It is not quite High Summer here at The Ranch.
The pastures (really just cleared forest with local grasses but that is what we call them) are only slowly going brown, unlike the flatlands below, which have undergone their transition into the almost dead white brown of summer which will not return to another color until November. There may be another two weeks or more before things go completely brown up here, which is late for the season. My father's biggest hope is they do go brown and there is not another round of mowing around the house to knock the grass down, which will take the better part of a day.
The pine and oak tress here clad the hills with their eternal brown trunks and green leaves and needles for a pleasant contrast to the slowly withering grasses. I have become enough of a concerned citizen that I am paying attention to see if there are additional die offs due to bark beetles or fungus; so far, we seem okay this year.
The biggest difference between here and almost everywhere else I am is the wind. Nothing but the silence of the wind as it roars through the trees. The sound is drowned out currently as my uncle works his way down the fence line and now back up with his orange riding mower, the sound dying off into the distance to a dull roars as a jet flies overhead and takes over until it, too, dies away into the wind.
The birds here fill the space between the wind, chirping away of food and territory and the sorts of things that birds sing about when it is almost July and the world is full of drying grass seeds and fat insects.
In one large clearing off of the red dirt road that heads off away from the house towards the main road (it is the official road on the deed, but we use the other road, the one that has been there for sixty years or more) a swarm of dragonflies hovers in the air - more than I can remember of late, although to honest I cannot think that I have paid attention to them all that much. To the human eye, they appear to be dancing; to the dragonfly, fierce hunters that they are, they are looking for the next meal to dart into range. Odd how we can have completely different views of the same event.
Sitting here in the wind swept bird filled silence with windows open in the blessedly humidity free air, the world - I hesitate to call it the "real world" because in point of fact this is the real world - falls away and becomes what it should really be. Gone are the side by side housing and the wind that blows but not through the trees (because there are not enough trees for the wind to blow through, only our allocated 3.5) and the overwhelming sound of cars and heat radiating from the blacktop and rooftops. Yes, the heat can be here as well, but it absorbs into the ground and air instead of hurling it back at you as an insult and challenge to the concrete and asphalt jungle that we mistakenly call "civilization".
Where I live now, High Summer is a thing to be endured. Here, it is a celebration of the natural cycle of things. Which of them, I wonder, is the truly "civilized" option?