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truly summer

Now we are having a heat wave, so it's truly summer. In the morning, there is the last breath of coolness. The windows are wide open. By 11 or so, I put them almost all the way down and draw the blinds and curtains to keep out the sun and heat. Then when evening comes, I open them wide again and set a fan in the window to pull in the cooler air.

Some of us are sleeping on the floor in the living room. More of us might at some point, who knows? I love that--reminds me of when we all slept in the same room in Japan. I like the feeling of everyone being together; I like waking up (I sleep so lightly in the summer; I think lots of people do) and being aware of everyone nearby.

Paradoxically, this sort of weather makes me feel on the one hand, most dreamy and unearthly, and on the other, most aware of myself as alive and a creature. When you're sweaty, when you have not many clothes on, when you can feel the air press around you, when you can smell your own hot skin and hair, then you know you're a creature, like a dog or a rabbit or (well, like all those). Things seem very real and very just-themselves, no hidden meanings, just clover, just a sweetpea flower, just a blue jay, just some ants. But at the same time, everything seems to be unraveled and unfurled and blurred; there doesn't seem to be any distinction between dreaming and waking... I can fall asleep and dream something freaky-odd, then wake up, and not be surprised if something from the dream wanders by. And I don't feel very tethered to the ground.

Steeplebush is coming into bloom--here is a picture from someone on Google

Oh, and an edit from tomorrow: maybe it's actually meadowsweet (below)--but I think it's steeplebush, because of the red color of the stem...

Also spotted knapweed.. I associate this with fall, though it's not yet August, seeing this is the first sign that summer has peaked...
(This is also a Google picture, not mine)

Fortunately no goldenrod yet--Goldenrod definitely signals fall!

I have picked some cucumbers from my garden... I had better make some pickles soon, before the cucumbers get old. There's a nice long one that I haven't picked yet. I also harvested two of my garlics. And speaking of garlic, look how straight the garlics are standing now--who could believe they once were twirling, if there wasn't a record of it?

Just to remind you, here's how it looked originally:

In another entry, I'd like to do a book update. Not an update on my story (no progress on that recently, though I was reviewing in my mind the story of the falling out between the daylight and nighlands), but on the books I'm reading, thanks to so many good LJ recommendations. But not tonight.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 19th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
Beautiful post. Bravo! I want to take more photos to post, but my camera is crummy and has no flash, so I can only do outdoor shots in direct sun. Ugh.

My son loves sleeping on the floor. If I tried that, I don't think I'd ever get up again - my back wouldn't stand for it. ;)

Glad you are finding ways to stay positive about the heat.
Jul. 19th, 2006 07:19 am (UTC)
I always love your pictures--hope it cools off a little for you so you can get out there and take more! I thought of your great sky ones last night, because we had some great heat lightning. It was cool to see it crackling from cloud to cloud. It made the clouds seem like giant alien spaceships. By the way, how do you get such good closeups with your camera? I wish I could... my friend said I need a special sort of camera with a lens that lets you--sort of the opposite of a zoom lens.
Jul. 19th, 2006 12:04 pm (UTC)
Nikon Coolpix 2500
Our camera (which may or may not have given up the ghost entirely last night) has a zoom function, but not one of those lenses that actually telescopes in and out. Must be some digital thing. It does great micros, too - or it did.
Jul. 19th, 2006 01:17 am (UTC)
My favourite quote comes into use again - "You're weird, sir."

England is having the worst heatwave on record. Literally. All heat records are being broken and the government has advised people to stay home. And dammit, my computer table and bed face due east and get the full benefit of early and blazing dawns and thundering morning heat.
Jul. 19th, 2006 07:09 am (UTC)
:-D Love that quote! Yes, weird is definitely a label I've been familiar with since childhood.

My father-in-law, who lives in Dorset, was complaining about England's current heat wave. But right now he's enjoying a trip on a canal boat, so he's probably not minding so much.

Well, even though I like hot, humid days, I *do* get uncomfortable in them (it's just that I don't mind that discomfort so much as other people or something... not sure what it is... I hate being cold, that's for sure...).

