Sayonara Summer

Summer is over.

Well, at least it is for me. School starts today in our district (we sometimes have a lot of snow days.) I used to think of Labor Day as the unofficial end of summer. This year I’ve determined — despite the start of football and the crisper air we’re already feeling — to try to strangle every last bit of goodness out of the season.

To help me say good-bye, I’m hosting an end-of-summer photo-a-day project. And I know we’re all busy! Honestly, I’ve never gotten past Day 5 on similar challenges so I’ve tried to make this as flexible as possible to ensure everyone’s success — especially mine! Here are the “rules” as such.

  • You can participate at any time until Sept. 20, when the calendar says summer is over. There aren’t even as many assignments as there are days from now to then.
  • You do not have to take a photo on a specific day. If you have a photo you took at any time this summer that meets the assignment, post it. You can do them out of order.
  • I care more about storytelling and getting to know you from your photos than I do about technical brilliance. No one is judging your photography skills. (Please don’t judge mine.)

Share your photos with me by posting a link to a Flickr or other album in the comments, by sharing it on my Facebook page or by Tweeting it to @CynthiaMcCloud and tagging it #sayonarasummer. You should probably title it something that tells me what day it is if it’s not clear which day you’re on.

From all responses, I will randomly select a winner to receive some prize I’ll come up with before Sept. 20. Your work will not go unrewarded!

Without further ado, here’s the challenge. I’ll admit I drew some inspiration from Lisa Damrosch’s 2008 Big Picture class on taking summer photos.

1: Something you’ll miss most about summer
2: How does your garden grow?
3: What’s in your fruit bowl?
4: Fireworks!
5: Go play outside
6: Sunrise/sunset/high noon — the sky’s the limit!
7: Make a splash! (anything wet)
8: Road trip! (Or other vacation memory)
9: Dog days
10: A taste of summer
11: Your favorite summer accessory
12: Summertime blues

Here’s my Day 1: Something I’ll miss most about summer … .

Most of the summer I drove Arabella to Morgantown for allergy shots. We treated ourselves to lunch often. This is the first day she tried Thai food. I’m so happy I have an adventurous eater! She will be 9 in a few days and I feel like this summer more than any other time I have gotten to know — and like — the person she is becoming.

Day 2: Unfocused, unruly and untended … that’s how my garden grows. This is real life!

Day 3: Fruit bowl

We were blessed with a little more than a bushel of perfectly ripe peaches. I liked the effect the flash had on the skins — making them fairly glow neon. They were vibrantly flavored so this photo captures it.

Day 4: Fireworks

Our town claims the oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration in the state. The local fire department puts off fireworks in the field behind our house so we have great seats. We are so close we can even hear the firemen curse when one misfires and ignites on the ground!

Day 5: Go play outside!

A family-and-friends volleyball game at a family reunion.

Day 6: The sky’s the limit

Arabella took her first flight and got to fly the plane! The Morgantown airport has an annual Young Eagles Aviation Day. The next day we found out we attend church with the pilot’s mother-in-law. Small world!

Bonus shot: The Washington Monument on one of the hottest days of summer

Day 7: Make a splash!

Arabella helped set a world record as part of the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.

Day 8: Road trip!

We kicked off summer with a Girl Scout field trip to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. 250,000 other people also had the idea to celebrate Girl Scouting’s 100th birthday with a singalong in the blazing sun!

Day 9: Dog days

Hider rests his head on the windowsill under the Roman shade and watches summer fade.

Day 10: A taste of summer

In my husband’s family, summer tastes like homemade root beer! It’s a family tradition to make it so it’s ready for the Fourth of July. I don’t know who this guy is but he visited my yard and tried it. I don’t think he liked it.

Day 11: Summertime blues

Hider hanging out in his sunbeam.

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