Summer Top Ten

1.
Colors

zinnia
dahlia
dianthus
coreopsis
liatris
cosmos

delphinium
geranium
hydrangea
fresia
gladiolus
mari-gold

2.
Feet

bare feet

on hot pavement

with colorful, painted toes

wearing flip flops

hiding in sand

3.
Summer Places

secret summer places

— like Brigadoon from the mists —

a screen porch for lazy afternoons

a food truck serving lobster rolls

a picnic-table feast in a clearing of trees,

a secret garden of flowers and bees

4.
Flavors

watermelon

raspberry, blueberry, strawberry

snap peas

corn-on-the-cob (more butter please)

cucumber

zucchini

basil and thyme

(have you got the thyme?)

oregano

tomato

string bean

peach, plum

nectarine

5.
Critters

nevermind the spider

who lives outside my window

or the bugs that accompany my walks

say hello to

dragon flies and butterflies

I always do

to frogs and turtles

to chipmunks in scurry

and birds in trees

6.
Scenic Views

you forget in winter

what the bare bones look like

bedecked in robes of green

and veils of robin-egg blue,

how the heat of summer

lingers in whispers

on the horizon,

and in the reflections

at the end of days

7.
Sounds

sounds outside my window

cicada

cricket

peepers

thunder

fireworks

motorcycle

tell me it is summer still

8.
Vacation

tepid morning

tossing suitcases in back seat

and cooler with treats

on the road

Simon and Garfunkel

(or just Simon sometimes) sing

Windows down

Windows up

Noon

Sandwiches from plastic bags

Are we there yet?

Sound of tires on gravel

in parking lot

somewhere else

9.
Memories

Grandmom kept filet mignon

in a freezer by the door,

back-to-back

with the grill outside.

We’d pick giant red tomatoes

along her fence out back

then drive 45 minutes up the road

for fresh corn-on-the cob.

A gallon of iced tea

mixed with lemonade

sloshed in the Tupperware pitcher

I remember from when I was four.

We sat out on the patio

— ancient umbrellas

shading us from afternoon sun —

and watched bees get drunk

on corn butter and Dad’s beer.

10.
Enjoyment

There is always someone

somewhere

enjoying this day

at the beach around the corner

in the yard next door

along the trail in the woods

and the park across town:

little kids

and big kids

and dogs

…can I play too?

• • •

Photos ©2011, by Jen Payne. In order of appearance: Madison Farmer’s Market, relaxing at Branford Yacht Club, screen porch respite, Lobster Shack, backyard frog, Thimbles Island in Stony Creek, fireworks at a baseball game, leaving on a jet plane (or otherwise), summer in Pennsylvania with Grandmom and Aunt Dot, dog paddle.

30 thoughts on “Summer Top Ten

  1. THAT’s the spirit – gorgeous photos, wonderful poetry/prose/insights… you make summer penance look EASY…

    ;)

  2. Simply Lovely!!! Thank you for the beautiful photos and the flavorful prose. Makes me grateful for the 2 weeks until school. I am going to embrace every single day! :-)

  3. Hi,
    I also come over from Rebekah’s blog, and she is right it was worth the visit.
    I love the photo’s, I have to say I love the photo of the dog enjoying the water, the best way to stay cool. :)

  4. What beautiful and relaxing summer photos — and descriptive words to go with them! Thanks to Joss for pointing me in your direction. I think I will ‘follow’ your blog so I can enjoy more of your random writing and art! =)

  5. Hi there – Joss from The Crowing Crone sent me your way – and I’m glad I stopped by. Your pictures are wonderful! They soothed me instantly. Thank you for sharing. :)

  6. It’s a beautiful post and I was meaning to take you up on this when I first saw it. I don’t think I can :\
    Not today, at least. Another scorcher. I’m so ready for Fall.

  7. Perhaps it was just by chance, but the day after you posted this one, I was visiting my cousins at Rockland Park…visit included leisurely boat ride all around the Branford harbor/shoreline, homemade cod and scallop chowder, wonderful summer views and memories. I’d say you hit that nail on the head!

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