Purists will note that autumn officially begins on Sept. 23, but in south Louisiana, we note the arrival of fall not on the calendar, but in the air.

Recent cooler temperatures tell us, with some relief, that we've survived yet another summer in this hot and muggy part of the world.

We don't want to spoil things by bragging too much. Heat and humidity tend to remain a part of the local landscape, even in autumn - even, in fact, in some days of winter.

Maybe we aren't through with tropical weather just yet.

There's still plenty of heat in the Gulf of Mexico, too - a rather potent pot of potential storms as we enter the home stretch of the hurricane season. But the brisk mornings and evenings have been a welcome respite from the high temperatures of June, July and August.

We haven't yet seen any T-shirts bearing the logo, "I survived the summer of 2011," but that feeling of pride is with us, nonetheless.