271: Learning to love summer

The neighborhood barn on one of the last spring days of 2011

It’s here.  My last season of the Life in the Bogs Great Outdoor Challenge.  Summer officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere at 1:16pm E.T. today.

This way to summer

Summer is my least favorite of all the seasons.  This year I’m hoping to learn to like summer.  Maybe even love summer.  You never know.  It could happen.

Learning to ♥ summer. Heart-shaped leaf of the redbud tree.

What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.

~Gertrude Jekyll, On Gardening

At 5:30 this morning, when I rolled over and went back to sleep, I forgot today is the Summer Solstice.  I planned to get up and watch the sunrise, to celebrate the start of summer.  It was cloudy and I would not have seen the sun, but it would have been nice to watch the sky lighten and to enjoy the peaceful quality of the early morning hours.

The wispiness of asparagus ferns

Having slept in, I decided I would celebrate this first summer day by looking for and admiring the beauty of the season as it presents itself around Breezy Acres.

And it was there, almost every place I looked.  It was in the reds, oranges, yellows, purples, whites, and the lush variety of greens.

The heat of a summer day

Summer’s beauty was there in the songs of the birds and the flight of the dragonflies.

Red-winged Blackbird

Butterfly (or moth??)

I discovered our first daylily blooms of the season today.  How wonderful of them to open on the first day of summer!  I associate the daylilies with summer here in the Bogs.  They bring what I think of as the orange season, growing on roadsides all over this area.  I often wonder if there was a daylily equivalent of Johnny Appleseed living in northeast Ohio, spreading the lovely orange flowers far and wide for all to enjoy.

Daylily celebrating the Summer Solstice

Come walk with me, talk with me, meet my daylilies.

~ April Ware

Canada Thistle

Some of the flowers in the wildflower meadow are beginning to bloom.  I don’t know what many of them are, but I can tell you their colors.  There are several different kinds of yellow flowers, from the large, almost squash-like blossoms to teeny tiny little flowers that you might not notice if you weren’t looking closely.  Some sort of yellow flower that likes the water has appeared near the pond and around the cattails.  Back in the wildflower meadow, the thistle and daisies are blooming, and the coneflowers should be making an appearance soon.

What are you, little yellow flower? I can't find you in my flower book.

I wanted to go back to the woods, but hadn’t dressed for it (long pants, boots, hat) or prepared for it (insect repellent).  I almost braved it, but a persistent deer fly and rumbles of thunder made me change my mind.

Today's view of the pond

The deer fly, having found me, stayed with me for most of the rest of my walk.  He finally tired of having me swat at him and left me when I was almost back at the house.

The cattails on the first day of summer

The fireflies have been putting on a light show in the evenings.  I’m looking forward to sitting out there tonight and watching as they dance and blink and parade around the meadows, celebrating this first day of summer.

Two red clover, happy together

In summer, the song sings itself.

~ William Carlos Williams

Daylily in gold, processed in Picnik.

It is easy to like summer on a day like today, when everything seems so alive and buzzing with joy.  It’s warm (in the 80s) and humid (my hair is curling and frizzing), but the breeze is nice and there are hints of cooler, drier weather in the wind, in the clouds, and in the rumbles of thunder, all announcing a cold front is on the way.

Sunlight and shadow in a cornfield, a day or two before summer arrived.


28 Comments on “271: Learning to love summer”

  1. Robin, I think you need to come visit me here in Texas, and experience our summer…. I can guarantee you that you will go home and LOVE yours! 😉
    Such beautiful pictures again…. I like the redbud leaf, the bird, canada thistles, and the double red clover. The last one is really beautiful, too.

    • Robin says:

      lol! No thanks, Michaela. I’ve lived in the sweltering south (South Carolina and Georgia). Ugh. And St. Louis, Missouri, which had to be the most humid state I’ve ever experienced. You’re right. I should be loving summers here in the Bogs. 😀

  2. Anna says:

    Really enjoyed the post and the wonderful photos. The first photo and lily photos are so beautiful! Today, for summer solstice, it is cool with low humidity. Odd…. yet we’ve had storms from a cool front. Happy Summer! 🙂

  3. MN in my Rearview Mirror says:

    Beautiful pics!

  4. comingeast says:

    The pictures were a feast for my eyes! Loved the quote by William Carlos Williams. Would love to know why summer is your least favorite season.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, ComingEast. 🙂

      The main reason I don’t care for summer is the heat. And the humidity. I’ve never liked hot weather, not even as a child. I think I was destined for somewhere near the Arctic Circle but got lost prior to birth. lol!

      There are things about summer I like. If I could spend my summers near the ocean or in the mountains, I think I’d appreciate them much more. As it is, I take what I can get when we go on vacation (vacation being one of the things about summer I like).