Isn't there something kind of exciting about going through a heat wave, though? It's like a bad snowstorm, or some other weather event (I'm only talking about not-too-deadly weather events, not things like bad hurricanes or scary non-weather natural events like bad earthquakes)--people stand in awe before nature and there's a kind of companionability about surviving it together.

Okay, but yeah, the heat; it comes back to that. Well, it will probably break soon. Meanwhile, pull your blinds until the sun goes round to the other side!
Jul. 19th, 2006 07:52 am (UTC)
I much prefer cold, if I am prepared to face it. Perhaps it has to do with spending a lot of my childhood holidays on the Alps.
Jul. 19th, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, I too used to feel that sense of camaraderie with strangers walking by in surviving harsh weather - but only during cold winters where you actually want to be as close to people as people so as to feel some warmth - not in the summer when one feels like a sloth and just want to keep away from anything even remotely warm...east coast summers are dicey affairs - you want it so much, you pine for it all year and then you get it and feel suffocated most of the time - but those evening hours when it cools down and the balmy winds blow and you go for a nice jog by the river...oh to die for after those months of waiting for some warm weather! But like Deponti I would rather be cold than suffer the humidity!
Jul. 19th, 2006 03:18 am (UTC)
oh...I detest the heat and humidity and will go to any lengths to avoid them! So it was a novel perspective for me...enjoy the summer!
Jul. 19th, 2006 07:13 am (UTC)
Well, I'm not sure I'd wax this rhapsodic if I had to deal with the levels of heat and humidity you have to face in Bangalore! (Though I hear Bangalore is more moderate in temperature than some parts of India? Is that true?) Here, even on the hottest, most humid days, it still cools down at night, or if it doesn't, we're talking about only two, maybe three exceptional days.

I remember from living in Kyoto what it felt like to have even nighttime bring no relief from the heat and humidity. So... it's all a matter of degree, I'm sure.

But, in general, I do have a pretty good tolerance for heat and humidity, whereas I hate being cold. I go to sleep wearing sweaters in the winter, sometime. I hate to think what I'll be like when (God willing) I'm in my 70s or 80s--they say old people are even more sensitive to the cold (shudder).
Jul. 19th, 2006 07:58 am (UTC)
I've been in Bangalore, in April, and even then the heat was like something from an Italian summer - and that is no joke. I do not remember it being very humid, though, but - I sometimes joke that you could not see the city for all the universities, but then, you could not see the universities for all the whirring fans. I do not think you can do any work in most of India without a fan to keep you cool.
Jul. 19th, 2006 10:24 am (UTC)
I love your description of feeling more connected to our animaliness in a heat wave! I agree and think it is why I love the summer so much...
Jul. 19th, 2006 12:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, it may in part be because we're from relatively cold climates--might be different if we were living in Chennai, but in Halifax or western Massachusetts, the heat is rare enough and short-lasting enough to be a treat... well, imho, anyway...
Jul. 19th, 2006 10:27 am (UTC)
Coming from a city that prides itself at three important seasons- Hot Hotter and Hottest... I truly have nothing to add!

Chennai is as humid and hot as any place can get!

The best weather is December through a few days in January. So... we wait, with fans running top speed, Airconditioners whirring overtime, for December to arrive.. and the good weather goes away even before it has started!!!
Jul. 19th, 2006 12:47 pm (UTC)
I can't even imagine--yes, I think I might feel differently in Chennai, for sure! The hottest it ever gets here is like 40 C, and that's rare--but I know you must have many days like that, AND humid.

Plus, I'm in the country--hot and humid in the city, on the subway, in a traffic jam... that's another story! (Though whiskeredsadie lives in a city--but in Nova Scotia, which is a much, much, MUCH cooler place than Chennai!)
Jul. 19th, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
When you're sweaty, when you have not many clothes on, when you can feel the air press around you, when you can smell your own hot skin and hair, then you know you're a creature, like a dog or a rabbit . . .

That's just lovely. I adore your posts!

I've never made pickles before, but I've heard it's easy. Is that true? I'd really like to make something like that Hot California Mix, with the cauliflower.
Jul. 20th, 2006 01:51 am (UTC)
I never had made them either, before last year! Yes, it's easy. I used a book called Putting Things By, by Janet Greene. It had tons of information in it and made me want to try lots of other things, too.
Jul. 19th, 2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
Ditto to

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )



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