I recently heard the seasons in the South described like this: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Christmas. Ain't it the truth! That's close to what Bill I always say: Texas has Summer and Cool Summer. In Ireland we have Winter and Warm Winter.
Most Irish consider May 1 to be the start of summer. While May may feel like summer in Austin, it most certainly does not in Dublin. It's straining to even be Spring. It does explain, however, why the summer solstice is known as Mid-Summer. I'm finding I define my seasons existentially, so if it feels like Spring to me--temps in the 70s, warm sun and cool air--then it's Spring.
So it's been quite a while since I've experienced true summer, and to be honest, I don't miss the searing heat. I do miss summer squash and sweet, yellow corn. I miss the cool touch of conditioned air on my skin when I step out of the shower. I miss the cool down during a thunderstorm. I miss fireflies and tree frogs.
The two previous nominal-summer-seasons in Ireland have been some of the most dismal ever, according to everyone we know. We would see a bright, tantalizing week in May or June, but as the days grew longer they failed to bring sunny warmth. We did our best with the occasional "sunny spells." We had many days of coldish rain.
This summer, however, the sun has been benevolent with its light and warmth. We have shorts in semi-regular clothes rotation. I have actual tan lines on my feet from wearing sandals (and had them before our recent trip to Spain). This June was the warmest in 40 years. I've ventured out to work several times without a jacket.
With a lovely month of springtime across Texas, Arkansas and Alabama, the great dose of fabulous weather in Ireland and our sunny trip to Spain, we've had a cracking good Spring!
I'm not sure you can beat Ireland when it's at its sunny best. With light skies until after 11:00 PM, a sunny day has a bit of forever about it. The lucky weather has made several recent outings particularly fun: an incredible sunny weekend in County Clare in mid-May, visiting the Sheridans Food fest, and spending June 20th in Trim at the Haymaking Festival. Check out the slide show below for some photos.
It's rainy today as I write this, but I can only hope this is only a refreshing drink before the warm, sunny days return. They're coming back, right? I can't lose my toe tan!
Photos in this post are from our trip to County Clare.