The peepers are back. In May when the night air is still cold and a season is on the rise, the tiny frogs loudly proclaim spring’s arrival from the swampy places where they live. Now suddenly it’s September and the evening songs from the swamps are softer, as if to signal the seasonal decrescendo.

The weather has been nonstop summery even past August this year, with ocean water so warm there will be swimming until October. Beach towels are faded from so much time on the clothesline, bathing suits have lost their elastic and the flipflops may or may not last another year. But there are noticeable signs of the changing season. The sun drops low in the sky earlier these days. Swamp maples are showing their first scarlet leaves. At Island farmstands crates of late summer tomatoes invite a weekend of roasting, canning and freezing. Clusters of clay pots filled with kitchen herbs on the back porch are still lush and green — but alas, their days are numbered.

Labor Day has come and gone. Island children have gone back to school. Football and soccer teams are on the playing fields. Autumn is around the corner.

The Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby begins on Sunday, and for the next four weeks hundreds of men women and children — Islanders and visitors alike — will turn their attention to the rugged sport of saltwater fishing. Their lives will revolve around the tides and the noble pursuit of striped bass, bluefish and false albacore, from boats and from the shore. The derby is the Vineyard’s fall classic.

Later there will be bay scalloping on the ponds and deer hunting in the woods.

This is also a time to look back and also forward — at the summer just past and the new season ahead. Unlike many other resorts, the Island doesn’t close up shop in the off season, far from it. Rather, most of the pressing issues are put on pause for ten weeks or so while Islanders work (many of them more than one job) to make ends meet, and nonprofits scramble to raise money for their causes.

Now begins the season of government meetings, budget planning, roundtable discussions and a return to many of the questions of the day, including this: has Martha’s Vineyard has reached its carrying capacity for people and vehicles during the peak season? Intense crowding and growing traffic congestion this summer gave more than one Islander pause to wonder.

But before all that, there is September to savor, a fleeting month when summer takes a final bow. There will be last swims, last walks into town for evening ice creams, last dinners with friends who are snowbirds and fly away to different climes in the winter months.

Summer is on the wing now too.