I love summer. I love the long daylight and the heat. I love the steamy days with their green smell pressing all around me as I bike and walk and I love the sharpness of a fierce sun on my shoulders when I come out from under the tree canopy. I love my black eyed susans booming out by the road and around the butterfly bushes that sometimes are covered with tiger swallowtail butterflies. I love the scorch of the deck wood on my bare feet and I love the hum of a curious bee around me as I sit with feet propped on the railing, glass of wine in hand. I love the rasp of cicadas in the heat of the day and I love the call of a wood thrush as the evening breeze moves through the woods. I love the sharp heat of the rocks along the rivers as I clamber over them looking for a pool to dunk my feet in and I love the heavy green grass that fills in the low areas in the rivers as the dog days bring water levels down. I love summer.
I live outside on my deck or porches, basking in the heat like a lizard or watching the lightening bugs drift up through the trees. My squirrels, Fatty and Fatty, are joined this year by their children, Larry, Moe, Curly Joe, and Shemp, and they scramble around me, raiding the bird feeders and slurping from the bird bath, so accustomed to me that they have tried to climb up over me where I sat. A skink with a blue tail slides its quiet way across the porch floor in the morning, as unperturbed by my presence as the squirrels. Hummingbirds work the bee balm and feeder and occasionally spar with a bee over flower territory. Chickadees, wrens, tufted titmice flutter around the porch and feeders, and my cardinals chirp at me indignantly for neglecting to refill their seed. I don’t care about bug bites, heat rashes, poison ivy. I don’t care that I’m blinded by sweat, stink from it, risk heat stroke. It’s my season. I love summer.