Woweee – it’s hot here. After a cooler and wetter than usual season, the summer heat and humidity have finally arrived.
I’ve struggled to run all week. It doesn’t matter how early I get up to run. If I get up before the sun, it’s more humid. If I wait until the sun rises, the humidity starts to drop a little, but then there’s the blasting heat of the sun to contend with.
That’s why I especially love and appreciate trees during the summer: their glorious shade. I can wait for the sun to come up and then run a mostly shaded route. The shade keeps me from getting burned and provides good resting spots so I can catch my breath.
While I’ve been appreciating the shade that trees offer, I have also been thinking about the beautiful and delicious offerings trees give us in summer.
Of all the summer fruit, I love peaches the best. When I was little, we loaded up on peaches when we visited my great aunts each summer, and Mom would make an amazing peach cobbler with some and can the rest to last until the following summer. This has spoiled me to the point that I cannot eat store-bought canned peaches. But I do love eating them fresh during summer. I don’t even bother to peel their fuzzy skin.
In the beauty category, nothing tops the showy display of crape myrtles. I realized just yesterday that all of a sudden (at least, it seems sudden to me), the crape myrtles have flowered. The young tree in my front yard hasn’t bloomed just yet, but I drove over to one of my favorite streets in the city to take a few pictures of the crape myrtles in bloom there:
It’s a narrow, twisty street, with cars usually parked on both sides. So drivers have to be polite to one another and let one car at a time go through the space between the cars (for the most part, drivers are respectful of one another while navigating this road; it’s a free-for-all again on connecting roads). The crape myrtles that adorn the street, though, make it worth the slow drive.
The trees on this particular stretch of the road are mostly dark pink, but I found one darker red one in bloom among the pink.
The largest crape myrtles, like the one below, offer not just beautiful color but also a canopy of shade against the scorching sun.
What summer trees do you love best, and is it for their beauty or for their fruit?