It’s one of those spectacular summer evenings in Portland, where you finally feel summer has arrived. Although the locals say the rain doesn’t stop until after Rose Festival, you really can’t count on true summer until after the 4th of July, and this year is no exception. We’ve had rain off and on and cool temps until just this past weekend. It’s been a fairly typical early summer with a week of beautiful sunny days followed by weekends of wet and gray.

This past weekend we broke that trend and the rich blue skies have been filled with light fluffy clouds.
Fluffy Clouds.jpg

The sun is more present than not and the temperature warm enough to call you outside until well after the sun sets. Yep, it finally feels like summer!

Today, with the Big Guy finally off to a meeting in Spain, I was able to catch up on most of the neglected piles on my desk and ready myself for a few days of vacation. I came home feeling relieved knowing I only had to return to the office one more day this week and looking forward to an evening at home alone. You see, on Monday nights, Mark heads to the neighbor’s for a swim and dinner. I used to join them but since Mark retired, it’s the only evening I have the house completely to myself and can decompress…and turn the music up as loud as I want.

So, here I sit on the deck with a glass of my favorite scotch, an old Pixies album blasting from the Klipschorns. The sky is still filled with light, fluffy clouds, but they are becoming fewer in opposition to the mosquitos. The temperature is a perfect 75 degrees and the the birds and squirrels are flocking to the feeders. It’s truly the perfect summer evening and I don’t at all feel guilty for just sitting here. I occasionally throw the frisbee down the hill for the dog to retrieve so it’s not like I’m not doing anything.

Saturday, after making the drive across the border for fireworks…


…we did what we so enjoy this time of year…making jam.


We secured a few flats of our favorite berries from the local grower…


..and processed 4 cases of the finest raspberry jam known to man. No…that’s not the scotch talking. If you doubt me…send your address…I’ll own you!

In between batches of jam I prepared some strawberries and old fashioned drop biscuits for shortcake because Mac had invited a few friends…

Mac's clan.jpg

..for a hike in the park Sunday morning and I knew their owners would need a little sugar fix to make it back down the hill afterward.

Sunday’s hike was invigorating and halfway through Mark spied this wonderful wasp nest..

Paper Wasps.JPG

…which wasn’t here two weeks ago when we took the same trail. I couldn’t get a shot that would show perspective but it is a little larger than your average Canteloupe melon. Big enough to be intriguing and frightening at the same time.

We also ran across some large fields of native Tiger Lilies…

Native Tiger Lilies.JPG

…which are exclamation points on these hikes and confirm that yes…summer has finally arrived!

8 responses to “Finally…Summer

  1. That sounds like a truly idyllic evening. And the photos are very nice (though we need one of Mark swimming). I came home from Michigan to find a tidal wave of raspberries in my yard- so jam making is in my future as well. Do you know which species of lily is in the picture?


  2. You captured perfectly my favorite time of year. Lovely, isn’t it?!

  3. Doug – it is Lilium columbianum also known as the Columbia Lily or Oregon Lily. I’m jealous that you’re growing your own berries. We need to find a better spot and bigger deer fence.
    Sassy – It was such a beautiful evening and we have a whole week of them to look forward to. I just want to live on the deck for the rest of the summer.

  4. That picture of Mac and his friends is so cute! Its nice to see him being part of such a diverse group! 😉 (That little guy in the back cracked me up.)

  5. Funny that we live in the same country… Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 115 degrees in my home of Phoenix… My brain is about to fry out of my head… I had to go to a lunch today and thought I was going to pass out when i got in the car. We run from air conditioning to air conditioning.

    But, ask me how I feel in February. And the answer will be more like your post!

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. You’re one of the first!

  6. What a laid back and lovely post. You made me wish I was sitting on that deck with you listening to my Favorite band from Boston. I will e-mail you my address, I don’t believe you enough for at least two jars. Steal that bus btw, it’s too cute. It’s nice to know that your child has such nice and responsible looking friends, and that you play catch with him. Love the photos, love your environment there, and yearn for living on the West Coast. Hope you have a lovely fourth!

  7. those are cool flowers at the end.

  8. oh my goodness! what a lovely, lovely post. i feel as if i’m there.

    we all need nights of nothing. i go crazy(ier) without them. and there’s something especially sweet when the husband is out of the house. i love him dearly, and i love him even more when he walks back in the door after i’ve had a day or an evening alone.

    lilies growing wild. incredible. and you’re making jam, just like tater. the world would truly go to hell in a handbasket but for the gays. thank god someone’s upholding standards. i haven’t canned in 6 years.

    beautiful post. love it.

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