Signs of Summer

Everett’s last day of school was on June 14th.
The last day that Chris and Everett rode to school together was June 12th (Chris was traveling from the 12th to the 14th). During the last two weeks of school we started seeing definitive signs of spring: a mother duck and her ducklings from the bike path under the Mayfair Road bridge; a pair of geese and their goslings in the Menomonee River at at Hoyt Park.
Geese and goslings
Also, this spring and summer there has been a rabbit family living in our backyard: a couple months ago we awoke one morning to see the mother and three babies hopping around Everett’s fort. Since then we have only seen one baby at a time, but we have noticed them pretty consistently. Some animal, perhaps a rabbit, has been helping themselves to the strawberry vine in the backyard. This was frustrating because we finally convinced Everett to pick the strawberries when they are almost falling off the vine. He has been picking them and eating them as soon as they turn red, at which point they are still pretty sour. As soon as we convinced him to wait then some other animal started eating them. We plan to setup Chris’ motion-triggered camera to identify the culprit.

June 16th was Father’s Day. Amanda was staying with us to help out Everett and Melissa while Chris traveled the previous week. We had a delicious breakfast, and spent the day at the pool and around the house, then cooked out in the evening. At one point Chris was working at his desk on the computer and Everett walked up and said “I want you to do something fun on Father’s day. So turn that off and do something fun!” Chris was given an awesome new wallet and a handmade card from Everett. Bonus: every morning for the next week Everett announced that it was Father’s Day when he woke up.

Everett was enrolled in swim lessons and afternoon day camp starting on the first day of summer vacation, June 17th. This lasted for two weeks, and now he is attending morning summer camp until August.

We recently found a giant fungus on a tree between our house and the village.
Giant Fungus
Everett seems intrigued by it and wants to see it often – “the fungus way” is the name of a new bike route we follow to check on it. We cut a chunk off to examine and bring back to the house. Good thing, because the entire fungus was removed a couple weeks later.

Storms blew over our town in the middle of the night on Friday June 21st, and resulted in the loudest thunder we have ever heard. At first Chris wasn’t even sure it was thunder because it sounded more like an explosion than a thunderclap. Judging from the delay between the flash and the time we heard it, the lightning bolts were quite far away. Nonetheless, they produced shock waves that shook our house and reverberated for 20 or 30 seconds. It was phenomenal.

On June 23rd Chris was walking Kyra at dusk and saw the first fireflies of the year. He also saw several bats flying through the air in the field behind our house. They were most likely hunting for dinner, despite the fact that we have seen very few mosquitos so far this year. Everett loves bats because they use echolocation. And he loves fireflies (actually, I think everyone we know does as well) and asks about them daily. Our experience has been that the best way to find them is to sit quietly and watch from our front step. On June 29th Everett took a nap so that he could stay up late, and we did manage to find a few fireflies in the front yard. It wasn’t many, but then again it doesn’t seem quite warm enough for them. We haven’t yet had consistently hot weather this year – perhaps this is why both fireflies and mosquitos have been scarce.

The weather has been very strange lately. We have had a lot of rain, sometimes several rainstorms a day. The cool weather has meant that we haven’t used the air conditioning very much, and instead have had the windows open at night. Normally this would be perfect sleeping weather but instead we are often awakened by train horns. The reason is that about 30 trains a day come through Tosa, and currently the city is in a dispute with the Federal Railroad Administration about an application to continue a train horn ban (also, see here for a little more history). In the past we were dimly aware of the rumble of trains several times a day. Now we (and everyone else in the area) are very aware of the train traffic – the horns are long, loud and are sounded many times. We are about a half mile from the tracks with a large intervening hill, and we can only imagine what it must be like for houses across the street from the tracks. When Chris was Everett’s age he couldn’t get enough of trains. We’ll see how Everett feels about them at the end of the summer.

Comments (1)

One thought on “Signs of Summer

  1. Perhaps a netting of some sort over the strawberry plant might allow Everett his first really sweet strawberry. Looking forward to seeing them myself!

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