Timing of summer's end a matter of perspective for Western Pennsylvanians
A date on the calendar, the sun's position relative to the Earth's equator, and even Google can tell us when seasons start and stop.
Yet folks in Western Pennsylvania often mark the end of summer and start of fall differently.
“As long as the Pirates are still playing, it's summer,” said Dave Clement, 74, of Greensburg while walking outside PNC Park, hours before Pirates fans filled North Shore parking lots for the last game of a series against the Cardinals.
Fall won't start “until the Pirates have their final say,” Clement said. Once that happens, he roots for the Steelers, followed by winters cheering on the University of Pittsburgh basketball team before baseball warms up in spring.
Autumn officially begins on Sept. 22, according to the calendar. The sun will shine directly on the equator; day and night will be equal in length. About 724 million Google search results will tell you that.
For many, however, summer ends this weekend.
“Labor Day, that's the end of summer,” said Bree Nixon, 18, of Bridgeville, a first-year student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. “I go to bed earlier. That's when summer ends for me. I start to take school seriously.”
Children who haven't gone back to school will do so in the coming days. Football games have started. The North Shore lots filled for a Steelers preseason game on Thursday and Pitt's opener on Saturday.
And the tomatoes and corn are just as Art King likes them — ripe and tasty.
“It seems like in the fall is when everything tastes better,” said King, 59, owner of Harvest Valley Farms in Valencia, Butler County. “I really don't understand why that is.”
Labor Day marks the peak of King's vegetable season — its hump day, he said.
Harvesting slows during September, flattens out by October, and except for a few hardy crops, nearly stops with the first frost.
Then the days shorten, leaving less time to work in the fields after his 5 p.m. dinner and evening cup of coffee.
“Of course you can see the weather change. When you go out in the morning, the dew is so heavy you have to have a raincoat just to walk through the cornfield,” King said.
King said he loves fall, if only because of the tomatoes and the corn.
Brian Luna, 31, of New Kensington is not a fan of the season.
“No more fun anymore,” he said of the end of summer.
Luna, who works for Folino Construction in Oakmont, said his weekends will fill with chores and errands. Work with concrete will taper off in November.
“You really can't pour concrete when it's cold and icy,” he said.
And although winter might seem months away — its official start is Dec. 21 — Pittsburgh's Department of Public Works will soon check salt stockpiles and prep snowplows.
Aaron Aupperlee is a Trib Total Media staff writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Defying the odds makes this Thanksgiving particularly poignant
- Group’s proposed fracking moratorium for Allegheny County parks to go on council agenda
- Millions in pollution fines went unused for decades in Allegheny County
- Rare surgery helps woman beat paralysis
- Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank adds chief financial officer Lutovsky
- Apartment development outlined for former Schenley High School in Pittsburgh
- Reading Harry Potter provides clues to brain activity, CMU researchers say
- Dinners, other Thanksgiving events planned in region
- Girl, 12, rescues 4-year-old sister from burning house in Homestead
- Newsmaker: Daniel Eichinger
- U.S. Steel Tower tenants stand to benefit from company’s relocation