Saturday, June 07, 2008

Texas Summer too hot? – Nope!

I love summer. I love working when it's real hot and sunny bright. Even though my job requires wearing fire-retardant clothing, I actually find the heat and brilliant sunshine irresistible. When many are complaining about the high temps, I am out in it piddling, tinkering and just wandering around.

At home my bride and I sit on our patio and soak up the rays. We're seriously considering getting one of the Baytown Pool businesses to install an in-ground pool so we can enjoy the sunshine even more. I am open for recommendations if anyone thinks one is better than the other, as I do not want to send our money outside of the city if I can help it.

I was off for the better part of last week and had my mower running almost every day. I use the mower for exercise and when the sun is blasting away and the temperature is smoking hot, I want to feel the sweat running down my back. I even mow the pipeline behind my place and that adds a third of an acre to my sunny entertainment.

With the billowing clouds and burnished sun, we decided it was the perfect time to shovel and wheelbarrow eight yards of pine bark mulch into our flowerbeds (my bride told me it was perfect timing). I'm going to wait for another hot sunny day next week and get eight more yards to finish the job. I'm simply waiting for the work order to come down from my bride and anyway; I always need the exercise and what better way to get it than in the blistering sun with a shovel in my sweaty hands?

My bird feeders and birdbaths are a constant source of sunny entertainment and my usual seed offering runs about 3 pounds of wild bird mix and black oil sunflower seeds. This year we've had a bumper crop of squirrels and 2 in particular grace our patio. They're babies and about the size of sparrows. Truthfully I'm worried a cat or hawk will pick them off, they're so innocent and reckless, but I must let nature take its course. I learned this sad fact watching Meerkat Manor. Speaking of sad facts, my sweet little doggie of 14 wonderful years was finally laid to rest and we are just now recovering from her loss.

This past week I was delighted to see a pair of Mississippi Kites and an American Swallow-tailed Kite flying over the neighborhood. Up till then, I thought the only kite in the sky had a string attached to it. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was heavily seated in my wire rocking lawn chair, (which incidentally makes my gluteus area look like a waffle iron for all you lady readers, especially Granny Adcox out in Highlands) binoculars in hand, cool iced green tea on the table when to my surprise I identified a pair of crested Cara Cara, commonly known as the Mexican eagle, flying above. I got on the horn and called Sally Sherman at the nature center and she told me it was indeed a rarity. By the way, later on this year I plan to join Sally for the butterfly count – everyone is welcome to join us. Last years count can be found here.


I keep my bride annoyed/amused by calling out what airplanes and jets I see using my binoculars. "Can you believe that is a 747 way up there"? I say as I point. "That's a Continental Express Embraer mate" I imagine to offer in a thick Australian accent as I ponder the life of a WW2 island coast watcher. "Did you see that small jet over there? It had USAF markings on the wings"? It's non-stop important information on the patio.

Would you believe that I am harvesting delicious juicy tomatoes about the time that they are being recalled? Would you believe that I unfortunately do not have enough to share? True, true. Is it just me, or do big juicy homegrown tomatoes picked off the bush taste truly righteous when salt is sprinkled over them?

Ah folks, our summers are hot and muggy and at times unbearable, but the more time we spend outside the higher our quality of life.

Texas summers? Bring 'em on and I'll take the sunshine over our winters any day of the week.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Having been born and raised in southeast Texas, sometimes I think I'd like to try some of those northern winters. I hear I would tire of them quickly.

The older I get... No regrets please.

The older I get, the more I realize how much time I've wasted that could have been productive. Not for one second do I think ...