I have to admit, as much as I love everything about summer and all its delectable side dishes, this time of year does get to be a bit wearing.
In January we dream of this; day after day of warm weather and ceaseless outdoor activity.
Long walks under a bright morning sky, lazy afternoons reading on the beach or gliding mindless under 10 feet of briny sea. Soft evenings concocting barbecue and cocktails, entertaining friends under the stars.
Magic to all on a cold winter’s night.
But by mid-august, it does get a little wearing; the heat, the sun and all the rest.
You begin to feel yourself waking up tired…waking up sore…and tired. Tired of artificially cooled air. Tired of afternoon thunder showers. Tired of the wall of hot air that greets you with a full body slam every time you walk out the door.
By mid-August we should be rolling in tomatoes, yet this year we’re not.
Oh, we have plenty of tomatoes, but green and far from ripe. They’re more like mid-July tomatoes than mid-august.
Not sure why.
Too hot, too dry, too wet?
Not sure why.
Now, for the most part, we have stems and no flowers…they’re all gone, when they should be thriving, like they did last year.
At first I was ready to blame Oscar, our bunny in residence, this year. But if Oscar was responsible for all of these stripped flowers, he would have been one fat little bunny…and he’s not.
So I did a little research and apparently there is some sort of airborne fungus disease called Downy Mildew that’s killing all the impatiens. It may have actually come in the soil the plants themselves came in from the nursery.
So the dead flowers don’t help the wearing either.
Of course Z, the master gardener, was quick to make repairs and filled in with an assortment of replacement flowers, resistant to the damage, so our gardens are still nice to look at on a late summer afternoon, with garden hose in hand.
I guess the best thing about late summer afternoons, this time of year, is that they lead into late summer evenings. The sun sets beyond a garden of pine off in the distance and takes the late day heat to bed along with it. Above the horizon a line of clouds transforms into ribbons of pink set on a bed of brilliant blue. Slowly, the cicadas lose steam; their grinding, grating bluster, gives way to the heartening song of countless crickets whose music never gets old.
As the sun goes lowers, your spirit rises, then settles in for the night, like the cooling northerly breeze.
A dragonfly dips, hovers and hums, the air freshens and the body replenishes.
Tomorrow we’ll do it all again.
On second thought, it’s not so wearing after all…it’s just summer.
It wears well…..
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