The First Strawberries of Summer
Posted on May 29, 2018 Posted by John Scalzi 55 Comments
Technically, the first strawberries of late spring, as we’ve got a four weeks to go to solstice. But here in the US our cultural summer is Memorial Day to Labor Day, so, well, here we are, with these very nice strawberries from the little patch we have right in the front of our lawn. Like most strawberries that are not outsized monstrosities, they are packed with flavor, and these are also delightfully tart.
Also last night I saw the first fireflies of the year. Which is another “yup, it’s summer” sign for me. I’ll be trying to take some pictures of those soon. We’ll see how it goes.
What is your “first sign of summer”?
Cherries at the farmers market signal it for me.
Waking up in the morning without any papers to grade. :)
Daylilies, for sure.
Tourist. Thats our sign. Lol Our quiet lake and town suddenly becomes weekend flooded with tourist vacationers. The store shelves are emptied as if locusts have descended on them. Locals do not go out on any water craft during weekends as the lake is as congested as hwys. We swim in our coves but during the week, the lake is ours again.
My first sign of summer is seeing people *my age* in flip-flops (kids under 30 seem to wear them whenever it’s above freezing).
Also, since I’m on the Gulf Coast, the first named storm of the season (which happened over the weekend). It’s not unusual to get a little named storm a few days before the Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1st. I want to say it happens every few-several years or so.
When it gets too hot to do yard work outside at noon.
Well, in Seattle, it used to be the rain until the 5th of July, but it’s been sunshine the last few years… we’ll see if it continues next year…
Living in the Southern Hemisphere, my first sign of the summer is usually the Immaculate Conception holiday (Dec. 8th) which used to mark the end of the school year when I was a kid and then my mother would take us to our beach apartment for the summer stay, with a brief return home to celebrate Christmas and New Year with the family.
While nowadays my kids stay in school almost until Christmas we still go to the beach that weekend to prepare our apartment for their summer stay, so it remains the official marker of “the summer has begun”.
Meteorological summer is different from astronomical. Remember that June 24 is Midsummer Day.
I’m with Marion Deeds: cherries, apricots, peaches–and now pluots starting to arrive. Stone fruit season, the best time of the year.
Solstice, not Equinox. Anyway, there’s not really an official beginning or end of the meteorological seasons. It’s already summer here in Georgia. Love me some sweet little strawberries.
Road construction capable of bringing traffic to a standstill.
Those look savory, but everyone knows midwest summer really begins with the morels!
First sign of summer in my corner of the Southwest is usually in April — high winds, dust storms, raging sinus issues, and weather hitting the 90s. I much prefer your first signs. . . .
The last rain of the spring. (I live in Northern California.) Of course, we only recognize it for sure in retrospect.
First sign of tge summer here is motorcyclists, pedestrians, and mosquitos. So, so many mosquitos.
Duh, me. And I even wrote an astronomy book. Fixed. Thanks.
Summer starts the day I pull on shorts instead of long trousers, put the latter away. It ends the day I take them out again.
There’s that first really warm day where you are coming home and you smell this mix of lighter fluid, charred meat and mown grass. Yep. Summer.
Rhubarb. Rhubarb crisp, strawberry/rhubarb pie, rhubarb sauce over ice cream…
Denver tends to hold onto it’s chill until about Memorial Day, so my big sign of summer is when I switch to wearing short-sleeved shirts at work.
I’m in the deep South, so for us, strawberries are firmly harbingers of spring. Blueberries definitely say summer to me, as does the smell of a freshly mowed hay field.
A big sign of summer here in Phoenix is the first week when all the daytime highs are 100+. Good times — ha! :-)
Tripple digit heat days here in West Texas, which we have already had half a dozen of and more coming for the next nine days per the weather-forecasters; record-breaking days too as we can expect several days near or at 109 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Yeah, we know it is summer when we see this blistering heat descend upon us.
Being mobbed by the first mosquitoes because I am tasty mosquito candy. Deep Woods Off shall be my perfume for the next few months.
For me, it USED to be when I saw the first Hare Krishnas in the park. Now … whatever.
First summer sign? Hmm that’s tough. Feeling warm air on my skin has always been a thing but that’s due more to a childhood to early adulthood spent in the tropics. Summer in Seattle doesn’t typically start off like that though. I think for me the summer sign is knowing which month it is to be honest. Seeing people lightly clothed in 60+ degree weather adds to it? When it comes right down to it, I think of Summer as an attitude, and a good one. Like I can be Island Boy and it’s cool.
Oh, and cherries on the tree! That’s definitely a Seattle Summer Sign!!!
What’s this summer you speak of?
