At 9 a.m. last Saturday, under bright skies, the gates to Lewin Farms in Calverton officially opened for apple picking. Pumpkins will soon follow across the North Fork, along with hardy mums. Pumpkin-flavored beers have already snuck onto supermarket shelves and the pumpkin spice latte will be the next popular choice for coffee drinkers. High school football officially kicks off this weekend and, in a few days, students board buses back to school.
As the calendar flips to September, and with Labor Day on Monday, we bid farewell to summer, the fleeting season that always leaves us wanting more.
For many, that first weekend of September is a painful reminder that the summer whizzed by before we enjoyed enough time in the pool or at the beach. Maybe it was the annual trip to Splish Splash you never quite got around to or a visit to the new Alive on 25 street festival in downtown Riverhead.
On the South Fork, the end of summer for locals comes with a hearty farewell. The crowds that descend into the Hamptons begin to dissipate and life begins to return to normal.
But as we know on the North Fork, autumn only brings more crowds and logjams. Ever try driving along Sound Avenue during the height of pumpkin season on a beautiful fall Sunday? Yes, it can be a pain.
It would be understandable for most residents to go into hibernation on weekends over the next two months. But let’s not forget what it is that draws so many people to this wonderful area. The wineries are a perfect backdrop to enjoy a fall afternoon. Apple and pumpkin picking are always a blast for young children. And don’t forget about the other bountiful fresh produce available at farm stands across the North Fork. Perhaps it’s time to dust off the golf clubs without having to worry about 90-degree heat ruining the afternoon.
So as summer draws to a close, fret if you must about the chaos of fall, but don’t forget to enjoy some of its luxuries as well.
Photo caption: Pumpkins at Krupski Farms in Peconic on Tuesday. (Credit: Vera Chinese)