By Bruce Stambaugh
If you’re like me, you’ve been enjoying this wonderful summer weather. It’s the weather we longed for last winter when the wind howled, snow slanted sideways, and the temperatures were ridiculous.
After the long winter came a cool, wet spring, and torrential rains in June. I’m glad the weather has changed for the better. We are grateful for the abundant rain. By the looks of it, so are the crops.
Most corn was well beyond “knee high by the Fourth of July.” Its deep green, leafy stalks are soaring in most places. A soft breeze enhances that vibrant corn aroma after a summer shower.
Where water from June’s heavy rains pooled in depressions, crops are struggling, or non-existent. Weather can be cruel after all. Weather can be magnanimous, too, like recent days.
After horrible lightning and flash flooding, the loveliest of rainbows appears just at sunset. Nature always has her way with us. Fortunately, she has been kind to us here. Historically, the hottest days of summer are already behind us.
That doesn’t mean it won’t be unusually warm again. But the chances for a long heat wave or extended dry period are pretty slim. It would be nice if the same could be said for the parched western states.
We rejoice here for the many white, puffy cloud days we have enjoyed with perfect temperatures day and night. After the persistent rains of spring and early summer, contractors, excavators, farmers, and any other outdoor workers dependent on fair weather have had their prayers answered.
Fields of oats turned from lime to gray-green to golden right on cue. Now squadrons of shocks stand guard for the showy corn against any unwanted predators. In other fields, combined oat stubble serves as a russet reminder of where the wind recently played with amber waves of grain.
Summer’s hues, natural and human-induced, have been simply amazing. Besides the ripening crops, the flowerbeds seem to have invented new color combinations. Splashed against a blue, blue sky, they seem brighter still.
Foggy mornings wet the grass that has grown inches again overnight. The weather has been so nice that lawn care people can hardly keep up. Lush doesn’t even properly define our blessed verdant conditions.
The heirloom tomatoes flourished to the point of having to be trimmed back, least they topple their cages. The pleasant weather encourages them to counter attack by growing even bushier.
Evenings have been extraordinary. Friends ring campfires to rest, relax and celebrate nothing more than the fine company they are with. Families and friends picnic. Children and adults play ball, or just rock away the time on the front porch. That’s the way summer evenings should be shared.
I can think of only one word to describe recent sunsets, spectacular. One evening’s fiery show outdoes the next. And when I think the rich, warm colors will cool, they blush all the more.
Whenever I venture outside on these blissful days, my mind wanders back when the neighborhood kids spent the entire day outside, save returning to home base for sustenance.
After supper, we were back at it. If we didn’t have a ball game, we’d play hide and seek or rode our bicycles until dark. Then we’d lie on our backs in the cool grass and watch the stars.
It’s glorious not to have to rely on dreamy memories this summer. The weather we have longed for is here. Let’s enjoy it to the max.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2014