image of tree

Oy. The leaves have started to turn. Time to lament the passing of summer already.

Or not. I was talking with Timbo about this last night, and he and I agree: Summer’s too hot. I like summer up until about mid-July when the temps get high enough to fry my brains if I don’t wear a hat and all the bugs in the world descend on my yard with the intent to eat me alive whenever I go out there. Sometimes it’s so bad that, to do something as simple as mow the lawn, I have to dress up in long pants and a shirt with sleeves, take a shower in bug spray, and put on a straw hat with a comically wide brim so my ears won’t sizzle like bacon in the merciless summer sun. And that’s if I get to keep moving. If My Darling B needs help weeding the garden I also put a net over my head like the kind beekeepers wear. If I don’t, I just end up swatting myself in the face over and over again so much that the number of weeds I can pull is so close to nil it makes no difference.

I don’t like to sweat when I’m sitting still, either. I don’t mind popping a sweat when I’m working hard, but when I sit and read, or sit and eat, or just sit absolutely still, I want to remain dry. I don’t think that’s too unreasonable, do you? I don’t want to have to uncross and re-cross my legs to keep them from gluing each other together, I don’t like having my clothes stick to me no matter what I do, and it really bugs me when even the tiniest rivulet of sweat tickles its way down the back of my neck. I’m sitting still! None of that should be happening! The only time I should be dripping sweat is when I’m digging rocks as big as babies up from the garden, roofing a house, lifting dat barge or toting dat bale.

These are just a few reasons that, from mid-July until the end of August, all I want to do is stay inside the house with the airco on.

Autumn is a relief when it comes, as far as I’m concerned. I love the return of cool weather, and the idea that bugs are dying by the truckload is very satisfying. Where do they all go? You’d think we’d be knee-deep in bugs, but unless they’re under the leaves I don’t see them anywhere. We live in an older neighborhood with lots of mature trees, so great big swirling piles of leaves wander to and fro across all the yards. Even in our yard, one of the few on our street that doesn’t have any mature trees (thanks a lot, previous owners), I have to clean leaves out of the gutters and B rakes up huge piles that she composts and throws on her garden.

I expect the bugs are getting recycled in other ways, though, that the birds and bats are fattening up on them before the cold weather hits. The irony of bugs getting eaten instead of eating me is fairly satisfying, too. I can’t fatten up no matter what I do (I’m one of those guys) so this is the time of year when I dig my flannels out of storage, start wearing socks that go higher than my ankles and get out in the yard with a rake.

Only a few more weeks.

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