Seventy at Seventy

Life Begins at 70

[28] The Living is Easy

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[28] The Living is Easy – a Pictorial Blog about Summer

I have done blogs for Autumn, Winter and Spring. As I said in those it is not easy to define precisely when seasons start and end, so again I will look at some general things that seem to mark the seasons.

To me summer is marked by some or all of the following.

  • Daylight hours are long – more or less staying light except for a period when we are asleep.
  • The weather, in its usual fairly random way, is generally very good. We have lazy hot sunny days, sometimes too hot, and at worst it is comfortably warm. We don’t have to watch out for frosts but may experience some light rain – maybe even thunderstorms after particularly long hot and humid spells.
  • The skies are very often blue with just a few white clouds but there, are, of course exceptions!
  • It is the period of annual holidays abroad for many people and a long school holiday. We avoid the peak time and take our holidays in autumn, winter or spring.
  • I am not a great fan of sport but we have summer sports like Wimbledon tennis flooding our television screens.
  • Summer visiting birds stay all summer but this may not be as long as our summer. Swifts are the last to arrive and the first to leave, usually within a day or two of the first of August.
  • Birds produce their young, care for them and see them leave the nest – all in a few weeks. Many birds successfully rear two or three broods in one summer.
  • Insects go through their generations in the same way going through cycles of metamorphosis. They may be short-lived in the adult stage but two or three generations in a year is typical.
  • I think of summer as the time for flowers but flowering plants have such variable timings that throughout summer you may see buds, flowers and fruits – even on the same plant.
  • Grass, bushes and trees stay a lush green throughout summer.

Flowers

I will show you some flowers here but I have plenty more pictures. There will be two or three blogs just devoted to flowers.

Insects

Apart from the weather the flowers provide pollen for insect food and flowers and leaves are often places for insects to rest and bask in the sun. Here are just a few. Many others will appear in my blogs devoted to insects.

You will have to read my insect blogs to see what these are. I have seen and photographed well over a hundred insect species so far this year. Look out for [15] Butterflies and Dragonflies, [16] Bees, Beetles and Bugs and [17] Flies and Spiders.

Birds

I had to pick something as a topic for pictures of Summer and I went for birds. Whenever I visit Slimbridge in summer there are young ducks, swans and geese. These are birds that are so tame that the parents seem to teach their chicks to love their human visitors who may be bearing food. Not all of these pictures come from Slimbridge.

Coots and Moorhens are also seen with their young

Those are the easy ones to spot but other birds also produce their young in summer.

I will end with some blue skies of summer.

 

You will all recognize ‘The Living is easy,’ from Summertime by George Gershwin, written in 1934 for the musical Porgy and Bess. The words are by DuBose Heyward who wrote the novel Porgy.

The song is a popular jazz standard, one of the most covered pieces of music with over 30 000 versions!

 

Summertime, – And the livin’ is easy – Fish are jumpin’ – And the cotton is high.

Oh, Your daddy’s rich – And your mamma’s good lookin’ – So hush little baby – Don’t you cry.

One of these mornings – You’re going to rise up singing – Then you’ll spread your wings – And you’ll take to the sky

But until that morning – There’s a’nothing can harm you – With your daddy and mammy standing by

Summertime, – And the livin’ is easy – Fish are jumpin’ – And the cotton is high.

Your daddy’s rich – And your mamma’s good lookin’ – So hush little baby – Don’t you cry.

 

Author: Alan

Retired, currently living in Cheltenham.

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