Sights, sounds of summer

Each season has its own sights and sounds, things to see and do and experience. Summer is no exceptions, and there is often more to see and do in the summer than in other seasons.

Aromas of the summer are quite different from other times of the year. If you live out in a rural area or on a farm, you can experience aromas, sights and sounds not found in town.

In late May, June and into July this year, one of the most pleasant aromas is that of newly mowed hay as it starts to cure. It is unlike any other aroma that one can experience. I have sometimes said that I would like an aftershave lotion with that pleasant smell.

Many more insects are active during these warm months. Sounds of the katydids or the crickets are enjoyable. Summer nights bring a chorus of many insect sounds through the air. Sometimes I wake up to the hooting of a couple of owls talking to each other. I don’t know what they are saying, but they seem to have a good conversation.

Even though they have lots of food available in the forests and fields, we still feed the birds during the summer. One reason is we enjoy the rose-breasted grosbeaks that come every year to the feeders. For several years, we have had two pairs visiting us. This year, we have had four pairs. They must have put out the word that we provide an easy hand out. They are a beautiful bird.

We feed some suet cakes but are a bit discouraged with them. We enjoy the woodpeckers they attract but we get too many grackles. They are gluttons, eating huge chunks at a time and even dropping some on the ground. Blue jays are about as bad.

On the farm, wheat turns to a golden brown, ripening for harvest. Oats also turn brown and the heads dip down waiting for harvest. Then we hear the hum of the combine as it travels around the fields like hungry bugs harvesting our food supply.

In Amish country, we can see their farmers with three-horse teams cutting wheat or oats into bundles with their old binders. Then they get together and put all those bundles into shocks that can withstand the weather until they are threshed with an old-fashioned threshing machine. As was done many years ago by all farmers, the Amish get together to haul the grain up to the barn and thresh the kernels from the straw and chaff.

Summer brings many celebrations of one kind or another. We recently finished the celebration of Independence Day with all the fireworks and many family get-togethers. Children and grandchildren playing in the yard bring one of the most enjoyable sights and sounds of summer.

County fairs and all that goes with them are a big part of summer for many. It doesn’t matter what you enjoy, you can usually find it at a county fair. All the hustle and bustle of the midway, the barking of the hucksters and music of the rides brings some to the events.

For me the educational part of the fairs is what is important. The many 4-H animals and displays show what our young people have been doing. Farm equipment, both new and old, tell a story of what takes place on many farms.

Taking a ride around the area to see what crops look like or what is happening are great summer experiences. Wildlife is abundant and you have to be careful when traveling country roads.

In the urban areas, things change in the summer. There are outdoor concerts, picnics at the parks, visits to the museums and zoos. Lots of different t hinges that are nice to see when the weather is warm and pleasant.

So get out and experience the sights and sounds of summer!

Parker is an independent writer for the Tribune.