In my part of the country, though (the suburbs of Chicago), a fair amount of 2024 17-year cicadas have shown up four years early. While there are always a few annual cicadas in August, these are the other guys, the ones who aren't supposed to be ready yet, but are. The images below were taken a couple of weeks ago, when we discovered a lot of holes in our yard where they emerged from the ground. Since then, there have been a fair amount more of them, enough that sometimes you have to dodge as they fly about. Also, there are enough of them that a few seagulls have shown up in search of a meal.
|Cicadas Illinois 2020|
In addition, since I'm staying in, there's time to experiment with new activities, and since it's summer and hot, I've been experimenting with using my slow cooker as an oven. I've managed to make bread in it twice (no need to do a rise. Just cook it on high for 2 hours or until an instant thermometer reaches 190-200 degrees). I've also made quick bread, which takes a bit longer (two to three hours), since it's so much denser. It's a work in progress, but so far so good. (By the way, if you make bread in an oval 6 quart slow cooker, you need a slightly smaller pan so that it sits deep enough in the cooker to allow for the rise. A 4x8 pan such as this one from Williams Sonoma should do it, but measure first).
For quick bread, a standard 9x5 pan worked for me, because the bread doesn't rise that much and you can balance it on the inside edge of the slow cooker, even if it doesn't fit all the way down inside.
Well, so much for my own meager activities. Obviously, there's also lots of reading going on, because there's always lots of reading in my life.
I hope you're all having a wonderful summer and finding time to read, bake, watch your favorite shows, get outside, or whatever it is that makes your summer special.