The calendar is changing to September, which means our days lounging lakeside with a beverage are nearing their annual end. Here are eight signs that it is officially fall in Minnesota.

I actually love fall, but I am wise enough to realize that it's just the gateway drug to the awful hellscape that is winter.

1. The leaves are falling. I noticed something troubling on Sunday while golfing: the course was littered with brown leaves! Not only did this make spotting my golf ball that much harder, but it was a depressing reminder that summer is almost gone.

2. A deer jumping in front of my car. Driving to work Monday, a small deer darted out in front of my car. My son got mad at me and said that I scared him, but I think the deer was more upset about the impending hunting season.

3. The Vikings are practicing. It's been a little bit weird during COVID times, but the Vikings are indeed holding training camp in Eagan right now. Of course, they did have a dozen players test positive over the weekend...

4. The State Fair. So, there is no actual Fair this year, but the organizers of the Great Minnesota Get Together got creative and created a 'drive-thru' version of the fair. More food, less exercise!

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5. Blaze orange clothes hanging from my neighbor's tree. When you see the orange bibs dangling from a nearby tree (can't have human stank on 'em if you want a deer), you know it's almost time for half the male population in Minnesota to disappear for a month.

6. Back to school items on sale at Target. This is the most triggering thing on the list for me. Here I am in a tank top and flip flops looking to buy some water balloons for my kid and BAM I'm hit in the nose by the smell of pencils. Not cool.

7. Wrist getting tired from adjusting the temp in the car. Damn, it's chilly in the car this morning, better turn on the heat! Fast forward a few hours, you are finally leaving work and it's like 85 degrees. Your car is already hot before you get slapped silly by the heater you forgot to turn on. Don't worry, the car will cool down by the time you are just getting home.

8. Pumpkin errything. Pumpkin spiced SPAM! Pumpkin spiced shoes (yes, a real thing)! Pumpkin spiced almonds! Pumpkin spiced Twinkies! Pumpkin spiced pumpkin!