18 July 2011

How We Spend Summer Nights

Jack and I were married for nearly five years before we even had a converter box and antenna for our television to pick up the few lousy channels available in the area.  If you can't glean from that information that we're not big TV watchers, then I'll tell you, we don't watch much television.  Movies, yes sometimes, but really, there's not much on the tube that is that enticing.

So what's there to do on those long, muggy summer nights in the seclusion of rural Iowa?  Plenty.
 And funny enough, plenty involves a lot of nothing while sitting around the fire with visiting friends.
I love this picture.  It's a bit trippy but my camera finally captured a few difficult-to-photograph fireflies, a staple to any good summer night.
The cats usually meander over to see what all the laughing is about (and to poke around for food that no one's paying attention to).  Once they've been shooed away one too many times, they'll either sink down for a pat on the back or disappear into the cornfields to find a late-night snack of their own.
With so many geriatric trees on our property, there's always some spare scrap of fallen wood that needs to be burned.  Whether we have friends drop by or it's just our family, most times we turn the lumber into a blazing bonfire to enjoy, even if we're fresh out of marshmallows to roast.

If we aren't in the mood for stoking a fire, Jack and I often take a stroll around the property after the girls are in bed.  Granted, we risk being sucked dry by the hordes of vampiric mosquitoes just waiting for us to step outside, but it's kind of become a date-like activity for us: listening to the quiet symphony of crickets and cicadas while discussing our plans for the next home improvement project.  Sometimes, we go nuts and talk about what we'd really do if we had an unlimited amount of money.  We'd keep the original house of course, after all that work we put into it, but would add on.  A lot.
Fireflies are a dime a dozen in Iowa.  Capturing them with a dinky digital camera however, is much more difficult to accomplish than I thought.  So you're going to have to trust me when I claim that that is a lightening bug and not Tinkerbell streaking across the sky.  It's a shame you can't see how the night shimmers with them in July.  Guess you'll have to visit the Midwest if you have never been blessed to see them in action.

I'm sure some people would be bored out of their minds being cut off from the rest of the hustle and bustle of the world and I'll admit I sometimes miss the city.  Still, I can always drive into town if I want some bright lights and noise.  On the other hand, not many other people though can open their windows and hear no one but nature whispering outside.  And that's just how we like to spend our summer nights.

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