Today is the longest day of the year -- the first day of summer in the Shenandoah Valley.
To live here is to enjoy everything that brings tourists to the area ... the climate is great -- warm days, cool nights, lower humidity than points east of the Blue Ridge, views of the Valley and mountains.
Sitting on my deck I can watch deer at the far end of the yard at the edge of the woods ... turkeys and bears roam through the area. The views of the mountains are soothing, the hayfields are picturesque. Occasionally an eagle (yes, an eagle) soars high overhead.
The vegetable garden is thriving since we've had sufficient rain this spring. I'm looking forward to squash, corn, beans, potatoes, onions, cukes, a wide variety of peppers, and a nice selection of tomatoes.
My flowers are enjoying the benefit of tender loving care. Many varieties of annuals are planted in the window boxes; dozens of perennials are blooming throughout the yard. My yard is much like a memory garden with flowers passed on from my mom, grandmother, sisters, aunts, and friends. As plants grow and multiply and need to be divided, friends and I share with one another.
The trees, shrubs, and grass are green and lush and it smells like ... ah, fresh-mowed grass! ... on these hot days.
It's summertime in the Valley.