I’ve been assured by several native New Yorkers that a sure sign summer is here is when they turn the fountains on in Columbus Circle. As I was leaving Central Park a few evenings ago, I heard several people squeal in delight and exclaim “It’s summer!” I looked around and sure enough, there was the fountain, illuminated, bubbling and gurgling away, welcoming summer with graceful arches of water shimmering and dancing in the dark.
I took a seat in the centre of the circle and watched as passersby acknowledged this harbinger of summer; their steps suddenly lightening and broad smiles breaking out on their faces as they glimpsed the dazzling display. And as I sat there, I started to think about what summer means for me. My answer, oddly enough, was bicycles. You see, growing up in Ireland, the only feasible time to ride our bicycles (without getting utterly drenched by rain) was summertime. During the summers, my brother and I would take off on our bicycles down winding, leafy lanes, exploring the countryside, stopping along the way at tiny little cafes for a cup of tea and some homemade scones. Sometimes we’d stay overnight in a youth hostel so we could venture further afield the next day. I can still remember the heady scent of the gorse and meadowsweet that lined the lanes we biked down on those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. To this day, when I think of summer, I think of bicycles.
Last week’s impromptu ‘Reflections‘ challenge was so much fun, could we do it again? There are many other photo challenges out there, but how about one with a travel theme? I love finding out about great places waiting to be discovered, and it doesn’t have to be an exotic location, either. What’s everyday in your part of the world is exotic to someone who doesn’t live there.
So if you’d like to join in, create your own post about summer, title it “Travel theme: Summer” and put a link to this page in your blog post to make it easy for others to find your post.
What does summer mean to you?
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:)) We already have one pingback!!!… YAY!! here’s my first 😉 …………Summer Drink 😉
Ailsa… your pictures are sooooooo fantastic… Love em!!
Thanks Mystiic, wishing I was sipping a drink from a coconut right now, loved your entry 🙂
Nice segue from fountains to bicycles to the REAL point—more challenge! 😉
Beautiful photos, of course!
Thanks Vlad, I’m nothing if not disjointed 🙂 Are you going to join in the summer fun? xxx Ailsa
Well, yes, I think I will. I soon as I saw your theme I did think of a photo or two, satisfying both the travel theme and the summer theme. But it might not be quite what you expect…
ok now I’m intriigued!
I’ve now posted it here: http://windagainstcurrent.com/2012/05/18/travel-theme-summer/
Hysterical, Vlad, these are the summers of my childhood. I lost it with that pony ride photo, priceless. 🙂
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Terrific shots of the fountain! Totally awesome.
I will join the summer fun, tomorrow. These last few years, my outlook on summer has changed somewhat.. Bear in mind, I entitled my whole blog «colderweather» LOL
grin I too am a fan of colder weather. Looking forward to your entry 😄
Hey there! Thanks for the opportunity… so here goes my first contribution for this week’s challenge (it’s pretty hard to make only one pic when you’re posted, living and working in Brazil (with the possibility to travel to neighboring states!). A snapshot from the blue lagoon paradise!
Greetings from Recife, Brazil
Awesome, way to make us all jealous, I can see why you’d have trouble choosing only one photo, and I can also see why they call it Paradise Lagoon! Thanks for joining in the summer challenge! xxx Ailsa
Truly… truly I say to you…. Summer feels brilliant… your pictures make me WISH and WANT to live the summer by the BLUE sea… soaking in the absolute beauty! :))
thank you so very much! 😮
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I guess I’m having trouble (again!) with the link! There’s a post waiting for you at 3rdculturechildren… 😮 Cheers from Brazil!
No idea why it ended up in the pending queue, but I just approved it and it’s showing up now 🙂
Hi Ailsa! Thanks so much for including me on this! I LOVE your entry! I love the fountains and also your descriptions of your childhood. Where did you grow up? We also rode our bikes everywhere! I grew up here in Minnesota and my summers are filled with swimming and biking. We have over 13,000 lakes here so swimming and boating was always constant. I am going to work on my post for this tomorrow. What a great idea! I adore these photo challenges. They are so much fun as they truly make you gather your creativity and reflect upon your life. 🙂 nicole
I grew up on the outskirts of Dublin in Ireland, beautiful part of the world. During the summers my brother and I would bike around the mountains and lakes in the area. Your Minnesotan summers sound just as idyllic! Looking forward to seeing your entry, Nicole.
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Hi Ailsa. Thank you very much for your invitation. The photos of the fountains are lovely. And your past summers sound so much fun. Alas, mine were not as exciting. Summer was heat and dust and occasional trip to the beach. And it was always summer in the Philippines. Oh, the fun part. Food. There were so many fruits all over the place, especially the neighbor’s places. I remember the times we were yelled at because my friends and I were trying to sneak out some tasty fruit from a tree. 😀
Here is my entry – http://mywordwall.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/exotic-boston-hah/
Summer in the Philippines sounds like most people’s idea of heaven 🙂 I love the sneaky fruit story, there were plenty of apple orchards on our bike travels in Ireland too 🙂
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Hello Ailsa, and thanks for the invite. I’m ready for summer. My summer is easy “just add water” for summer fun: http://canoecommunications.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/travel-theme-summer-fun/
Looking forward to seeing the other photo posts, always enjoy them.
Love it, just add water – the perfect summer recipe! xxx
Great idea, Alisa! The trouble is that all these challenges are keeping me from marking my English papers! I shall be back later with some summer fun in the Southern Hemisphere 🙂
oops…excuse the typo error in your name…I am clearly in too much of a hurry to grade those papers!
