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Sparrows and mosquitoes, lazy evenings and lawn mowing, vacation plans and severe thunderstorm warnings: Summer in Minnesota has it all.

After the rigors of winter and the indignities of spring, it's good to walk outside in shirtsleeves. Quite a few folks put flowers out, adding color to the landscape. Families spend an afternoon at the lakeside park. ("Sinclair Lewis Park" on the map, I call it "Sauk Lake Park.") Their children add color, movement and sound to the playground: a joyful change from the long quiescence of winter and spring.

Fishing shacks and snowmobiles on the lake, removed or sunk after winter, are now replaced by boats: canoes, pontoon boats, speed boats, and the traditional sixteen footers.

Driving by the lake, I often see flotillas of ducks and fishermen, living in harmony. At least, until duck season. And anon, the weed eater will ply its way up and down the mere, munching up the waterweeds which flourish every year.

I like the clouds of summer, those titanic cotton balls floating under a blue sky-bowl.

And there is grilling. Summer is the season when I can grill without standing in a snow drift. It is the season when the grill heats up in short order, and hamburgers never freeze on their way inside.

Of course, we have to put up with the mosquitoes of summer. The only thing I can think of, off hand, that justifies the existence of mosquitoes is the contribution they make to the diet of bats and spiders, and their impact on humor. Where would we be, without jokes such as the one about two mosquitoes: after knocking down a hunter, one said to the other, "should we eat him here, or take him back to the swamp?" and was answered, "we better eat him here. If we take him back to the swamp, the big guys will take him away from us."

At the end of each summer day there is that long, lazy summer evening: unless, of course, there's wild weather on the loose. The songs of birds engaged in territorial disputes mingles anon with the sound of lawn mowers and stock car races. Finally, the setting sun lights the sky with splashes of color before leaving our land bathed in a long twilight. As darkness wraps tree, shrub and lawn in shadow, on many weekends we hear explosions from the race track's fireworks display.

I like summer in Minnesota.



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Text is copyright Brian H. Gill 2002


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This page last updated: December 19, 2010