You know it’s summer when Spidey starts chafing.

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.

Why, there are the rest of our bags, way down at the end of the street!

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?

48 thoughts on “You know it’s summer when Spidey starts chafing.

  1. For us, summer starts the first day after the last day of the school year. We’ve been watching the weather out yonder for days now. We’re headed through Nebraska soon and don’t want any gully-washers. So far, things look good, but central NE is slated to reach 107 while we’re driving through it – 107!!!!! And when we stop for the night at Fort Morgan, it’s supposed to be over 100! What gives, man? Our little RV doesn’t have A/C, so no WAY we’re not getting a hotel room if it’s like that. Fortunately, the rest of our trip looks like it’ll have reasonable temps. I’ll message you if we think we’ll be in your area on the way home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’ll be pushing 100º in Winner tomorrow, where I’m spending the night. Fortunately, I will have a very nice air-conditioned motel room in which to kick back!

      I hope you have a great trip and don’t broil to death. Definitely keep me posted if you think you’ll swing through Rapid at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’re in Glenwood Springs now, but driving through Nebraska two days ago was brutal. I think it was 106 (and so windy) at some of our gas stops. Normally we’d just crash in a Walmart parking lot in eastern Colorado the first night, but we took refuge in an air conditioned hotel, too. We’ve got a couple of high 80s coming up, but otherwise very nice temps.
        Will do – it all depends on how we meander through NW Nebraska on the way home. Believe it or not, we had a spontaneous meet-up with another blog buddy yesterday. Blog post to come…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. So I keep hearing! I remember one year summer didn’t really arrive in earnest until September…and then it was hot well into October. Eventually, you guys are going to have to warm up!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Now if I could only find a summer that stayed that way, in the 60s 🙂

      To me summer starts when I first smell “summer” in the air. No, it’s not the first barbeque. It’s a smell I noticed as a little girl, carried in the wind. That’s when I know summer’s here. Given we’ve had our first summer power outage here, I know it’s official here…

      Gotta say, Spiderman put on some pounds and lost some of the definition over the winter, no? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know exactly what you mean about the smell in the air! I always notice it around the equinoxes – fall and spring.

        You do know it drops down to -20 here during the winter, right? Ain’t no way Spidey’s going to leave the house in that kind of weather, even if the Green Goblin is wreaking havoc.


    3. As a fellow retiree, I’m with Jim re the start of summer. I also know of whence y’all speak re OR this year. My BFF lives there and it appears so far there have been no fires and not much heat (or rain or storms) up her way. As for me and weather, I’m extremely grateful that I didn’t encounter any but fair on my very long road trip from So Cal to So Mi.
      What I really know about geese, based on my long and mostly sojourn in E TN (pre-divorce), is that, since they’re a protected species where I lived lakeside in Oak Ridge (and in other parts of town, of course), they act like they own the place and so can be very meanly territorial!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That IS a very long road trip! Glad you didn’t get hailed on. Or tornadoed on. Or anythinged on, for that matter.

        Even here, where geese aren’t protected, they strut around like they own the place.


  2. Sounds like you’re kicking off the start of summer right. Except for chafing Spider-Man, no one needs that. That must have been one heck of a storm, and yet another reason living at the top of the hill is better than the bottom. No telling what might wash down next time…
    And I have to ask, what are Indian tacos?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In my head I’m a traditionalist I guess. Summer = Memorial Day, Fall = Labor Day. You know WA though Mark. Summer starts July 5th- although this year I’m not sure we’re getting any summer at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I told another noter above, who lives in Oregon, that I recall one year summer didn’t really arrive in earnest until September…but when it did, it lasted a couple of months. Snow in late April? Still waiting for 80 degrees? Sounds like your seasons are all off-kilter this year.


  4. As far as I’m concerned, summer starts mid-September when the kids go back to school (“get off my lawn!”) and the tourists go home (“get off my beach!”). We get some of our best weather in September and mid- to late-October and we – especially those of us who are retired – get our city to ourselves.

    I wonder if Spidey got lost on his way to Comic-Con?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I can wear shorts all day, that’s Summer! We haven’t had a 100 year storm yet this year (totally a misnomer) but Summer has just begun. Not a fan of geese and all their poop.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We always say that summer starts after the 4th. We get some rainy weather in June (this year especially) and even the 4th is unpredictable. You have us beat for amount though since ours is usually a drizzle or a shower and not a gully washer. Loved the downtown concert(you don’t like country either?) and the people watching. Exactly what I would be doing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember that gentle mist and drizzle well! We definitely get more at once, but a lot less overall. We’ve had about 5″ of rain all year, which my dad says is about what they’ve gotten in the last three weeks.


  7. Ob bless that Dennis, or maybe he’s like me and is so used to the sound of heavy rain that it doesn’t register. As for when Summer’s here – for me that’s when I’m having to take anti-histamines in order to keep sane and not scratch my eyeballs out! I’m a barrel of laughs at the start of the summer, I tell you 😀 Roll on the later months of summer say I, when I get to enjoy it properly. Oddly, I also cope with higher temperatures better the later in the season they occur. That water looks lovely though…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. During grade and high school, my daughter always started after Labor Day…she said being in class in mid August now is really tough…

        Liked by 1 person

  8. We’ve become all too familiar with the term “atmospheric river” (dumping on us) this spring, but maybe not quite so dramatically as you’re getting in South Dakota. The Grand Floral Parade missed getting dumped on in a major way by about 12 hours. Maybe a couple more weeks to summer?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. How do you determine the arrival of summer? I’m a traditionalist. The first day of summer is June 21.

    What do you think of geese: good for a gander or just plain fowl? Figurative I think what is good for the goose is good for the gander, but literally they are foul birds.

    Have you had any gully-washers or other exciting weather lately? Yes last night we had tornadic winds that knocked down branches and blew leaves around. It’s a mess out there this [spring] morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. For me, summer arrives with the month of June. A goose attacked and bit my youngest son when he was about 3 years old; my husband had to drop-kick the goose to make him let go. (Both the son and the goose were fine.) Other than that incident, I have a live-and-let-live philosophy with geese.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Summer here starts when you wake up in the morning. Basically on any given morning that isn’t January.

    The kayaking looks like a blast, face plant aside. Cute photos of the two of you too! Um, there are weird people everywhere; no place is safe from the weirdness.

    Liked by 1 person

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