Saturday, August 06, 2016

Late Summer

It must have been clockwork. My local grocery store turned a switch on July 5, 12:00am. The whole store was bedecked in all-American gear, bunting, flags, pinwheels, and by midnight on July 4, all of that was discounted to 90% off and replaced with Back to School items. Ugh. Crisp folders, lunch boxes with Hello Kitty emblems. While there's much to be loved by the smell of freshly sharpened Dixon-Ticonderoga No. 2 pencils with all that wood smell and fresh lead, it's still summer! The chanterelles have just come out strong, the sunflowers are now blooming, and the suite of cicadas with the varying calls are out throughout the day and night. It's not time for back to school and pumpkin ale!

What with the moist weather, the frequent rains, I still see the leaves of wild ginger and other spring wildflowers, blooms long gone, but vegetation persisting. The rains have resulted in quite a bit of issues, not all positive, with significant flooding in quality watersheds that now have high levels of cyanobacteria and gravel accretion in the streams. I'm not accustomed to early August vegetation being green and in flower, but it is as it is, and it's certainly due to these frequent rain events, more moisture, and unnatural patterns. The katydids are still churning, with their nightly "wrent, wrent, wrent" calls. Summer is still alive and well despite the push in the commercial world to promote Halloween. Tomatoes and peaches are widely available at farmer's markets; check out all those stands that are popping up on rural roads. Man, they have some great summer produce. While I love Missouri apples, I'm not ready for them to replace the peaches.

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