Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summertime Pleasures #1

A. This summer I've made a big effort to hang laundry outside to dry rather than using the dryer. Yeah, it's more work but the sensory effects of freshly laundered, and in some cases bleached, clothes then hung outside to drive are swoon-inducing. I love to bury my nose in bleached, line-dried t-shirts or towels and just inhale the freshness. The scratchiness of bath and hand towels and the feel of line-dried sheets when we put them on the bed is heavenly as well. Yum! So the economic benefits of not running the dryer are only second in my mind to the tactile and aromatic advantages that can only be obtained with laundry that's hung out to dry. If they could only bottle that scent accurately, I'd buy a ton of it to get through the winter months. As a side benefit, if I do use the dryer, I keep the lint and put it into the composter along with vegetable and fruit scraps and lawn/leaves. Don't I sound all Mother Earth and everything? Really not doing it for that reason - just enjoy the ultimate benefits.

B. While we escape into air conditioning in the house (we are indeed whimps) whenever the humidity gets too oppressive, leaving the windows open at night, particularly when it's raining is heavenly.   The sounds are fantastic and it's wonderful to wake up to birds singing. A couple weeks ago, we went to bed around midnight and as we were climbing into bed, we heard the most unearthly noise from the ravine that borders our lot on one side and across the back. It continued for quite a while and Johnnie was looking out the window toward the ravine to try to place the sounds. It wasn't a bird, a cat in heat or a dog.

We ultimately decided that it was foxes. We could pinpoint where the sounds were coming from and it sounded as though there were at least three of them in different parts of the ravine and across the street. At one point, Johnnie saw one of them, sort of silverish-gray, streaking along the street itself under the streetlights. Whether they were hunting or trying to get the pack organized in one area, we haven't any idea. The next day, Johnnie found fox sounds on the Web and we confirmed that it must have been foxes calling to each other. Awesome. We regularly see deer, raccoons and wild turkeys but sighting any of the resident foxes is still rather unusual. Since we live in a well populated suburb, we count ourselves lucky to have such a front row seat to wildlife in their (more or less) natural habitat.

C. Walking in comfort for exercise. Bridget and I went walking this morning and saw three pileated woodpeckers -- the Woody Woodpecker kind. We were hoping that it was two males courting a female but they flew off before indulging us with a demonstration of their mating and courting behavior. No snow to worry about, no extra layers to encumber us. Sure we sweat but it's a great feeling to get out and walk in minimum layers and be comfortable.

There could be more so I'll just leave the list open ended. What are your summertime pleasures?


Courtney said...

1) Freshly cut grass. I'm allergic, but it smells so good.

2) Crickets and dragonflies. Love the chirping of the former (I adore the mimic that Elliott and Janna make back at them in the dark of their room at night - so cute!!), and the dragonflies around our house are HUGE. Like the size of my hand huge. They're just neat.

3) Sunbathing. Of course I know it's terrible for you, but I channel my inner Sookie Stackhouse whenever I can. I slather myself with a 70 SPF, and I sit.

4) Sprinklers RULE!

5) Anything that makes my kiddos giggle and shriek with glee. Going for bike rides with Mommy and Daddy playing in the rain, camping...it's been such a fantastic summer. I hate to see it end!

Mary Q Contrarie said...

I enjoy air dried laundry year round. I just dry on a clothes drying rack. When it dries inside it is missing a bit of that sunshine smell but it is still better than that fake or mechanical smell from getting dried in a dryer. My number one summer pleasure has to be that the sun stays up long enough to be able to take walks in the neighborhood and actually see people out and about doing chores and playing with kids.