Angela Cannon-Crothers


How to Savor the Last Dregs of Summer

Posted by Angela Cannon-Crothers on October 29, 2011 at 3:30 PM

How to Savor the last dregsof Summer (and lick the pan clean):

1.       When you first notice the sun’s azimuth growing lower adjust the brim of your hat tomatch the angle of light and ignore it.

2.       Although you may ignore the fact that summer is getting hotter, weather everywhere moresevere, and climate change is happening…lower your carbon footstep anyway: hangout the laundry, bring reusable bags to the store (wish I could remember thisone), buy a solar panel if you can afford it.

3.       Reach both hands beneath the weeds in the garden and pull out an overly largezucchini. Bring it in the kitchen and swear you will cook it for dinner.

4.       Take a walk in the woods after dark without a flashlight; look for the gleamingfirefly larvae in the leaf litter, shining foxfire (bioluminescent fungi) onold logs, and glowing Jack-O’ Lantern mushrooms. Try calling in a barred owl bygiving a guttural cry: who cooks for you?Who cooks for you aaallll? Wesley Hill Preserve on Gulick Road is a greatplace to hike.

5.       Go blueberry picking (the farm in Prattsburgh and Blueberry Hill in Arkport arestill open) or pick wild blackberries. Come home and make jelly all in the sameday.

6.       Pick wildflowers along a dirt road or in the fields. Gather armfuls of Queen Ann’sLace, black mahogany seed stems of curly dock, cat-tails, goldenrod, black-eyedSusans, arrange them in a large vase. Or recycle some of those phonebooks asflower presses and collect blossoms to decorate book marks, cards, even photoframes.

7.       In the morning, put your bathing suit on under your clothes even if you are goingto work (especially if you are going to work). Carry a towel with you all dayand be ready for the moment – even if it’s just to turn on the hose and danceunderneath it.

8.       Listen for the last calls of migratory birds, the clatter of flickers, the chatter oftree swallows, the lyrical songs of tree sparrows…

9.       Take down your hummingbird feeders but replace them with finch feeders and enjoy thelemon colors of goldfinches in full bloom.

10.   Sit at one of our area’s many restaurant porches like Roots, The Hotel, TheSawmill, or The Brown Hound. Order a fancy drink (it need not be alcoholic).Waste some time watching the world go by.

11.   Pack a picnic and visit an area park or beach you’ve missed this year, like OnandaBeach, Stony Brook, Sandy Bottom or Ontario County Park. Leave all yourcommunication gadgets at home and enjoy being in the moment, in nature.

12.   Watch the sun set and linger till long after dark. Look for constellations like Corona Borealis, Cygnet the Swan, or the Little Dipper.

13.   Camp out in the backyard with the kids (if they need motivation, tell them you justtreated the house for a flea infestation and they need to stay out for 12 hoursbut not to worry, you have marshmallows….)

14.   Investigate young milkweed plants for signs of newly hatched Monarch butterfly caterpillarsor look under milkweed leaves for tiny yellow Monarch eggs. If you don’t haveany milkweed this year, set aside a wild area of the yard for next year – Ihave plenty of seed.

15.   Challenge yourself with one more summer adventure – anything from backpacking on the Bristol Hills Branch of the Finger Lakes Trail to getting up one of the area’samazing gullies like Clark’s Gully, Conklins, or Stid Hill, kayaking or sailingon one of the Finger Lakes, or even heading up to the Adirondacks to hike a High Peak.

16.   Make a list of the top 5 things you are most thankful for. Be amazed that nothing on the list includes technology, consumer goods, signature vehicles, or stuff.

17.   Unplug yourself (and the family) for an entire day. If you don’t know what to doreview this list and then go out and enjoy the deepening of summer; the richnessof a season consumed with real abundance, the type worth counting your blessings for.




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