Fall tiptoed in last week, like a teenager who stayed out too late and didn’t want to wake the household. After a summer of changeable weather — chilly rain in July, sweltering heat in August, oceans roughed up by frequent offshore storms — when September finally arrived, it was like a warm hug from an old friend.

Ah, September, Islanders said to one another as they went about their daily lives.

Golden days cast long late-day shadows across lawns and farm fields, richly green from so much late-summer rain. Swamp maples — always the first to turn colors on the Vineyard — have taken on a subtle russet hue. Any day now they will turn bright scarlet. Goldenrod and tiny wild asters are ubiquitous. Derby fishermen dot the shorelines. Children are back in school. Traffic has noticeably lightened.

Now suddenly, here comes October.

And just like that, summer has turned to autumn.