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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

If I Could Figure Out How to Blur This Title, I Would

Summer is always a blur --

Every year, come fall, whenever people ask (as they always do ask), “How was your summer?” I answer, “It was a blur!” Because every year that’s just what it is. The blur is a reliable phenomenon for those of us who work through the Up North summer.

Take the long, 4-day (this year) 4th of July weekend. People in business in little tourist towns always feel that the 4th will never arrive, and then – suddenly! already! -- it is upon us!!! This year the pace began at the beginning of the week and continued heavy through Saturday, easing off by early Sunday afternoon as holiday-makers began heading home. The Motovino/Lelu people mounted a four-day music festival, “North by Northport,” the first in Northport history, with music at various venues throughout the village. Music began before noon each day and continued until at least midnight, sometimes beyond. Could this be our little town? Wow!

In the woods, under beech canopy
Leek flower
I managed to get into the woods with Sarah each morning for restorative quiet, where, thanks to our late, cool, slow spring, jack-in-the-pulpit had extended its season into July, overlapping with wild leeks reaching their flowering stage. It’s been a good strawberry year. Looks to be a good year for bramble fruits, too. Sweet cherries are (already!) being shaken, but I don’t want to count the little green plums on my tree, for fear of jinxing the crop.

Canada anemone
Along the roadsides, coreopsis has come on gangbusters, black-eyed Susans are starting, and the first chicory added a few lavender blue notes. Giant catalpa trees (not my volunteer “baby” one, which must not have reached its sexual maturity yet -- can anyone tell me if this is the reason it lacks flowers?) have bloomed. Some are hanging onto their orchid-like blossoms, while others have let them drop to the ground, where white lakes of bloom have formed in the grass. In Northport, by the creek, it’s the time of the Canada anemones. What else? Oh, little yellow flowers are appearing on tall spires of mullein, and most farmers got their first cutting of hay baled and in the barn before Sunday night’s rain.

It seems ages since I started writing a post – not yet finished -- about contemporary short fiction, and then I got completely sidetracked and started writing about “valley fever” and soil erosion and haven’t finished that, either. I’m reading letters by Carl Van Vechten, a book about his grandfather by Peter Singer, Thomas Egan’s story of the American Dust Bowl, a tale of French cheese, Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street, and I can’t remember what-all else, bouncing from one book to another whenever I can sneak 10 minutes from other tasks. And so my reading life has become a blur, too.

That being the case, it was a relief to have a rainy Monday and to have Bruce spell me at the bookstore so David and I could pretend we were “on vacation” for a few hours. Sarah missed a morning play date (called on account of rain), but she didn’t know it, so there was no whining. There would be more pictures today if my camera battery hadn’t run down too far. Maybe a vacation from the camera was good for me, too. As you may have noticed, all the images today are very quiet and calm, so they are not at all representative of the past week.

But that's it: only one week of July is past, I remind myself. Really, summer has only just begun. Please, tell me it’s only just begun!

Delicious berries will appear here


2 comments:

Dawn said...

I know. It feels like a blur here too, probably because my sister has been here for a month. And I feel summer slipping away...but it's probably even worse for you further north.

P. J. Grath said...

I think it's the working more than the latitude, Dawn. And by the way, remember that mystery photo in which you correctly identified the leek? The branched twig with buds was one that had been torn away from its parent beech tree so that the buds did not open into leaves.