Fall tiptoed in softly last week, cloaked in the fog and humidity that have dominated the weather lately. Then yesterday the wind shifted to the east, promising drier air and some sunshine for the weekend. Water temperatures are still warm, derby fishermen are grumpy about the lack of fish and children are still out in shorts and T-shirts after school. But sweater weather is coming — any minute now.

And nature is still on cue, with goldenrod blooming at the edges of farm fields and near the shore. The New England asters are scant this year, no doubt from the lack of rainfall in late summer. Gnarly beach plum bushes that line the dunes and barrier beaches have been stripped of their fruit by enterprising Islanders who love making the tart jelly as much as their friends love receiving it — for toast, roasted chicken and everything in between.

Now impossibly, another September slips away.