The unofficial start of summer kicks off with Memorial Day weekend, but where I live, we’ve already seen triple temperatures. Bleh. This no longer counts as springtime to me. Some of my friends love the hot weather. I do not. Though I was raised in a place of heat and humidity, summer is not my favorite season. It’s not even my second-favorite season. Life in California—with its cloudless days, searing heat, lack of shade, and rattlesnakes—has bumped summer down to my least favorite season.
As a runner, I find myself getting up earlier and earlier to dodge the baking sun and rising temps each morning. Yesterday, desperate to avoid a repeat of Monday’s too-hot, too-late-in-the-morning run, I found a handy tool that tells you when the sun will rise and set where you live. (Just for fun, I’ve set it to show times for Daphne, Alabama. You can type in your own city/town and see how it changes for today. Drag the daily line along to see how it will lengthen until June 21 and then begin to shorten. Type in a place south of the equator, and you’ll see the opposite effect.)
I’m not the only one trying to find ways to beat the heat. Western screech-owls have returned to nest in the box on our house, and a couple of evenings ago, I looked outside to see this:
An owl sat perched in the waterfall of our backyard koi pond. I didn’t want to scare it away, especially because the fish didn’t seem concerned about its presence. I grabbed the camera and took some shots from inside the house.
It dipped its beak into the water several times, and that’s when I realized it wasn’t hungry for fish but thirsty for water.
Bugs pestered the owl nonstop, and it tickled me to see the camera capture the owl’s shake of its head as it tried to get the bugs to go away. (By the way, I think owls’ heads are some of the most amazing things in all of creation.)
Having the owls come back year after year is one of my favorite delights of the season, and I’m happy to provide a thirsty owl with a drink of water on a too-hot day.
I haven’t seen the owlet yet but will update you if I do.
In the meantime, is summer your favorite season? How do you like to beat the summer heat?