I usually agree with Bill Hicks about summer (“Hot. Sticky. Sucks.”), but this one passes too quickly. August, the season’s peak, was a blur.
An afternoon shower brought to mind Sylvia Plath: “August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”
Which made me think of E.B. White and Charlotte’s Web: “The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.”
Curse the abiding metaphorical crickets. Though the real ones provide pleasant background noise to which to fall asleep on a summer night.
Determined to not let the figurative dog days pass without the actual dogs getting some outdoor time, we squeezed in a couple late-month hikes, one to an unfamiliar mountain valley in Colorado’s San Isabel National Forest along a fork of the Arkansas River and another to Tyler Pasture, something of a hidden gem nestled between rolling residential land and the thick timber of Pike National Forest west of Denver.
Thanks to a damp, lingering spring and what Stephen Millhauser labels in Dangerous Laughter the “long dusks of summer,” wildflowers still bloomed in both locations. The butterflies were not yet, as Ezra Pound describes in The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter, “yellow with August.”
Summer, it seems, still has some life.