How do you define the official start of summer? If you’re the literal type, you might look to the calendar and say, June 21st. Others count the first picnic, first barbecue, first camping trip, first time it hits 80º, first time you’re attacked by mosquitoes. For us, summer arrives the moment we hit the water in our kayaks.
Saturday, summer arrived.
Sunshine, puffy clouds, and mid-80s meant the lake was hoppin’ with activity. Lots of fellow kayakers, as well as pontoons, speed boats, and jet skis.
Even a few birds.
Those geese, by the way, were surprisingly social. We pulled into a cove for a snack and they weren’t the least bit skittish. We learned geese like apples and oranges, by the way. Who knew! Some of them ventured so close, we were almost able to hand feed them. Mom and dad kept a watchful eye but let out nary a squawk the whole time. I don’t much like geese, but I have to admit, those goslings were pretty cute and fun to watch.
It felt great to get back onto the water. Not so great? Getting back into the water. Let’s just say when I climbed out of my kayak after docking in the cove, my feet didn’t have as firm a grasp on the rocks as I’d thought and I ended up basically face-planting in the lake. Fortunately, my new phone was safely tucked in the watertight pocket of my lifejacket. Inglorious fall aside, we’re hoping to have many more lake adventures this summer.
You know, I could also make a case that summer arrived last Thursday. Rapid City’s downtown concert series, appropriately named Summer Nights, kicked off a little over a week ago. Since it was a rock ‘n roll cover band and not country, we headed down after work last week. Get a few beers in us and we tend to act a little goofy.
I love that you see all kinds of characters at Summer Nights. The music’s great, but the people watching is even better. The motto in my old town might be “Keep Portland Weird,” but Rapid City has its share of colorful folks, too.
It was a pretty warm evening. Spiderman had to be chafing inside that suit.
Regardless of the exact moment when spring transformed into summer, it’s here now, and we are enjoying it. After kayaking last night, we hung out in the basement, doing our usual cards/records/cocktails thang.
Then, because it was still pleasant outside, we sat out on the back patio. Tara made Indian tacos, which we ate amidst our patio lighting and tiki torches. Casa MarTar just oozes ambiance, huh?
You might notice some rather ominous looking clouds gathering on the horizon. Before long, thunderstorms were bearing down on us. We moved the party inside right before the heavens opened up.
It rained so hard, we picked up .78″ in only fifteen minutes. I do believe that’s what the old-timers call a “gully-washer.” Earlier in the day, we’d done yard work, so we had five bags full of yard debris stacked by the curb. This morning, there were only two. The others, it turned out, had been washed down the hill to the bottom of our street. Those bags are heavy, which just goes to show you how intense the rain was. At one point our street resembled a river.
I walked down there this morning to retrieve them and ran into a neighbor. “It must have rained or something last night,” he said. “My rain gauge shows eight-tenths of an inch!”
Yes, Dennis. It did rain. I have no idea how he slept through the deluge. I explained that’s what I was doing at the bottom of our street, gathering up my wayward bags. They were dirty, waterlogged, and torn in places. He suggested I just leave them down there. It doesn’t matter whose house they are next to as long as they’re set out by the curb.
They’re forecasting another round of severe weather this evening, so I might go chasing after more bags Monday morning.
Life on the Great Plains, guys.
Tomorrow, I’m headed out first thing on my business trip. I’ll be gone until Friday afternoon, so this will be a long one. I’ve got eight interviews scheduled over four days and will basically be all over the south central and eastern parts of the state. I get bored in hotel rooms, so I’m sure I’ll check in from the road at some point.
How do you determine the arrival of summer? What do you think of geese: good for a gander or just plain fowl? Have you had any gully-washers or other exciting weather lately?