The Long Days of Summer

Summer solstice has come and gone, and with it are long days of sunshine and heat and brilliance. I love the summer. I love hot. By autumn, I am always ready for the softer golden light and my first mulled wines, but these days are for savoring not for wishing away.

Perhaps because the days are so long, our weekend felt like it went by in slow motion beneath perfect blue skies and a steady wave of sunshine. Still awaiting tests for the leg and ankle, I have switched to biking for now–and when we headed out Sunday morning, it was already 33C (91F), with not a cloud in the sky. We did not hit the trail due to needing to run errands, so it was a biking errand run, but just the same, topping the day were the tall cedars and misty snow-capped mountains of the beyond. I think that this sport is ideal. It is not very hard to cycle, compared with running, and it helps with balance. I do miss running though. It seems way more cardio-intensive.

After this weekend, though, I was wishing for a cold lake to dip in. There are two lakes within a few miles, but on weekends they are just so packed, it is hard to find solace there.

It was another weekend of cleaning, minimalizing, planting. Morgan power-washed the balcony, which, with all the rain and snow this past year, had some algae. I weeded old plants and planted new ones: purple geraniums, basil, an Iceland poppy, and various mints. I dried green beans from Pomme, over a period of three pure hot days, and rinsed and soaked them last night; they are in the crockpot now, so I am looking forward to shucky beans tonight. My plants are doing great except for my beans. They started out well but seem to have yellowed, and I think they got too much rain before the summer truly came on in full force. I moved the peas, beans, green onions, kale, and arugula to an area with more sun, planted a second mint in the back yard (going to need it in August for a southern bbq with mint juleps), and replanted a thyme plant, which I bought in 2006 and which has survived over a decade of Vancouver weather. Only the pot was completely starting to fall apart.

Blurry zoom of ladybug

Friday after work I spent a lot of time in the back yard planting and sipping red wine. I was taking photos of an area in the back of our yard that is purely wild with ivy, buttercups, blackberry vines, and who knows what else. I kept finding small insects–lady bugs, bees, moths, tiny other things–but couldn’t capture them well on my camera due to them darting around so quickly. I was fully mesmerized by these small things in life, which mean so much. I went inside to get the zoom camera, but then the light had faded just enough to be too dark for that. I felt like the woman biologist in Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation, who liked to go down to the empty lot on the corner to view the ecosystem there.

Ivy blooms


A bit of wild in the late light


Backyard relaxation


Red wheelbarrows are wonderful


Out front on the balcony – drying beans

Summer is a productive time of year, for sure. We are more active, more alive. It’s not just physical work and being outdoors, but I’ve been doing quite a bit of writing and content lately. Just posted the 500th book (there are really more than that since some postings are series). Speaking of series, I just announced that I’m turning my debut novel Back to the Garden into a series titled The Wild Mountain series. From now until the end of the year I will revise the first novel and have it as a new series edition in early January. I will simultaneously be writing Up the River (stand-alone novel) and the second in the Wild Mountain series, To the Waters and the Wild all next year. I’m really excited about all of this. This past week I’ve also sent two sets of interview questions out to a couple authors that I’m really inspired by and that readers may be surprised by. And I have one more author to interview for late August–one of my favorite thinkers when it comes to climate change and storytelling.

I’m excited by all this “getting things done” and feel a sense of urgency to finish a lot of things before our vacation, which is in a short 11 days.

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