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Anticipating better days after summer

Jul 29, 2023

The temperature exceeded the century mark by 3 degrees when I recently mounted the lawn mower and began with what I hoped was the final cutting of the season.

Although the conditions were hardly what one would consider as optimal for grooming one's yard, time was limited. But my schedule was full and this was the only window of time I would have for the next several days.

That in mind, I managed to muster up a smile upon recalling an adage that my mother used from time to time. When circumstances got a little tough, she would often say, "Sometimes you just have to grin and bear it."

Well, this was obviously one of those moments. So I kicked the engine off, engaged the blades and struck out into the intense heat. I'll have to admit that the experience was not remotely as daunting as I had suspected. In fact, I had the property mowed and had taken shelter in an air conditioned environment within a couple of hours.

But two hours lent ample time to ponder. And what did I think about? Well, I first began ranking the four seasons, beginning with the least preferred and ending with my favorite.

In light of the fact that we were in the brunt of the hottest days of the year, why not start there? I began with a mental list of summer activities that I enjoyed. Well, it was too hot to fish, the air under the forest canopy was too stifling for hiking, my favorite rivers were too low to float and good luck framing a composition of an outdoor scene that didn't include wilted foliage.

I supposed the galactic core of the milky way might still be high enough in the horizon to photograph during the next new moon. And one might capture a few files of lightning bolts dancing across the sky in the event that we have nighttime thunderstorms anytime soon. But the nighttime lows would still prove practically intolerable, regardless of what transpired in the heavens.

It was quickly growing evident that ice cold watermelons that had been ripened on the vines, blackberries and muscadines were about the only things that I enjoyed about summer.

But my mindset changed upon switching gears, and considering that the beginning of the fall season nears. Granted the daytime highs might still climb into the high 80s or low 90s on occasion. But the opening day of archery season was hardly more than one month away.

And I was confident that the temperatures would be far more comfortable by the time muzzleloader season was declared open in late October. Of course the modern gun season was sure indication of cooler days to come, as she was scheduled to open in early November.

I would surely participate in all of these upcoming seasons, but better fishing also lurked just around the corner. It was a matter of weeks when the breaking action began, and drop-shot fishing would prove effective in the days to come.

The bass would likely remain cooperative as November neared, and we might just try our hand at coaxing a few catfish into biting as the waters began to cool.

I already had a two-day float in the works for a weekend during the beginning of October and backpacking is an activity that we might enjoy during the fall.

Speaking of fall, the forest canopy, that had turned drab during the brunt of summer, would hopefully transform into a pallet of vibrant colors as the season neared her end. And I can't think of a better time to strike out on excursions to vistas lurking in mountainous terrain.

More rains will hopefully come with the change of seasons. And with an increase of precipitation, water will rush down jagged draws, producing beautiful falls.

Yep, I could say with all certainty that summer was my least favorite time of the year. But the end of summer is drawing near. And I truly anticipated the occurrences that lurked in the weeks and months to come.

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