Summertime & Driving Barefoot

Old Tracker July 2016

Old Tracker July 2016

There’s that end of summer feeling in the air. The sounds and colors have adjusted themselves, the birds are quieter, and the green of the trees is less intense — a little faded. I hear more crickets, cicadas and katydids than birdsong. I discovered a beautiful green grasshopper on my porch yesterday afternoon. Soon I’ll have a cricket in the house; they always manage  to sneak in. I love this time, I appreciate more the preciousness of each sunny day and clear blue sky. You can sense the fleetingness of it — that it’s nearly over. It’s getting darker earlier. We had a glorious orange moon last week  — a harbinger of autumn’s harvest moon. I know there is still summer left, and with a little luck we’ll enjoy an Indian summer well into September and October. The vibe has changed too. You see more kids around, families are back from vacation, and the schools supplies are bursting off the store shelves.

Black-eyed Susans 2016

Black-eyed Susans 2016

I relish the flowers of late summer: black-eyed Susans, dahlias, phlox, and asters. It’s been a banner summer for roses, which were earlier in the season, and lately for hibiscus the largest I have ever seen. They are the size of Frisbees! I’ve seen some wild flowers I haven’t seen in ages: lady slippers, blue bells, foxglove, oxeye daisies, honeysuckle.

Bluebells & rustic chapel 2016

Bluebells & rustic chapel 2016

I was talking to a friend of mine who lives in Greenland and she sent me a photo of Artic Poppies — I didn’t know there was such a variety and they grow wild there.

Artic Poppies

Artic Poppies 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the cooler air approaches and sandals and flip flops are no longer practical I am really going to miss driving barefoot. This used to make my father crazy. My mother did it, and then with each female of the family acquiring her driver’s license the magnetic attraction of feeling the metal of the pedal was just too great to resist. I’ve noticed over the years that a few of my women friends do it too. Maybe everyone does it, I don’t know, but often they sheepishly admit to it. Why, I wonder. But once everyone cops to it, it’s like we all know the secret handshake — our little club. Driving barefoot, and going barefoot is a part of summertime, the tactical sensual pleasure of feeling things under your feet — the gas or brake pedal, the clutch, cool grass, the sand. As children we went barefoot all the time, nothing bad ever happened. I guess we were lucky. It was nice being free of shoes, it was another layer of the structured part of the year that we could shed.

Sunrise on Lake Placid 2016

Sunrise on Lake Placid 2016

The end of summer makes me nostalgic for past summers, joyful, carefree times. As the season rolls up I would like to think that we can put a drop of summer in our pockets and carry it with us through the ensuing seasons.

Clare Irwin

P.S. Zinnias, and Nepeta (catmint) — banner year for them as well….

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