When we find ourselves in the first week of August, the days become tinged with melancholy. Despite the hot sun still smiling down on beaches and yards and baseball fields, we know the summer is fading.
Most vacations are just memories and photos. We still wear the t-shirts from our trips, but the souvenirs have blended into their new homes on our shelves, desks, or dressers. Thoughts of school supply shopping haunt the edges of our minds like ghosts. In New Hampshire, we catch glimpses of a few trees slowly slipping into their Fall fashions.
Now is peach season.
I lived for a while in Georgia, the Peach State, with its rust-colored dirt and sweltering summers (that lasted two thirds of the year). Never did I imagine that peaches grew in New Hampshire. They do. And they’re as succulent and sweet as any in Georgia – although maybe a tad smaller. We even had some apricots on our tree this year for the first time ever.
Now, I love to eat (for those who know me, I’m certain this is a shocking revelation) and I love breakfast. Picture this: walking down to the orchard, the dew sparkling in the morning sun, picking fresh peaches, and piling them up on a stack of made-from-scratch buttermilk pancakes. That’s a hearty hunk of Heaven right there, believe me.
Unfortunately, the peaches all ripen within about a week or so. All those peaches all at once mean plenty of peachy treats: peach crisp, peaches in oatmeal, peaches in sangria, and, of course, the peaches by themselves with the sweet juice running down your chin and the flesh melting in your mouth. Every other day we visit the trees for more fruit.
The ripe peaches call to more than just people, though. Ants burrow into them, bees nibble at them, deer munch them, voles clean off the ones that fall on the ground – even coyotes get in on the feast. You have to be quick or you won’t get any.
As much as I like eating peaches, the photographer in me sees their beauty. They always remind me of the setting or rising sun with the oranges, yellows, reds, and, yes, peaches (I couldn’t miss that now could I?).
Alas, the peaches are all gone. And all too soon, the summer.
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