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Selected Podpieces


Summer weather is here at last – intermittently, anyway. The morning walks are chilly for about five minutes, and then I start stripping away my outer layers, until by the time I’ve gotten down to the town landing and stared out over the marsh and bay, and walked back up the incline to our little house in the cul de sac, I am nearly naked. The neighbors kindly keep their curtains closed until a decent hour.

The plants in my garden have finished yawning and stretching and doing their faces, and those that aren’t dead are leaping around, claiming new spaces and popping up where least expected and turning out to be not the rare native lily I thought I’d planted but an invasive alien campanula which, now that it’s starting to bloom, I realize has taken over the entire corner under the river birches and choked out my lowbush blueberry bushes and even my wild bergamot. The serviceberries and Virginia fringe trees have shaken off the plump little green caterpillars of the winter moth, and even the clouds of furry black gypsy moth larvae aren’t dropping quite so heavily from the treetops, though our deck is still littered with half-chewed oak leaves and little dots of frass.

In addition to caterpillars, summer weather brings to our house night after night of interrupted sleep, mostly because of the shenanigans going on in the neighborhood. It’s a quiet neighborhood as far as human beings go, mostly retirees and weekend second homers who have the good sense not to play music after nine at night. But there are some wild neighbors who creep around our yard, nosing around the eggplant and under the birdfeeders and hoping to find a loose-lidded garbage can. My Companion and I do not mind this activity, but Pippin and Thurber are ever alert to invasions of their territory, and nearly every night, in the middle of REM sleep, we are jerked awake by either the wild yapping of Pippin or the deep, threatening ROOF! of Thurber, warning that trespassers will be destroyed.

The best part of summer weather? Oh, I don’t know. A change of color, from brown to green. A change of wardrobe, from flannel-lined jeans to linen capris. A change of pre-dinner refreshment, from red wine to white, with a chunk of watermelon.

And a little chill at the heart, knowing how fast summer slides by. How fast it all slides by.

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