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.
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.
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)