Forest By Mother Earth
Accessories By Mother Nature
Something strange is going on. On July 16th, I took 81 photographs. I haven't taken a single one since. At some point during the past 12 days I stopped lugging around my beloved camera and didn't even notice.
I'm blaming summer. I don't function well when it gets above 80 degrees (okay, okay 65). Toss in 90% humidity (yes, that's really what it is, I just checked), and my brain hangs out a giant Do Not Disturb sign, while my body wishes it could do the same. Even the smallest outdoor chores feel monumental.
When I moved from northern California to Missouri back in 1994 it was November. And it was lovely. A big ice storm hit the small town we were staying in a few days after our arrival, and every single thing became encased in ice. While everyone else was huddled indoors staying warm, I bundled up and went for walks, admiring the glistening landscape that had magically appeared overnight. I felt as if I'd moved to Disneyland.
Then people began asking me if I'd been here in the summer yet. Lots of people. People who all said a variation of the exact same thing: "I thought it was humid in [insert nearly any state in the country here], but that was nothing compared to Missouri." I started getting very nervous. And unfortunately my fears did not go unfounded. Summer in southern Missouri must be experienced to be believed, and in a bad year you have from early May until late September to experience it.
I realize, of course, that there are many lizard-type people who think there is nothing better than lying on a burning hot rock in the scorching sun while most of the water in your body pours out of your skin at a medically alarming rate. It's too bad I'm not one of them. In my opinion, if you're not moving, you shouldn't be sweating profusely.
All of this whining is in fact leading to a point.
I know that many of you have come to believe I live a picture perfect life in a picture perfect place, and while I don't like to complain about all the bad stuff (and on a farm we definitely get our share of it), once in a while I think it's only fair to set you straight.
It's beautiful here. Really, really beautiful. Stops-me-in-my-tracks several times a day beautiful. My life is far from perfect, but I do in fact live in a picture perfect place. What you do not want to do, however, is actually climb into some of the pictures. Take the one at the top for example. I could have said nothing about it and simply let you believe that Bear and I were out for a pleasant stroll in the woods, enjoying nature and the crisp, refreshing air.
The reality, though, is that despite the early morning hour, it was already very hot and very muggy, and my clothes were completely soaked with sweat. A small part of my brain was functioning well enough to see the photo opportunity in front of me, but the rest of it was taken up with counting out how many more months until autumn on my fingers, and thinking about how much nicer everything would look if it were covered with several inches of snow. Right now it feels like a jungle. A jungle with pine trees.
I wasn't planning to write this. I was actually in the middle of watering the garden and feeding insect-ravaged turnip greens and Swiss chard to Whitey and her not-so-baby-anymore chicks (yes, I promise a long overdue chick update is coming soon). I only popped inside to jot down a couple of notes before the sun zapped them right out of my mind, which is what's been constantly happening lately.
Originally I was going to post these two photos with nothing but their captions and let you think whatever you like. In retrospect, that may have been the better way to go. You could have stared contently at them, letting out a small sigh and taking in a deep breath of cool woodland air. But as they say, misery loves company, and so I thought it only fair to hit you head-on with a sweat-drenched, furnace-like blast of my summer reality instead. Besides, the longer I sit here and type, the longer I can stay holed up in my little office--the only room in The Shack with air-conditioning--before I have to open the door and step back out into those perfect pictures where there won't be any snow for months.
P.S. There are plenty of nice winter photos in the monthly archives located on the homepage sidebar if you feel like cooling off.
© 2007 FarmgirlFare.com, the sweat-drenched foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares photos & stories of her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres—no matter what the weather.