Since we’re now in August, I’m starting to plant the fall garden as well as beginning to see fall and even Christmas decorations up in stores. As much as I love fall, I gotta admit summer does have a small piece of my heart. I complain a lot about the overbearing Southern heat, the killer humidity, and way too much rain but I love a lot of things about summertime.
1. Flowers everywhere you look. You can’t go anywhere without seeing flowers on the side of the road, flower gardens in people’s front yard, even around store parking lots. Of course, I always grow flowers in the garden and I’ve been collecting wildflowers for dyeing this summer. I have seen many, many beautiful flowers this year, including wildflower species I haven’t seen before such as the Crane Fly Orchid.
2. Bugs! Now I know most people hate bugs and I can kind of understand where they come from (I, myself, not being the biggest fan of spiders or mosquitos). But I love watching bees, butterflies, grasshoppers, dragonflies, cicadas, damselflies, you name it! Watching the insects in their natural habitat and go about their daily business is just mesmerizing.
3. Forests full of fungi. It’s not a secret that I like to hunt for mushrooms and other fungi in the woods. I love photographing them and identifying them. Lots and lots of fungi are the up side to the many summer storms.
4. Gardening, growing food and digging in the dirt. This is the main reason I look forward to spring and summer every year. I love to see the garden full of flowers, tomatoes, tomatillos, squash, pumpkins, swiss chard, okra and so many yummy herbs. Seeing the colorful display of edible and beneficial plants just makes my heart full of joy.
5. Wildlife stirs and thrives. Here on the property, there’s a family of deer that kinda wander close to us. In the spring and summer, the mama deer often bring her fawns to come graze in our yard just a little ways from the house. Sometimes I even wake up in the morning and look out my window to see the little guys playing and munch on grass. On top of the deer, I normally see a lot more birds in the summer. This year I have seen countless Brown Thrashers, Eastern Robins, Red Cardinals, cranes, and ducks fly over every now and then, and a couple Red Tail Hawks live in the woods around us.
6. The green covers everything. In the spring, when the trees are just beginning to get their leaves, I always say it makes me feel small. Because it does make me feel small but in that child-in-awe-and-wonder kinda way. Watching the mountains, that was once a beautiful shade of brown, seem to grow taller with a fresh coating of lush green and the fields seem to get longer with green grass up to the fence posts. It’s a beautiful transformation. That being said, I thoroughly enjoy watching it all turn shades of golden yellow and crimson but the transformation into spring and summer also holds a special place in my heart.