I must be more superstitious than I thought, because I momentarily hesitated before typing this: I think the summer’s heat has broken. Oh, I don’t mean that fall is here yet. I just mean that the heat and oppressive humidity of midsummer seems past its high point. Temperatures are currently in the mid-80’s, sometimes flirting with 90, but those days of the mid-90’s flirting with 100 seem past. Not a moment too soon, as far as I’m concerned.Suddenly being outside is pleasant again, and the pre-dawn mornings are cool enough that I need a long-sleeved shirt or at least a heavy polo shirt. A walk with Dog or Baby Dog is no longer a sweat-fest. It’s a blessed relief. The chickens are no longer droopy-winged in the afternoon, beaks open. The dogs look forward to their walks and don’t act as though a walk is a punishment.
Cicadas are in full throat, or at least whatever passes for their throats, right now. They make it so noisy that conversations outside after dark are close to impossible. I’ve given up listening for the great-horned owls calling to each other down in the valley. I can’t hear anything over those cicadas. This is as noisy as it ever gets here on the mountain, and I look forward to when the sound will dim, and true quiet will return. Certainly cicadas are better than chain saws or lawn mowers but only just.
With the cooler weather, it’s time for me to do more than just think about some of the outside work that I should accomplish before winter outside the cabin. This year, it will be mostly some clean-up work, and the annual fix-up in the basement utility area. I need to clean up the back deck—currently littered with some downed twigs and leaves, not to mention bird feeders. I need to start thinking about cleaning the gutters—that one can wait for a while. I need to buy more of that sandpaper tape to put on the deck steps before it gets too cold to stick to the steps. That stuff is a wonderful help to prevent slips and trips in bad weather, but it needs replaced almost every year. I should think about giving the patio door frames another coat of stain.
The list is always endless. The only thing bad about cooler weather is that now I have to do something about all those projects. In hot weather, I can be excused for not doing anything more than thinking about them.