Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Signs of summer

Memorial Day is always heralded as the official start of summer, even though the calendar says otherwise.

Balloons start popping up at the end of driveways, marking the location of graduation parties. Church parking lots start to fill up on Saturdays for the summer wedding season.

It's also the time of year when farms all around the state open their doors for Breakfasts on the Farm. Here in Stearns County, our Breakfast on the Farm will be held next Saturday, June 4th at Schefers Dairy near St. Stephen.

For me, I know summer is officially here when the discbine starts laying out swaths of alfalfa and orchard grass. We're going to try making haylage with our first crop. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Along with the smell of fresh cut hay, there are some other tell-tale signs of summer:

• The kitchen floor could almost pass as the barn floor since nobody thinks they're going to be inside long enough to warrant removing their shoes and nobody wants to stay inside long enough to sweep the floor.

• Despite the sunscreen, Dan and Monika are developing farmers' tans from all of their hours "working" outside. But it's hard to tell what's tan and what's dirt until you hose them off in the shower.

• I have a list of ideas to write about that's two pages long, but I don't want to stay in the house any more than the kids do, so the items on the list keep increasing faster than I can check them off. Ditto for the photos to share.

• Heat and humidity. We had our first pressure cooker of a day yesterday. As we were sitting in the grass under a tree, Dan asked simply, "Why is it so hot?" (I'm not sure, since I had to put long underwear on again last Friday.)

• The bugs are back. First the June beetles started showing up in the sandbox. This morning there was something buzzing around my head while I brought the cows in. Dan even had his first wood tick of the year.

Without a doubt, summer is here. I hope your summer has plenty of sunshine, dirt and bugs (not the biting ones, though).

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