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July 5, 2022: The Essence of Summer

I knew the essence of summer as a kid, but I lost it when I began as an adult. So the search is on. I haven’t found it in its entirety, just in bits and pieces, here and there.

Of course, the sight and sounds of birds, here, mainly robins and swallows. The geese, they are a sign of spring and fall. The woods, plants, first wild roses and dandelions, then wild geraniums, and now fireweed. There are also smells, of green grass and horse hay.

The leaves on the trees are now dark green and they rustle in the wind.

The smell of cottonwood is an early spring smell.

The quail are now guarding babies by jumping out in front of horses and dragging their wings, so that we presumed they’re wounded. We know not to follow, but she doesn’t know this.

Alys and Raudi coming up from the mud pit

Dust on the road when the cars go by.

Limited water.

The sun low in the sky, in the northwest, casting long shadows later in the day.

Heat, colder in the mornings and evenings and uncomfortably hot in the middle of the day.

Dogs at midday lying on the cool tile.

The smell of meat cooking on other people’s grills.

The sight of freshly turned compost, steaming as it continues to cook.

Dog poop underfoot.


Orange popsicles.

Swimming pools, smelling faintly of chlorine. Right now, I’d do anything to have a pool in my yard. Hot tub? These are a winter item. And yes, floaty toys.

This is all I can think of right now; although, after I sign off, a thousand more images will come to mind. No, make that a million images.

Another hot day – makes me lethargic in the late afternoon; although, when it cools down, I come back to life. Tonight, enough so, that I took Tinni for a walk/run in the woods. He perked right up.

No one is complaining about the heat because we do not dare. Our rough winters, with the double digit below zero temperatures are a reminder of this, as are the trees with their broken limbs (some with greenery on them) hanging at bent angles.

The baby swallows are now making a lot of noise. They are quiet in the evening and get active at night. The parents are zipping about, catching bugs and bringing them back – repeatedly.

In the a.m. the robins are more leisurely about things. They’re hopping around on the ground, maybe hoping to find a worm here or there.

Pete and I both agreed that we are glad we don’t have a cat. It would break my heart to see a dead baby swallow or robin on the doorstep. I could not forgive a cat for that.

The animals are enjoying having yard time. Nice, not to have to mow. I cheer the goats on when they go for the birch saplings on the side of the house.

I’ve been working, in my head, on this dispatch for many years. I have finally pinned down the essence of summer.

Next: 183. 7/6/22: Moving Forward

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