|There is a red barn straight ahead behind the trees...|
Summer has decided to remind us we are still in her grasp by increasing the temperatures to near record levels here at season's end. Perhaps as to say there may have been a minor slip up for a few weeks where we enjoyed comfortable weather but not to forget what summer is suppose to feel like in the Midwest.
I think our property is prettiest at summer's end... except for that one spectacular week or so in October when the trees seem literally ablaze with color. If one is sitting on the ancient Lazy Boy recliner in the family room facing toward the French door windows, there is an optical illusion that the house is higher than it actually is and that we live within an area of rolling hills.
It is caused by the house being built on the tiniest of hills and the way the trees in the forest across the road behind us set slightly lower than our property. For a moment one could think they are in the Shenandoah Valley or perhaps the foothills of the Berkshires instead of a river valley in otherwise flat land.
There are many signs summer's end is near. For one thing, all the flora and fauna are coming into late season mode. The squirrels have begun to snack on deck flowers, something they only do in late summer.
The garden looks far past peak, partly due to the near drought conditions we have entered (who would have thought it after such a rainy spring and early summer) and that usual bug eaten look the vegetable plants seem to get this time of year.
Even the hostas are looking old and withered a bit although the trees continue to improve with each passing week. Which makes sense as the rest of the greenery tends to peak far earlier than the trees, which (in my opinion) grow more beautiful until they reach their ultimate glory by shedding the green and showing us their brightly colored undergarments.
All of these changes can induce a bit of melancholy as we are saying goodbye to the season of fun and sun (albeit I was inside most of the summer!). But personally I find them comforting, as if God is reminding us of His life cycle on this (which is His) planet.
I found it interesting when reading the story of Last of the Summer Wine that the writer came up with the name of the sitcom because the leading men were in their late 50s... not in the autumn of their life but at summer's end where there was plenty of life left in them but they were beginning to feel the affects of age. Ummm... I can relate.
This week I will pick whatever green beans continue to grow on the vine in the very dry heat, the same with ripening tomatoes. It is time to cut back the remaining herbs (although I have let the apple mint all flower as spring was its' prime time for cutting).
But I will also take the time to enjoy being surrounded by the lush greenery of the forest knowing autumn is near and then the leaves will return to the ground. Then I will once again be able to view a sunset through the trees and my neighbor's red barn.