Summer Clouds

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This spring, last winter’s unseasonably warm and dry conditions had us wondering if this summer would too, be unseasonable. I braced for fleece in July, shorts and t-shirts left folded in the drawer.

As nearly all are, this worry was unfounded.

If anything, this summer wanted rain. Not so good for growing things, but very agreeable for accomplishing outdoor tasks or pleasurable pursuits.

There were summer storms, some strong. The driveway hosted rivulets at least a couple of times, and lightning so fierce, the sound of it crashing began like a piece of thick paper being violently ripped.

Eighties, and particularly in July, nineties seemed to be the norm. August sped by under hot sun and sultry evenings, slipping nearly unnoticed into September.

And now? This week’s seasonable dip in temperatures is forecasted to give way to eighties again next week. Never ending summers really don’t happen here on the hill.

Soon, there will be an evening, when a deep inhalation brings to the lungs air fresher and cooler than what can be enjoyed from the refrigerator.

 

 

 

Dwarf grey sugar pea blossom

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Just recently have the pea seeds, planted on a whim late this summer, grown up to the point that they’ve begun to blossom.

Delicate flowers appeared just around the time average weekly temperatures moderated from the nineties to the mid eighties.

This small but downward temperature shift faces us toward summer’s end, autumn’s start.

A race now: what will come first fruit or frost?

 

What goes up…


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Just as “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”, it’s said that “you can lead a cow up stairs, but it’s afraid to walk down stairs, and so, never will”. I know of one neighbor who often keeps new calves in her dining room the first few days of their lives without mishap, but no steps or ups and downs are involved there.

“A crane or tractor, and sometimes, a bullet.” was the grim response when I asked how the situation was resolved if some prankster actually succeeded in leading a cow up a flight of stairs. So, it’s probably best that the anecdote not be tested.

Passing by the huddle of girls above reminded me of this peculiarity of the bovine mind. For many minutes, the cows remained frozen along the bank. The calves, who blindly followed their elders, found themselves stranded half way up the slope when standing room ran out at the top.

One could almost imagine their thoughts:

“I know we must have gotten up here somehow because we are up here now. I think we were eating a nice patch of grass when all of a sudden we were up here, but I just can’t remember right now….”

“If only, oh, if only, if just one of us could figure out how to get down, we could all figure it out, and we’d be saved !”

I’m not sure whether it was memory, intelligence, or perhaps the fluttering of a nearby butterfly that drew one of the girl’s attention to another nearby patch of green along the top of the bank that spread out to the meadow below.

Whether by intelligence, or observation, one brave bossy stepped toward that grass patch that gently led down the slope. The herd followed and was saved from being stranded forever on the dirt bank.

Oh Happy Day!

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Jerusalem artichoke

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These  Jerusalem artichokes, also called sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour, appear every Summer about now.  Though the mercury continues to toy with 90F, siting these blooms cools me right off.

Bright yellow seems to mark the zenith of the Summer. From here on out, there will be more yellow flowers, then goldenrods, then oak, butternut, and aspen leaves will admit to the onset of Autumn.

Though continuing to enjoy these Dog Days while keeping an eye out for Sirius and the Pleides, mind continues to drift to Winter.

Now, walking outside one almost feels the hot moisture in the air pressing on one’s chest. All it takes is a short walk past the refrigerator, opening the freezer door, and a deep inhalation to remind us of how Winter feels.

In a few more months, a big breath out the open back door will afford the same sensation.

 

Rose of Sharon

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The last week of July finished with day after day after day of 90+ degree weather.

The Rose of Sharon has become prominent; the tall yellow sunflowers as well.

These colors are harbingers of change. The days now are around the same length as they were in April. Each one shorter; each one closer to ski season.

Meanwhile, wander over to Forest City Friday the 5th, and Saturday the 6th for “Old Home Dayz” celebration, even if you’re not from around here.

Wear a smile, say hello to as many folks as you can, and experience why so many of us so enjoy living here on the hill,  ‘far from the madding crowd’, near a city ‘so named being settled in heavy forests’.

 

How much different can heaven be?