I know it’s nearly the middle of July, but I feel like my summer has just begun.
Having helped the kids close out the school year, worked to pull together the pieces of one job and started a new one, and taken several work-related trips out of state, all in May-June, I didn’t have the typical ease into summer.
While I’ve been indoors filling my brain with things I need to know for this next phase, summer had been unfolding without me, or so it seemed.
But this weekend I finally had a chance to go on a walk with some of the kids. To me, a stroll around the neighborhood is one of the truest signals of summer, and it didn’t disappoint.
Who knew grapes could grow in North Dakota? Not me, until my son and I noticed them crawling along the top of a neighbor’s chain-link fence.
And the lovely hydrangea. Nothing says summer like this bounteous beauty.
It didn’t look quite right, as if the wrong kind of weather has affected its growth. And yet, there it was, a mark of this year’s summertime landscape. I’ve named this shot, “3 Shades of Leaf.”
That was from Saturday night’s walk. Then Sunday, I found myself on another. My walking partner helped lead me into Lindenwood Park, where we were both drawn by the river and surrounding vegetation, not to mention a little shade to shield us from the direct heat of midday.
Including a girl carrying her pet boa constrictor. She even let me pet it, and explained how its iridescent sheen is indicative of fresh, newly-molted skin.
True story: I thought she was from the zoo, and when I asked if she was, she said no, just a pet owner. This cute little fella had a proper name but I can’t recall now just what. Isn’t he so sweet, though? The kind of warm-fuzzy thing you want to curl up with on a lazy afternoon. (Not!!!)
Sometimes, you get lucky. Had we arrived a day later, this bridge would have been closed for the summer.
On the way back into North Dakota, I finally got the photo I’d been trying for all along. This is what makes such a jaunt worth the trouble and a little extra sweat. I call it, “Where the Red River Flows.” Or is it red fern? Either works here!
Q4U: What signals summer to you?