Here in Florida, where there are two seasons (cool summer and hot summer), we are safely in hot summer when you are essentially guaranteed a thunderstorm somewhere on your horizon every day at 4pm. And also when that tiny thunder cell actually passes over you every third day on average and you get 3 inches of rain in 20 minutes.
First sign for me is when the wife starts saying some bug bit her. They like how she tastes like you like how those strawberries taste. Me, I never get bit anymore since they’re all distracted by her!
Do you have/get rhubarb where you are? Strawberry rhubarb jam/pie/cake is delicious!
The first weekend I can get my dahlias outside overnight without risk of them being frosted. That is when summer starts for me. That is usually the first weekend in June, but we’ve been having a heatwave in Scotland (I know, unbelievable) and it was last weekend I got them planted out.
I hesitate to mention this because it’s such a cliche. Because it’s true: Once I got past the age of 50, the seasons started zipping by like a “passage of time” movie montage. I keep wanting to slow it down, but something’s prodding me in the ass and making me jog along until pretty soon I’ll stumble and trip into my own grave. Cheers!
Stone fruit! Blueberries! Weird stuff in the CSA box! (What do you actually DO with watercress, anyway?)
Summer’s kind of nebulous here in the tropics; I guess one marker would be that the mangoes start to ripen in quantities like zucchini in season, if the tree feels like it. For several weeks, if you have a tree that is bearing, you will be hard pressed to give them away, and kids set up roadside stands. The tree that droops into our yard across the back fence is being restrained this year; I can count the number of mangoes I expect to harvest on the fingers of one hand, whereas about 2 miles away one of our friends is having the aforementioned bumper crop. We are also wandering out of the wet season. Our last rainfall of note was 3 weeks ago, and I can’t say I’ll miss the bugs.
Mass Audobon is now sponsoring the “Firefly Watch” (it used to be under the auspices of the Boston Museum of Science). You can do citizen science in your yard! It’s easy — go check it out. I report about once a week in the summer.
We have chopped up our first flat of strawberries for jam-making. They are in the freezer, waiting for cooler weather.
I just squished the first blood-filled mosquito of the season on my leg yesterday evening here in my little pocket of the Midwest while on mole patrol in the back yard. Not a happy development as I am overly sensitive to insect repellant, which for me means a choice of remaining mostly indoors or being eaten alive as I’m one of those unfortunate humans that mosquitos seem to favor for their dining pleasure. On a more positive note, I successfully “squished” the mole this morning, but there is no need to go into the details of that.
Watercress can be used anywhere you would use rocket/arugala (sp?), good to add a peppery sharp note to salads, a favourite of mine is watercress leaves and top bits (not the lower tough stems which can be stringy), lettuce not iceberg crisp but anything else. avocado chunks, toasted pinenuts, french dressing ideally made with tarragon vinegar. Watercress also makes fantastic soup, sweat chopped onion and cubed potato in butter until onion is soft, add vegetable stock cook until potatoes are soft, add roughly chopped watercress, cook for five minutes, whizz.
The Indianapolis 500
Humidity thick enough that you need a chain saw to get through it.
Felicitations on the strawberries! We’re still a couple weeks away from first strawberries here; they usually coincide with Father’s Day.
Things that say “Summer is here” to me include wearing Deet as a personal fragrance, cats stretched out full-length on the hardwood floor with bellies showing, and my spouse getting out his giant collection of garish Hawaiian shirts (which he believes should only be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day). Since all three of those milestones have occurred within the past 48 hours, I’m calling it summer effective now, despite the lack of strawberries.
For me, it’s the first morning when cool kitchen tile feels good to bare feet.
The first sign of summer for me is usually the Halloween stuff appearing in the stores, because that hits around October, and while the weather may not have warmed up yet, it’s a sign we’re heading into the season of retail frenzy. Definite sign of summer? Folks in the USA complaining about how cold it’s getting over there.
Definitely fireflies. And school being out.
Skinks on the back patio slabs. Next up, fireflies.
Fireflies, and that awesome cool feeling in the evening when you can sit on the porch and watch said luminescent insects as the sun goes down after a hot day. And sharing a cold adult beverage with the wife. Aah, there are some joys to empty nests.
Ants in the house.
And I had to run the AC (aka the upstairs dehumidifier) in order to sleep.
Summer can’t POSSIBLY start till June 1st, but it’s definitely threatening.
First sign of summer? The tourists crowding the DC subway system.
I literally read this thinking it was Athena writing it. You’ve been taken over, Old Man. Parenthood Achievement Complete.
The start of mango season. The screaming of cicadas. The sound of Christmas carols playing in the shopping centres. Retailers start hanging the tinsel in early October, not even waiting for Halloween any more!