Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's Time To Tuck Away Sweet Memories

Summer. June begins that most vivid of seasons . . . long sun-dappled, flower-splashed and fragrance-filled days.

She makes a gift to us of 15 hours of daylight, of colorful, early dewy dawns and brilliant sunsets, made more brilliant by billowing, graying thunder clouds.

Summer spreads its glory over the land in the exquisite black and orange of the oriole, it sings to the bubbling song of a wood thrush, it hovers on the iridescent wings of the ruby-throated hummingbird, it yodels with the raucous call of the great-crested flycatcher, and sighs with the purring, mournful song of the wood pewee.

Now we sit, or amble along, and notice the extravagant red of a tanager, the shifting blues of the indigo bunting, the sheen of the blue-gray on the back of a gnatcatcher, or the bright yellow-orange of a prothonotary warbler.

Trees are fully leafed out, come this first month of summer. Roadsides are awash with sunflowers, coneflowers, taodflax, may-apples, morning glories, trumpet honeysuckle, wild geraniums and ragged robins.

Fields and meadows are a lush green. Little streams giggle as they flow over smooth, silvery rocks that have touched the toes of bathing feathered wood nymphs.

The first fireflies appear in June, spangling the warm nights with hundreds of twinkling lights. Swooping, gliding, diving, night-hawks are high overhead, seining the air for gnats, mosquitoes and moths. June is alive with sound and action.

By mid-month our yards will be awash with fledglings. By now, young Carolina wrens hidden in the sasanqua hedge, cheep like spoiled brats begging for Big Macs. Ratty looking fledgling cardinals sit on the fence waiting to be fed, mouths agape and begging. Already immature, spotted-breasted robins over our lawns, show the arrogance of the parents.

Song has diminished somewhat, and for good reason. With the parents making hundreds of food-totin' trips a day to feed the squawking young, little time is left for making music.

Most of the young yokels will rest again this season, but the preponderance of summer visitors will begin to prepare for fall migration. How quickly the year turns!

June with its green lushness and pretty, dewy dawns and colorful blossoms scattered over the countryside, is a month of sweet memories to be tucked away in the mind.

Come winter, recalling these will sustain you through all the cold, wet, rainy, snowy days of the frigid season and you know June will be again.

Good ol' summertime!

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