Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is It Fall Yet?

Summer is my least favorite season. I look forward to autumn as soon as summer begins. I know, not very Zen-living-in-the-moment of me, but mid-Atlantic summers usually mean 90 degrees and 95 percent humidity.
The Autumnal Equinox was last week, so I starting thinking of hot cider, pumpkin pie, crunchy leaf piles, and all of my other favorite things. Thinking about them was all I could do, since the weather continued in its summer vein, day after day. It reminded me of my childhood in Southern California. Every year, I'd get some new clothes for school and be itching to wear them to school. Nevermind that it wasn't going to dip below 80 degrees in the San Fernando Valley until December, if I was lucky! I used to wake up and immediately check outside my window for signs of rain, or at least a cloud cover. Oh, the disappointment! Sometimes, I just couldn't stand waiting, so I'd don my plaid woolen skirt and turtleneck, only to become a sweatbox at recess. That was elementary school. But that was just the beginning.
Can you picture this? I was a preppie/punk rocker in an underachieving, mostly pot-smoking high school. (It shall remain nameless, but for those who just have to know, a bit of trivia: Stephen King's "Christine" was filmed at the school.) One of my friends was threatened with a thrashing because she had a B-52s poster in her locker. Led Zeppelin was the most popular band in the school. This was 1980-83 folks. Get with the times, people! Somehow, I always seemed to be out of step with either the weather or the other kids, or sometimes both.
Sooner or later, the earth will tilt far enough away from the sun that things will cool off. The squirrels will go into nut collection overdrive, the wind will blow all our leaves into our neighbor's yard, and I'll finally get to wear one of those clearance-priced turtlenecks that I bought last Spring. I'll probably break down and get a pumpkin-spice latte at Starbucks, too, even though I know that makes me a crass suburbanite (and ex-preppie punk rocker).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Back from Beyond

I think six months is long enough for a break. We're back!
The yard is such a mess. But the butterflies LOVE it. We have tons of Swallowtails -- yellow and black with a little bit of blue at the bottoms of their wings. Sandra and Charlie have been catching them in the huge thistle patch growing at the back of our house. This morning the kids were outside trying to catch a few more when I heard Sandra yelling at our cat, "Bad kitty!" I figured he had chased away one of her targets. When she came inside and told me he had caught and eaten a Black Swallowtail, I tried to look sympathetic and hide my amusement. She'd been trying to catch one of the black ones for several days. Outdone by a feline, again!
Summertime, and the livin' is easy. Unless you are a Black Swallowtail Butterfly in our backyard.