsteps, the month when the sand is still warm from the sun and bluefish begin to run in cooling ocean waters. For working year-round Islanders, it is a month of transition.

The autumnal equinox was Thursday morning, marking the official start of autumn.

An editorial in the Gazette six years ago noted:

“If summer on the Island can be defined by the often-heard phrase, hurry up and work like hell, fall feels like an invitation to lie back and linger. The days have grown shorter and yet at the same time they seem longer, most likely due to the extra time available to enjoy them.

“Routines and schedules are in fashion again. The kids are back in school, workloads lightened, (unless you are a teacher), and the possibility of everyone making it home in time for dinner much greater now. Paychecks may be smaller, but sunsets at the beach, nature walks and good old-fashioned porch sitting are still available free of charge.

“Acorns seem to be everywhere on the ground. The squirrels are not yet at work collecting provisions to get them through the long Island winter. The fable of the ant and the grasshopper extols the virtues of planning ahead, but perhaps, at this moment, the squirrels know best. Although cooler air greets us each morning, it is wise to remember summer has just ended. There is no need to do anything quite yet. Far better to remain suspended for a while, like our planet, before tilting toward the next phase of life.”