I was reading once about words, and how sometimes the words we use for things set perimeters that are, in actuality, kind of arbitrary. The author went on to describe how we see the year divided into four seasons, simply because we have four words to describe the seasons.
As a great worshiper of weather, I was particularly impressed by this example. Yes, of course, I love summer, that hardly has to be said. But I love early summer in a very different way than I love late summer. Early summer has this kind of promise, this pre-4th of July excitement, where you think of projects to accomplish and make lists of books to read. Early summer is all plans and popsicles. Late summer, on the other hand, when you can just start to feel a certian crispness to the air in the morning, which makes waking up like eating an apple, that's a different love. Like, clip-off-the-friendship-bracelet-you-made-at-camp-and-tape-it-into-your-journal kind of love. It's still summer, make no mistake, but the quality of the sun is different, and you can feel it while picnicking.
One of the reasons I like summer so much is because summer has a communal nature. It's hot, we're all hot, and we all experience it together. More than any other time. Picnics, swimming pools, parks, 4th of July fireworks--these are places of togetherness with strangers. Late summer is a gradual end to this, and a reintroduction to our separate lives. The ease of summer into fall is a happy kind of mourning, but a mourning nonetheless.
If I were naming seasons, I would have given late summer a name of it's own.