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Summer officially begins

Our mild winter seems to have led right into a hot summer as the season officially begins its first full day on Thursday morning.

According to the calendar, Summer just arrived Wednesday evening and with it, the almanac says, so will the hottest periods of the season, predicted in early to mid-June and early and mid-July.

From the 18th to the 20th it was supposed to be sunny and cool…oops (I don’t think you can say the temperature out there today is “cool”). Then for the rest of June they are predicting scattered thunderstorms, cool and sunny. We will see won’t we?

July and August temperatures should average about a degree below normal, the almanac says with precipitation also lower than normal by about 2.5 inches.

September and October are predicted to be cooler and rainier than normal.

In the Upper Peninsula and tip of the mitt, the almanac says “Summer will be cooler and drier than normal. The hottest periods will occur in mid-July and early August.”

The almanac did correctly predict a “milder than usual winter” for us so they might be close with these predictions. I think they will probably get it right about as often as the TV weatherman does.

Whatever comes Summer is my favorite time of year. Oh I know I say that about almost every season, but it is a really great time of year when you can be outside most of the time.

And June is just about the best month of the year. I dream about June on those long, dark cold nights in February.

It’s a special time for adults, but summer is really made for kids.

Some of the best things about early summertime are hazy evenings when the sun sets after 9:30 p.m. and the scent of flowers and fresh grass are everywhere.

You see people walking all over, especially in the evening, youngsters riding bikes and skateboards, swimming in the afternoons and catching minnows in a net or pail, only to let them go again. These days are made spinning on a tire swing in the sunshine or splashing in a wading pool. And they are perfect for sitting around bonfires after dark and roasting marshmallows over the embers of a dying fire.

There’s something exciting about watching a summer thunderstorm crashing through the sky after dark and that incredible fresh smell that comes right after the rain.

It’s so peaceful sitting on deck in the evening listening to the frog singing and watching the fireflies twinkle. I just saw them again this week.

You wake up to birds singing at dawn and making music again just before the sun sets on a dead calm warm evening. You can just about tell the time by the geese flying noisily overhead on their way to the pond just west of here for the night.

For the kids, it is never-ending days of play, being outside with friends, of going to the lake or the river and jumping in shivery cold water on a blazing hot afternoon. It’s popsicles that melt before you can finish them, and ice cream or big chunks of watermelon eaten in the shady back yard.

It is long bike rides and picnics on a blanket in the yard. It’s lying on your back after dark and watching the stars.

Summer is a great time to be alive. Don’t you wish you could experience it as a kid just one more time?