  5. Karma says:

    I’ve always loved summer. I love it now for similar reasons we all did as children, but I love it more now for the relaxed pace and the much-looked-forward-to beach vacation with my family. It looks like you are on your way to loving it too expressed with your lovely photographs.
    You are actually just about done with my photo hunt without even trying! You have a colorful bird, something purple, and a butterfly all in this post! You took the bonus picture a couple weeks ago, and I bet you have some cute dad, grad and funny face shots in your archives somewhere! 🙂

  6. Eden says:

    I’ve never seen red clover grow like that before 🙂

  7. I’m not a big fan of summer either–I just don’t like the heat. Yes, it’s probably my least favorite season, as well. I can only tolerate it when the humidity is low and the temperature doesn’t creep above 85.

    At any rate–the lilies/day lilies are stunning, Robin! Just gorgeous!

    Kathy

  8. Summer is quite grueling. At least yours is a bit shorter than ours here in the South. Your photos are, again, just wonderful.

  9. I’m not big on summer either. Gorgeous photos.

  10. Derrick says:

    I’ll echo the Daily Click in saying if you want to like your summer, come hang out here in Texas!! LOL.

    Great pics. I like the impressionist style of the fern image, and really dig the reflection picture with the cattails in it. Nicely done, thanks for taking us along on a walk!

  11. ladyfi says:

    What fabulous shots! The summer solstice here was sunny and then very cloudy and thundery so I didn’t take any good pics of the sunset. But I do love summer, particularly when it follows a long, dark and cold winter.

    As usual,these photos are just fabulous!

  12. penpusherpen says:

    Hi there Robin, I always linger the longest on the water photo’s…. Instead of being a Leo, I should be …um… what’s the water sign? Pisces? or (Google time I fear, ah? they say three? Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, so was a 1/3rd right) … Fantastic colours, fantastic shots, the reds glow, the yellows shine, and all the others are simply divine. (sorry it seems my mind tries to rhyme all the time. I wonder where the off switch is? 😉 )
    Many thanks for sharing your day, I always love to call in, stare a while, and soak up the atmosphere. xPenx

  13. Bo Mackison says:

    I am a summer fan, though we generally have our best weather in summer and autumn. Just the number of flowers in bloom will bring a smile to my face. I think summer days are especaily grand at their beginnings and ends. A summer sunrise with the birds in chorus, or a quiet sunset — those are my best summer times.

    Hope you learn to love at least some of summer this year–there’s a lot to love. 🙂

  14. Marcie says:

    I somehow can’t imagine NOT loving summer. It’s my absolute favorite..carefree..fun time of year. Hope you find a way to fall in love!!!

  15. The hot, sticky days get me too, Robin. I have to keep repeating, “It’s 110 in Oklahoma. Aren’t you glad you’re not there anymore?”

    Doesn’t help much…

    If it gets too bad, there’s always the pond!

  16. tjfox says:

    I had intended on being up to greet the sun yesterday morning as well, but we also had clouds that would have prevented me from seeing it. That and a call that went a bit too late in the night made it just too difficult to do my traditional summer greeting. It looks as though you still managed to enjoy it. Lovely photos as always!

  17. Beautiful images! There is an amazing amount of color that comes to life in the summer, and I thought the only pretty colors were in the Fall! With my new appreciation for nature, this may be the first summer that I’ve enjoyed in a long time!

  18. milkayphoto says:

    I cannot even fathom the thought of NOT loving summer!! It is my all-time favorite season and I relish it every single year. So far, ours is looking like it will be a good one (tho, last summer will go down in history as the best one in a long, long time) and I hope it turns out to be! Summer is the time for lazy days by the pool and in the gardens, laughing at the antics of the critters, taking in the warm sunshine and ocean breezes. Dinners are done on the barbecue and fireside chats in the evening with a glass of wine and some S’mores and perhaps a visit by the raccoons.

    Ah, summer…it is what gets me throught the year!

  19. Barbara says:

    Oh those awful deer flies are as annoying as can be! We live for those cold fronts come summer… Your summer solstice pictures are joyful, bright and sunny, Robin – each one as striking as the one before it. At least the flowers enjoy the heat and humidity… Is that the sun behind the Red-winged Blackbird? What a great shot! Thanks for sharing so much natural beauty.

  20. Robin says:

    All of the comments on this post led me to thinking about summer in a different way, and I’ve ended up doing a whole blog post about it rather than continue to answer each comment individually.

    Thank you all so much for your thought-provoking comments. 🙂

  21. […] of the comments on my Summer Solstice post (271:  Learning to love summer) on Tuesday were mixed and thought-provoking.  I didn’t do a count to verify it but it looks […]

  22. SAJ says:

    congrats on entering your last season of your challenge! that’s a big accomplishment! the flowers are just gorgeous – i especially love the asparagus wisps

  23. […] 271: Learning to love summer (bogsofohio.wordpress.com) […]


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