Why we prefer summer in May.

Opening up the cottage in springtime is usually a chilly business which can involve wearing your hat in bed. When we  walk in for the first time after a long, cold winter the inside temperature is normally suitable for storing meat, even if the sun is shining outside. May is not usually that warm in the Laurentians (an hour north of Montreal).
Somehow rhubarb survives a Canadian winter

This year we've been lucky. The beginning of the month was full-on summer temperatures in the mid 20s. My Canadian uncle told me that summer will never get better than this. I asked him what he meant. "No neighbours, no grass to cut, no bugs and no humidity," he reeled off. I know exactly what he means which is why we actually prefer our summers to be in May, June and September.
Outdoor living on the porch

No neighbours. It may sound anti-social but before summer is in full flow, before the kids are on holiday, it is beautifully quiet around here. No screams can be heard from the water, no dogs are barking at their new summer surroundings and no lawnmowers punctuate your peace. Having said that, I was taking a nap the other day when my husband asked, would it disturb you if I used the chainsaw, so you can't rely on quiet all the time.
Reconstructing the allotment after winter.

No grass to cut. In May the ground is recovering from winter and it takes a while for it to green up. As I write the lilac trees are in full bloom in the city but flowers only just appeared here in the woods. So the low hum of lawnmowers around the lake has not yet begun. Bliss.
Wild trillium in the woods.
No bugs. There are several types but we don't see them till late May. Black flies appear in late May-early June. Then they go and the mosquitoes take over. Just as they are fading in August the horse flies and deer flies appear. It's all a bit annoying but you get used to it by the end of summer when you are covered in bites but happy and tanned. Suffice to say May and September are wonderful months if the weather is good - as you are bug free and able to enjoy the outdoors without slapping yourself and swearing a lot.

No humidity. I didn't really know humidity, coming from North Shields as I do. It saps the life out of you and makes you crave air-conditioning. But in the shoulder seasons (May, June and September) here in the mountains the nights can be cool and even the shade can be delightful. The best kind of weather.

Actually now I think about it this kind of weather is very similar to a good summer's day in England.

Have we got enough wood? I am a fireside cat after all.


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