Grin, just so long as I get an A+ on my paper 🙂
We definitely can. The more the merrier. This is what Summer is all about. Celebrating life. Having fun. Meeting new friends. Being happy and just finding that part of us we seemed to have forgotten during our hectic busy lives.Beautiful images. Thanks…..
Hurrah, looking forward to your photos, Mr B! xxx Ailsa
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Well, this is an old post but it shows what summer’s often like round here:
Love it, looks chilly! Is it the UK?
It’s the English seaside.
I knew it! Vlad at Wind Against Current also posted about the English seaside, chilly and with the ubiquitous donkey rides. 🙂
Everyone’s weighing in on the English summer, and a consensus seems to be developing…
… although I now find myself defending the English seaside holiday just a little bit…
You can’t beat a good old-fashioned English seaside holiday, complete with pony ride. Just as long as you have gallons of cups of tea in a flask to warm you up! 🙂
Hi Ailsa, I found your invitation and am glad to join your challenge…
Here ‘s my contribution to summer :
Have a nice weekend!
Love it, Dauw, it doesn’t get much more summery than that!
Your writing and pictures are heartfelt and captivating. Thanks for sharing and setting the travel theme of the week! 🙂
Thanks Catherine, looking forward to seeing your entry!
congrats for starting a new photo challenge again!
here is what is in my mind, when I hear the word summer:
got not a single “LIKEs” for this till now …
Well you just did, love the lady with the basket!
🙂 You got my like :)))
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Thanks for joining in, campanulladellaanna! 🙂
Nice to be able to participate , this is my entry “Summer” http://campanulladellaanna.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/weekly-photo-challenge-unofficial-summer/, thanks @Ailsapm, warm regards
My nephew just started his swimming classes!! The splash in the water… is a summer gift!!! :)))
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And I’m entering your challenge! 😛 http://islandergirl.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/leave-no-footprints-behind/
As I live and work on an island resort, summer means more guests and more work 😛 It also means I have to slather on SPF 70 sunblock before I do my make-up and start work. It means more snorkeling trips with the guests, more nature talks, and more sand beneath my feet 🙂
It sounds like a hard life, Macy, but I guess someone has to do it! 🙂 Simply gorgeous photo.
Thank you Ailsa for inviting me to be a part of this challenge, there are many photos that I could have used for this challenge but I chose the one that simply means the most to me. I hope that you like my photo and my summer childhood memories too!
Such a happy summer picture! Love the bit about you dancing around to Grease with your hairbrush 😉
Thanks! Who didn’t do that as a kid, really??
Thanks! Who didn’t do that as a kid?
Hi, how about it ?
Thanks for showing us summer in Japan, summerfield84!
The beach looks so SUMMER PRETTY!!! :))
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Thanks for the invite Ailsa…here’s one I chose that always reminds me of summer no matter when I see it.
It’s such a happy photo, love it, Rob 🙂
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Let’s get so fun! Here is mine!
Laughed out loud at this, Cedric. You’re going to be busy this summer 🙂
…ah! yeap! 🙂
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Hey Ailsa – a great idea! I came up with a few ferns!
Great, Jude, the first sign of summer unfurling in the south of France. I love the crazy twists and spirals! xxx
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I forgot to say I love your fountain pics – completely unique! 🙂
Thanks Jude, I used a longer exposure so the water appears a little silky. I love playing around with shutter speeds. 🙂
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Great theme and lovely idea to carry on the travel photo challenge. I love the photos of the fountains, technically brilliant.
Thanks for inviting me to join this!
Beautiful Welsh summer! xxx
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Too many summer snaps to choose from, so I have prepared my first ever slideshow, to tempt you all to fly south during the northern winter 😉
Thanks again Ailsa for getting this party started! Our summer may be six months away, but this theme reminded me those warm ocean breezes.
Those shots of the Twelve Apostles are wonderful. I have to ask, is that a wild bird perching on your deckchair? Love the spiky yellow plumage on his (her?) head!
Thanks! I have plenty more shots of those stunning cliff formations. Those native birds are Sulphur-crested Cockatoos…they are bold, noisy and crazy! At one stage, there were seven of them perched there…I wish that was my patio…alas, it is one of many holiday houses along the Great Ocean Road.
How much fun would it be to live there. Sigh. One day 🙂
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When I was a kid we used to love our bikes. Great summer memory. Here’s my summer post. I love sports and summer to me means baseball and tennis. Thanks for hosting again!
And thanks for joining in again. Loved that photo of the tennis player on stilts, might be hard to hit a good backhand with them on! xxx
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Thanks for inviting me to take part in this. Here’s my entry. Cheers!
I cannot believe I have lived this long and never heard of Chunkfest. Now I know it exists I HAVE to find my nearest one. So much fun, loved your entry 🙂
Thanks for the invite…………….
here’s my entry…its a link to a previous photo challenge post about summer sunsets……
Wow! Those silhouettes against the golden sunset are breathtaking. Thanks for sharing some Cape Town summer with us, 4otomo. xxx
heya ailsa … thanks for the invite … luvin’ the new photo challenge! here’s my summery take:
Just beautiful, Stephen, so serene with that fog in the background and the fisherman just doing his thing. xxx
yep … that’s how we roll here in the city by the bay
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alisa! thanks for the invite. here is my contribution to summer. http://justanotherwakeupcall.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/travel-theme-summer/
Such a wonderful post, beautifully written. Loved it. xxx