Even the illustrious Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin, of the hyper-realistic landscape, could not quite offer today what I was trying to recall visually – the painting above is as close as I could get. Try to imagine the falling away in the foreground as the bank of a small lake, of which Russia has many.
We would set off from the olive-coloured dacha after lunch, past the painted picket fences, down the earthen lane, raffia basket of goodies in hand, swimwear on, lightly covered, walking the various paths through the trees to a shady spot no one else had yet taken, setting out our blanket and preparing for a dip, a few other people around at a distance, not many. Some had driven in by car from the other direction.
Best not to think how toxic the lake’s still water was, it was blessed relief in the near 100 F temperature and drinks once we were back at the blanket.
Some people like the seaside, some the forest, I prefer the forest surrounding a lake because of the shade.
Other takes on summer [also in the sidebar]: