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Autumn is finally here; say goodbye to overstaying summer
Dairy farmer Melvin Luis is oblivious to the flock of black birds behind him as he leveled the back part of his field late Sunday afternoon in preparation for fall planting. His dairy is located on Woodward Avenue at Oleander in south Manteca. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO/ The Bulletin
The long overstaying summer of 2010 that continued to bake the valley with sizzling near triple-digit temperatures weeks after the official start of autumn on Sept. 23 is finally just a memory.

At various sports events and community celebrations on Sunday in Manteca and surroundings such as the Egyptian Festival hosted by the St. Mark Coptic Orthodox in Ripon, out came the umbrellas from their warm-weather hibernation. For some revelers at the Egyptian festival though, the lack of any protection from the season’s first major rain shower did not dampen their enthusiasm as they taste-tested a whole plethora of Egyptian cuisine and feasted their eyes on the wide array of cultural attractions while listening to a band play lively festival music.

But it was all quiet in the almond orchards as the rain temporarily put on hold harvest activities. Almond growers are wrapping up this year’s harvest with some of the late crops being picked up in the fields for the busy hullers.

While surrounding agricultural fields were largely deserted late Sunday afternoon, dairy farmer Melvin Luis took advantage of the lull in the rain showers by taking his heavy equipment to his fields at Woodward and Oleander Avenues in south Manteca to level the ground at the east end of his property. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company had just finished installing underground pipes at that particular part of Luis’s field which created a bump on the ground. Luis said he cannot start planting his crops until his field is leveled.

As he rode his tractor back and forth along the length of his field against a backdrop of gloomy skies, a flock of black birds feeding on seeds left over on the ground followed the machine’s every move.

Milder weather is on tap this entire week with highs in the mid-80s and lows in the 40s and 50s, according to the extended forecast from the National Weather Service. Early motorists and commuters will find patchy morning fog today and Tuesday, but will be greeted by mostly sunny skies on Tuesday. Wednesday’s bright sunshiny day accompanied by highs in the mid 70s and 80s will be followed by more cloudy skies on Thursday with temperatures going down to the mid 60s and 70s.

Fall weather will assert itself again on Saturday and Sunday when the days will be cloudy with a slight chance of rain throughout the weekend, according to the extended forecast from the National Weather Service.