I’m on a quick visit to Boise, Idaho. It’s my first visit to a place that, according to a big signs at the airport, bills itself as the “City of Trees.” The airport signs also make it clear that Idahoans are proud of their beef and their potatoes — so I savored some of each at dinner.
Although I didn’t notice anything remarkable about the trees of Boise, I did think the state capitol building, pictured above, was pretty cool, and I was really struck by what you see in the distance behind the capitol — i.e., cloudless blue sky. Boise gets sunshine at least part of the day for a ridiculously large percentage of the year. We could us some of that during our Columbus winters.
I’ve always thought of the period between the Fourth of July and Labor Day as “high summer” — when it’s bright and hot and time to consume all of the great summer foods. Like corn on the cob, and root beer floats . . . and coneys. So today, on our way to the library, Kish and I stopped off at Village Coney, on Whittier, for lunch. I ordered two coneys with cheese, fries, and a Diet Pepsi and got a cookie as a bonus.
Although I ordered two coneys, I consumed three of them when Kish decided one was enough for her. I initially declined the extra coney, but with the lingering taste of the cheese and chili sauce of the first two coneys, which were excellent, the lure of the third coney proved to be irresistible. The fries were really good, too.
Bring on the High Summer!
So, it’s July, and tonight it’s a perfect summer evening for sitting outside. Not too hot, a little sultry . . . the kind of night where fireflies circle about lazily and a cold beer tastes mighty good against the lingering heat.
And speaking of cold beer . . . what to choose? The local convenience store offers a surprisingly wide and diverse selection that is a far cry from the shelves of Budweiser, Schultz, and Stroh’s that I remember from my childhood.
Tonight, it’s going to be an alternation of goses and brown ales, the better to appreciate a near-perfect summer evening.
You can argue about the season in which rural Ohio is at its best. Throw out winter — of course! — and you could argue endlessly about the lush springs, the blue sky summer days, and the colors and tastes of autumn.
Spring, of course, has its own colors — they’re just more subtle. Standing on Cousin Jeff’s elevated deck, looking out at the trees and plants and fallen pine needles and grass, you see just about every shade of green you can imagine. Couple it with cool air that smells of growing plants and bright songs from a number of different birds, and you’ve got a feast for the senses.
Kermit the Frog would fit right in.
This year, in Columbus, Ohio, spring has been a fickle creature. After a few flirtatious days of warm weather and sunshine, we’ve endured days of gloomy cold and wind and rain that felt like we were right back on the edge of winter.
Today, at least, dawned clear and bright, but very chilly. It’s one of those days where the shadows seem especially deep and dark, and the relative temperature feels like it increases about 20 degrees when you walk through a shaft of sunlight.
It’s refreshing, I suppose, but I’m ready for spring to arrive in earnest — and stick around.
Our weird winter weather seemed to do a number on this spring’s tulip crop in German Village — at least, it seems like there aren’t as many around this year. I wonder whether the warmer than normal February, followed by the colder than normal March and early April, took its toll on the flower we traditionally associate with spring (and Holland).
Still, there are a few nice tulip beds to be found, like this beauty on Third Street. Thanks to whoever planted these lovely flowers — they add a dash of color and flair to my morning and always bring a smile to my face as I pass by.
This morning I took an early morning lap around Schiller Park — because I’ve been on the road, the first such lap in a while — and as I circumnavigated the park I couldn’t help but notice a distinct fragrance in the air.
You might call it that growing scent. It’s something you smell every spring — a heady mixture of mulch, fertilizer, damp soil, growing grass, buds, newly sprung leaves, and everything else that seems to be popping as the weather warms and the rain falls. It’s spicy and earthy and a bit intoxicating, and very much welcome.
We didn’t have a bad winter this winter, but it’s always glorious when you detect that growing scent and know that spring has come.