Perfect-July Summer

It’s been stinking hot lately, but I don’t mind.    Mid-July is my favorite time of the year.

I love these hazy, muggy dog-days.    It’s the Peak of Summer.

This is the only time of the whole year that there aren’t any subtle reminders of WINTER.

Not that we dont’ have warm weather during May, June, August and September, but it’s just not quite the same.

In the beginning of May, the trees are still bare, and there are till patches of unmelted snow in the woods.   It’s not unthinkable to get a signficant dump of late-season snow, even when the tulips are blooming.

And when it does briefly get to 30C…dont’ even THINK about swimming in the lake, unless you enjoy hypothermia.

June is the officially the first month of summer, but the remnants of Old Man Winter haven’t left yet.  Snow flurries early in the month aren’t impossible.   Frost warnings are not uncommon, threatening the freshly-planted gardens.

Even towards the end of the month, many an late-evening soccer or softball game has been played with people shivering in their shorts.

It’s the time of year when you can run your air conditioner and furnace, both on the same day.    As for swimming, the water STARTS to become swimmable…just barely.

By mid-August, the nights get noticeably shorter, and cooler.  There’s a dampness in the air, and you might want to put on a sweater.  And some of the early leaves already started to change (I always hated that!)

Summers’ peak has passed, and things are already starting to wind down.

And September…blah.   It’s back-to-school, which I still find depressing, even though I’m in my mid 40’s now.

Most of the flowers have bloomed.  The berries are finished:  farmer’s markets only have starchy squash and pumpkins now.

And it gets dark quickly after supper.    There’s a chill in the evening air,  which makes you sad, because you know it will be over soon.

By the end of the month, the leaves are peaking, starting to fall, and there’s frost again at night.   By mid-October, the snow flurries have started again.

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But July….ahhh.

Sweet, sweet July.

July is hot days, and warm evening with lots of daylight.  Where you have 5-6 hours of outside play-time, even on weekdays after work.

July is being entertained by  intense thunderstorms that break up the heat waves.  Where it looks like all hell’s going to break loose,  and you wonder if there’s gonna be a funnel cloud.

July is the worst part of the bug season being over….the black flies are gone, and the mosquitoes have settled down.   You can actually walk in the woods without being eaten alive.

July is strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, ice cream, blue Slush-Puppies,  barbecued steak, and cold beer.

July is having to only wear a minimum of clothes (to cover your modesty).   No putting on jackets and hats and mitts and boots.

July is hot hazy days, where you can’t wait to just plunge into the lake.  And let the cool sweet water go between your toes, armpits and every nook and cranny, making you shiver, not with cold, but with delight.

July is cicadas humming early Saturday morning,  promising you it’s going to be a scorcher of a day.

July is largemouth bass…beligerent, aggressive, and fun as hell to catch.  And even more fun to throw back to catch again for next time.

July is the “Sweet Sweet Canada-Canada-Canada” cry of the white-throated sparrow sparrow, the plaintive cry of the loon, and the hot wind whooshing through pine trees.

July is camping out in the wilderness, by the water’s edge at night,  pondering the silver-gray band of the Milky Way, and feeling insignificant.

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Make hay while the sun shines, they say.

And the sun is shining right now, so I’m making hay.

I”m spending almost all my time outdoors, to capture this narrow. fleeting window, of perfect-July-summer.

My painting, personal projects, and housework are being neglected.    My place is a mess.

But that’s okay.

That will all still be there when it gets dark and cold again.

But July won’t.

(*Photo credit:   Raspberries by Friar’s Mom)

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11 Comments on “Perfect-July Summer”


  1. @Friar – You make 32C and 90% RH sound almost bearable.

    @Friar’s Mom – I’m drooling on my keyboard over the raspberries!

  2. Friar's Mom Says:

    @Wee Friar,
    Thanks for ackowledging my photo. I remember the day when I took that photo with my macro lens, I had to kneel on the ground, under the branches, and wait patiently for the wind to abate. I took a lot of photos before I got that one.

    @ Canadian Army Wife,
    Three years ago I gave Friar some of my raspberry canes. This year, his prolific crop is superior to mine.

    My favourite summer desert is a bowl of fresh raspberries served with a rich creamy vanilla ice cream.

  3. CaptainPush Says:

    108 in the shade right now Brother.
    We’re in our cocoon staying cool.

    When are you coming back to the desert? We miss you.

  4. XUP Says:

    I love this time of year too – for all the reasons you waxed so poetically about. Why are we living in a place where we actually only really enjoy our environment for a few short weeks every year? It’s crazy. I’m packing my bags right now.

  5. Friar Says:

    @Friar’s Mom

    One day I’m gonna paint those berries. But it’s a tricky subject in watercolors. Redish/pink hues, and and each berry compartment has it’s only highlight.

    @Captain Push

    Ahhh…the “Stupid Hot” days of the Southwest. I remember them well.

    Yeah…I’m gonna have to go down to the desert again sometimes, and visit you guys.

    @XUP

    And if you go TOO far south (like Georgia or the Gulf Coast) the summers are stinking hot and miserable.

    Somewhere in between, there must be a fine band of climate, where the temperatures are “just right”. Gentle winters, but the summers aren’t too insane.

    I wonder where that is? Ohio or Kentucky?

  6. Friar Says:

    @Army Wife

    32C and 90% RH is bearable. In small doses. Fortunately, the doses where I live are small.


  7. Hi Friar,

    Like you, I enjoy the longer days this time of year. Just a few extra hours seem to make a huge difference in what we can get done outside.

    And yes, all that other stuff waits. *sigh*

  8. XUP Says:

    I don’t think I’d want to live in the US — especially not a place like Kentucky. I understand BC has some more moderate climates. Or Europe — somewhere along the Mediterranean

  9. Friar Says:

    @Barb

    And that stuff will CONTINUE to wait!

    (One of the advantages of living alone…I have no one to nag me). 🙂

    @XUP
    One of my friends had this to stay about the US:

    “I don’t want to live in any State that still re-enacts the Civil War”.

    And I tend to agree.

    I’d LOVE to live in BC. Eventually, I hope to…but not in expen$ive Vancouver.

  10. Pauline Says:

    Great post Friar! I feel the exact same way! Forget Christmas, July is the most wonderful time of the year!!:)


  11. […] A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Perfect July Summer,  when summer was at its peak.   The weather was stinking hot, the days were long, and everything […]


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