Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

In a world that seems to have gone mad, much like millions thought during the world wars, it is often difficult to be happy. I mean really happy for an extended period of time; like for an entire summer. As I thought about all of the fighting, the political posturing, the violence, the poor and the refugees, the over-worked, ill and depressed, I wondered how many folk are truly happy. Without answering my own question, I decided to share a bit of nostalgia which resonated with me. For a moment, set aside all that hinders and relax as I share the following. Idyllic? Of course it is. Anyway, try to enjoy the moment.

1963 Dodge Dart

I bought this advertisement about a year ago at a garage sale for fifty cents. I thought it represented a snapshot of Americana during a more blissful-although imperfect-time. As you will note, this ad was meant to appeal to the white, middle class segment of the population at the time…1963 to be exact. The sixties was a decade of immense change in America. The younger generation wanted to separate themselves from their parent’s generation-and they did in many subtle, and sublime ways. Inequality among color and gender was brought to the forefront on a daily basis. Without boring you with the facts, I simply want to share a happy moment. The following lyrics were sung quite successfully by Nate King Cole, a black entertainer with a most beautiful voice. I urge you to YouTube his rendition of this song. BTW, he recorded it in 1963-the same year as this car ad!

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer; those days of soda and pretzels and beer. Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer; dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer.

Just fill your basket full of sandwiches and weenies; then lock the house up, now you’re set. And, on the beech you’ll see the girls in their bikinis; as cute as ever but they never get ’em wet.

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer; those days of soda and pretzels and beer. Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer; dust off the sun and the moon and sing a song of cheer.

Don’t hafta tell a girl and fella about a drive-in; or some romantic moon it seems. Right from the moment that those lovers start arrivin’; you’ll see more kissin’ in the cars than on the screen.

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer; those days of soda and pretzels and beer. Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer; you’ll wish that summer could always be here.

You’ll wish that summer could always be here; you’ll wish that summer could always be here.

 

 

Dreaming of Summer

The absence of zinnias, monarchs, and vibrant greens make me long for summer. So, I decided to reveal some color to offset the dull hues of winter’s landscape. Not that winter can’t be beautiful, especially in the mountains, but here we have had little snow or color-just drab days and cold nights. Here are a few images taken last summer in our flower garden. There are so many more to reveal, but less is usually best. Think warm!
Monarchs & Zinnias c 9-18-11Monarchs & Zinnias h 9-18-11Monarchs & Zinnias a 9-18-11

Color My World

Fall Flowers 9-30-13The senses, especially our eyes, are treated to an explosion of color when the season changes from summer to fall. The foliage in our area is late this year to turning various shades of color due to milder than usual weather conditions. However, two weekends ago I was treated to this vivid reminder of how beautiful Autumn is (and will be). The subject matter is not extraordinary, but merely a potted plant at a local hardware store. The photo was taken with my Samsung’s camera. No enhancement was performed, and that’s the beauty of this image. It’s pure natural delight!Last Rose of Summer (Cheryl, 9-11-13)In contrast to the first image with the noticeable fall-like colors of ambers, oranges and such is this simple rose. Cheryl named this bloom The Last Rose of Summer (at the time she took this photo it was the last rose in her flower garden). The vibrant red petals and striking green leaves contrast sharply with the variegated plant above, yet both reveal the magnificence of nature’s glory. Soon, the trees and vines will burst into myriad colors, like a fireworks display, and the grass will give way to a carpet of leaves. The smell of burning wood will waft over us like perfume and wild animals everywhere will be scurrying about in preparation for winter. Football is in full force, and The Boys of Summer are playing like there is no tomorrow. A stroll in the woods can become a nostalgic vehicle for memories of carefree days when youth was innocent and the great outdoors was a giant playground.9-4-13 002 Speaking of vehicles, I couldn’t resist.

CICADAS

Prehistoric ?Summer in the midwest transforms the natural landscape into a region of lush vegetation with abundant weeds and wildflowers accompanied by hot temperatures, and occasional tornadoes. Summer warmth ushers in the return of many bird species and butterflies. This season also awakens snakes of all sorts, mosquitoes & ticks, and cicadas-just to name a few.

If you would indulge me for a moment, I would like to focus on the cicada which is a most unusual looking insect with a most annoying ‘song’ that is produced by the rubbing of body parts. It was this song from a choir of cicadas a few evenings ago that inspired this brief post. For reasons unknown to me there are  considerably larger amounts of these insects in the branches of our beautiful red maple tree which stands adjacent to our deck, and which provides much-needed shade. This tree has always been a home to the cicada, but 2013 has produced a bumper crop!

20130726_195621The cicada lays her eggs in tree branches and after the eggs hatch the termite-looking insect bores into the earth in search of nutrients. Over a period of two to seventeen years (depending on the species) this stage of the cicada develops into a nymph. At this time the cicada bores out of the ground and climbs onto the trunk or branch of a tree. It then sheds its outer shell-like covering to reveal a prehistoric looking, winged creature. These insects are quite harmless with the only threat being their incessant ‘song’. From a distance the undulating sounds of cicadas in harmony is soothing and reminds me that summer is in full swing. However, when they ‘sing’ within a few yards from where one is sitting or standing, the noise can be deafening. Too long of exposure can lead to headaches…or worse!

There are over 170 varieties of cicadas in the United States, and over 2000 worldwide. Common, to be sure, and an integral member of nature’s food chain-cicadas are as much a part of summer as parades, BBQs, watermelon and apple pie at picnics. Annoying, but essential, the cicada would be missed if they were to disappear. As can be seen from these photos (taken with my Samsung phone), cicadas are a most bizarre insect. Summer wouldn’t be the same without them…preferrably at a distance! Now, where are my ear plugs?20130727_173609