Sunset in Elkins, WV
Shorter days. We long for the coming of June and Solstice when the days stretch from 5am to 10pm, but by August I am ready for something more reasonable. I want to stop work before I drop from exhaustion and enjoy the shadowy dusk as it creeps up from the hollows and across the gardens.
Cool evenings. It may be hot during the day, but evenings begin cooling off by 6pm and it's possible to turn off the air conditioner and enjoy sitting outside again. After July's record heat, the coolth of August evenings is a blessing.
at the end of Joe's Run, this little cabin rests quietly beside Mill Creek
Longer mornings. In July the heat is with us by 9 or 10 am. In August the nighttime cool lingers until almost noon, so the air conditioner is off and the meter turns more slowly. We can enjoy a quiet cup of coffee on the patio for morning break and watch the sun chasing long shadows across the hills when we're on the road early in the day.
Night music. Cicadas, tree frogs and unidentifiable insects and critters fill the dusky evenings with song far into the night, like a concert to reward hard work.
August moons. They come up red and set that way, sending a rosy glow over evenings and mornings. Too pretty to miss.
Meteor showers. This August we are graced with the Perseids on the 13th, a show not to miss, all for free.
Abundance. The gardens pour forth everything from squash to corn to herbs, grapes to wild cherries to peaches. It's a time of richness, of too much of everything. Even in this drought year we still have more than we can use.
Hints of Autumn. Some trees are giving up on summer already and their leaves are turning yellow and red, harbingers of what is to come. The roadside wild things are in poor shape from lack of rain, but the blue chicory and white Queen Anne's Lace are rampant and lovely to look at.
Goldenrod and ironweed. Bright gold and royal purple begin to brighten summer-weary fields like visiting nobility.
Black Krim tomatoes. This is the first year we've raised these and I am so impressed with their taste.
Ripe, ripe tomatoes. Early tomatoes are often eaten too soon in our eagerness to taste their freshness, but by August we're more complacent and willing to let the tomatoes deepen into that rich ripeness that drips off our chins.
What's your favorite thing about August?