Dog Days Of August

A butterfly lands Friday Sept. 8, 2000 on a large black eyed-Susan flower which grows along Interstate 80 near Gretna, Neb., as dried-up corn stalks are seen in the background. The seasonal black eyed-Susan and the drying up of the corn hint at the end of summer.
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
Something about mid August. You catch a day or two when there is just the slightest hint of a season coming to an end.

In the countryside, just outside of New York City, the changes are everywhere but not obvious. If you're on a bike, as opposed to a car, they are a lot easier to detect.

August has a different scent. All those long hot days have cooked the grasses and wildflowers. The tree fruit is ripe — some of it has started to drop, fermenting in the open field. The brooks and streams are down to a trickle. Our very wet spring and early summer has given way to hundred degree heat, which has also heated up the ponds and lakes — almost like bath water as my mother used to say. And that's why on these occasionally cool nights, when the air temperature is cooler than the water's, it looks like steam covers the water at sunrise.

Mid August and already summer's days are numbered.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith