End of Summer Vacation

End of Summer Vacation


End of Summer Vacation

This week marks the end of summer vacation for me, since I attend meetings today and begin teaching fall semester courses tomorrow. Consequently, I already have begun looking back at summer activities and anticipating the arrival of autumn.

The photograph above is an evening image at Waverly Beach, the public area for swimming under the watch of lifeguards in the Indiana Dunes State Park. Pam, Alex, and I visited this beach a number of times during the summer, and usually the sandy stretch was occupied by thousands, many from distant places.

On days we didn’t bring our own folding chairs to position closer to the water, we would sit at one of the picnic tables visible in the picture. We’d be able to watch much of the action around us—teens competing at the nearby volleyball net, friends barbecuing hamburgers on their grills, families playing catch with Frisbees, dogs fetching thrown balls, and kids building sand castles.

The historic pavilion with concession stands and the paths to the two parking lots, often filled to capacity on summer weekends, were also very close by. Therefore, we would enjoy watching numerous individuals stroll past, especially since observing people remains one of Alex’s favorite pastimes.

On the other hand, I frequently would lament the summertime crowds and long for winter, relating to Pam how I could take clear nature photos up and down the coast all day long in January or February because my car was the only one in the parking lot and the vista was free of visitors.

However, as summer wanes and the throngs leave at the end of another vacation season, I must admit I am reluctant to lose the warm weather, eased by comfortable lake breezes, that draws the crowds. Indeed, I enjoyed our time at the beach, even on the busiest afternoons.

I am also reminded that the popularity of the Indiana Dunes exists as a tribute to individuals I have admired and about whom I have written in the past—those folks who worked for decades to ensure preservation of the shoreline as public property available for everyone to find entertainment and who promoted appreciation of all the features offered by this gift of nature.



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