Nature Notes – Issue 06

Signs of Summer

by Jill McDonald
Flowers in Bloom, Photo by Jill McDonald

As we step into the month of June, signs of summer are everywhere in the great outdoors! Of course a tell tale sign is the daily temperature is warming, but the sun is actually shining it’s radiant beams and the cold-weather permacloud in southwest Michigan is gone! 

Robin Photo by Jill McDonald

If we slow down and tune into the nature that surrounds us, there are truly are signs of summer everywhere! Here’s sharing some highlights below that catch my senses in this corner of Michigan as spring transitions into summer:

  • Sights –
    • Green foliage of trees creates a lush canopy of shade
    • Flowers in a myriad of colors in gardens
    • Sunsets over a lake or driving down a backroad
  • Sounds –
    • Robins especially singing in the wee early morning and near dusk 
    • Cardinals singing their “cheer, cheer, cheer” song throughout the day
    • Cicadas soon buzzing throughout the day high in the treetops
    • Crickets chirping after dusk
  • Scents –
    • The fresh humid scent before and after a thunderstorm
    • Flower gardens are filled with unique floral scents
  • Tastes –
    • Fresh Vegetables, Herbs, and Honey at Farmers Markets and in gardens
  • Touch –
    • Soft green grass, especially on bare feet
    • Sand at the lake
    • Note: Do Not touch Poison ivy (Remember: Leaves of 3, Let it be!) 
Poison Ivy Photo by Jill McDonald

So whether you have a few moments throughout the day or a few hours free, perhaps step outside and try to truly notice and appreciate what’s around you. Sights and sounds seem wonderfully endless in nature. Slow down, breathe, and use all your senses to experience the simple joys found in the great outdoors! 

Cardinal Photo by Jill McDonald

Jill K. McDonald is a freelance nature & travel educator, writer, photographer, and speaker. She can be reached by email at or connect with her on Facebook at:

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