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The Indian Summer

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There 19 a graat difference of opinión i among those who are wise in weathe Í lore as to the exact time when Indian 3ummer makes its appeararice, som weather prophets declaring that it in eludes every warm day between Mi chaelmas day, the 29th of September and Christmas, while others lócate i in tho raonth of Oetober. Indeed, th opinions of scientists do not agree an; better thau those of ordinary individu als, but seem to be as hazy as the seasoi itself. After looking up muchscientific data on the subject, and making a consonsu of popular opinión, the fact seem established that this pbeuoiiieuon o seasous really belougs to the montli o November, although the signal service uotes say that if Indian summer doe not come in October or November i will come in winter, as if it were a sor of movable seasou. Neitherdoscientist agree as to the cause of that hazy at mosphere which aceompanies the season a condition peculiar to North America It was attributed by early settlers in this country to the smoke from prairie flres kindlcd by the Iudians - henee the name, "Indian sunimer. " But it is uow said by scientific investigntors tha the appearance of smoke is an optica illusion produced ' by a peculiar condi tion of the air, which might be compar ed to a dry fog. Sentunentalists declare that it is this dreamy haze which gives lts great charm to this short, delightfn season, when the whole world of nature appears like a beautifnl droam. It is the flfth season, the mellow ripeness of autumn, when creation .stands still in a lazy, lauguorous mood, and the picture is vanishing and indistinot like one of Coror's landscapes. It is the golden Bunaet of tho year, brief and evanescent. Like a mirage, the ludían summer does not wait to bo investigated. It is here - 'it is gone - before the wonld be investigator was a ware of its preseiice. It is such a restful, happy period that peoplo are content to enjoy it without asking qnestions, yet there is much in its phenomona that is worth the most careful scientific inyestigation. It has been suggested that the dreamy haze whirh accompanies the season is coniposed of animal life of such a minute form as to be incapable of microscopio exaniination, but of snch innumerable quantities that they obscure the atmosphere and redden the sun. Ifc is alsc churged to vegetable matter, but these ii" mere theories which have not yet been proved. Another token by wh.ich this genial Iniiian summcr makes itself kuown is tile absoluto silence of nature herself, as if she were taking a vacation froni winda that blow and clouds that Bh"4de. There is such a stillness in the air from sunrise to snnset that sound itself seems to have gone asleep. But there is no loneliness in the sileuce. It is only ;is if everything were resting, bathed in the happy sunshine. The flowers are gone; the singing birds have flown to their southern clinies; the leaves liave dropped from the trees when the Indian summer comes trailing her white veil to cover the desolation and filling all hearts with the tranquillity of her gracious presence. There isa tonic in the air she brings which chemists canuot bottle nor charge commercial rates for - whiffs of suuuuers that have beeu contracted into a few days and gone beforo we can analyze them to say, "This is balsam, or that is balm. " It is a drat't for the gods. The subject of Indian summer was investigated as long ago as 1 835, when Dr. Lyman Foot of the United State anny in his report says that the Indians gave the season its name by calling it their "fall summer, " which occurred in November. The doctor was stationed at Fort Winnebago, Missouri territory, at the time and wrote from observatiou. He says: "Wo arrivcd at this post the 3d day of last November. Wé had threa weeks of Indian summer, with all the peculiar rédnesa of the sky iu great perfection. " He adds that he had loug observed the season with curious attentiou and calis for an expression of opinión on the subject from other observers. Professor Willet advanced the theory in a report made to the government in 18(iT that the dry fog is real smoke nofc produced by prairie fires, but tho product of chinmeys. The late Professor Henry of the Smithsonian institution roported that a portion of the haze, filtered, was found to coutain the lava of volcanoes and fragments of burned vegetables. Neither of these distiuguished scientists added anything to the turo of onr Indina suunner, so when doctors disagree it is uot expooted that ordinary ol;servers will be ablo to formúlate any tenable theory of its cause. The next bcst thing is to eujoy its opportunities, loaving its origin to the unkuown sonrce vrhence it is derived. New Englaud is especially favored by this after sumrner guest. In that land of rocks and rills the stillness of the occasion is more delicious, the haze more poetic and the winds more languorous in their passive acquiescence in thia meditativo mood of nature. Emerson must have written of this period: 'Twas one of the charmed days When the goniuH of God dotli flow. The wind may il tor twenty ways, A tempost c:umot blow. It may blow north, it still is warm, Or south, it still is clear, Or cast, it smells like a clover farm, Or west, no thunder fear. The caprice of the season is to wait until wiuter 13 almost upon us, theu to drop unexpectedly like a benedictiou with sunshine and warmth and a restfulness that soothes and comforts her fractious children and whisper to them sweet promises of heavenlv death. -


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