Today is a truly beautiful day. The sky has been completely cloud free until about a half hour ago, the brilliant deep blue of summer is absolutely inspiring. It is quite warm at the moment, +31C, but a bit of a breeze is blowing and that takes the edge off the heat. In a few minutes I will be able to open the kitchen windows as the sun slides past them and around closer to the front of the house. I have the procedure down for keeping the house cool: bedroom and kitchen windows open at night for cross draft, close the kitchen windows by 8am and keep the blinds drawn until noon. Close my bedroom window by 4pm, then at about 9pm open all the windows. The hottest time in the house is about 4pm to 6pm no matter what order of opening and closing of windows and blinds, but the rest of the day and evening is comfortable due to the number of trees that shade the house from the worst of the bright sun and hot air.
For me the prairie is most attractive from about the first of June until just after the middle of July. That is when the tree leaves are greenest, the buds and flowers deepest in colour and the crops lovely and green as they begin to grow. The neon coloured birds are passing through on their way north and it is like living in the tropics for the ten days or so that they make our side yard their temporary habitat.
By mid July the colours are fading again. The blooms on the trees and bushes are finished, the leaves turning a more dull or silver shade of green and the crops are ripening to a browny gold. Some respite from the duller shades of colour are the still blossoming canola crops but by the end of July that neon yellow will also have disappeared. The most exotic of the bird species are long gone by then and we won't see them again other than for about three days in mid autumn as they race back south before the snow arrives.
By late August and early September, when the harvest is getting underway, the prairie is returning to its usual state of browns and greys. It is no wonder I start dreading winter by the time harvest starts. All that lovely brilliant green is on the way out for another season.
One of the most beautiful little towns on the prairies from June to mid July is the town where we went to seminary. I always felt so sad that most of the students and many of the staff were gone from the campus for summer break and holidays during that lush time of year. So few people ever got to see the place at its beautiful best. Our three summers there were most enjoyable and I was glad we lived right there instead of being only school term residents. Very few people and lots of green leafy trees...a perfect combination for me during small town summers. So few others ever saw the campus at the peak of its beauty that I felt like I was getting away with something special by being there then.
I took my time vacuuming the house today and washing the floors. Every chance I got I stopped and looked out the windows at the pretty day. It is to be just as hot tomorrow, hotter even, and so I will skip my walk uptown for a couple of days when the temperatures are to cool significantly.
But maybe it would be wise to sneak in a walk in the morning before the heat takes over. I do need to check the mail in case there is something important for one of the parish treasurers....yes, an early morning walk on one of our last perfectly green days. It will give me a chance to try out my new organic, chemical free, mosquito repellent. Sounds like a plan!