From falling ash to total eclipse to high temps, it was a Northwest summer like none other

Seattle’s summer for the history books is told in photographs and in our memories.

It’s back, that soft conversational patter of rain on our windows and roofs, announcing in silvery voice our farewell to summer.

This is The One, we know, those of us who have been here a while. This is that rain that announces the seasonal gyre has turned.

But before our Northwest destiny sets in with the bigger, week-in, week-out splatter yet to come, savor for a moment longer this summer just past, a season like none other.

From ash sifting through skies amber with smoke, to moonrises crimson from forest fires closer than we along Puget Sound are used to. And the blaze of the sun’s corona around our dear moon, as it blocked just briefly our view of our sustaining star, in a total solar eclipse.

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And what heat, what brilliance, what golden glory, all summer. A real baker, tied with 1967 as the hottest ever, and an all-time record-breaker for dry weather.

Remarkable, especially after that gusher of an all time wettest rainy season ever. But when summer finally came, some of us had our best tomato year. Off to a slow start, yes, even weeks late. But then our gardens and P-Patches and farmers market stands overflowed with summer bounty — tomatoes actually red, actually ripe. Now that was fun.

We stayed out in the parks, on the beaches. Goofed off, showed off, camped out savoring every late delicious hour of daylight.

And so now our contemplative season begins, our turn away from the sun. To our season of renewal, a soft swaddling of gray, and a long, sweet, watery time.

Like the salmon, we return in the fall rains to our homes and haunts, back from long journeys. Snug in to our hibernacula of clouds.

The circle complete, we will begin once again a water year that will bring, if we are lucky,…

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