If you have a porch or a few square feet of property please try the adventure of summertime sleeping outdoors. Steamy days become cool nights here, 10 to 15 degrees cooler than in the city, sometimes with a delicious trace of ice in the air, and among my chief summer delights is sleeping about three times a week in my old green and yellow two-person tent and a nylon bag and blankets. New this year: mats all across the tent floor for comfort no matter how I roll.
I pitch my tent where the grass is mown and short, which discourages ticks. About 10:30 p.m., settling in with my pillow I watch stars through the ceiling netting; or through the door netting watch the knee-deep tide of early-summer fireflies. Every year on the very first night out there's always an incident, such as a nighttime creature sniffing around the tent. This year my presence in the meadow annoyed a deer who snorted for 30 minutes in a threatening manner, edging closer with every snort. I downloaded onto my Droid the loud and unpleasant "Police Siren" app with flashing lights, and thus established my rights without a confrontation. I've discovered that sleeping on the chilly ground eases and breaks the cycle of tormenting night sweats and hot flashes. The photo is a view through the tent ceiling early one perfect June morning.
I often wake at sunrise to a world filled with humidity embodied as mist and dew, so much it soaks the tent walls; or I oversleep and the sun heats and heats the tent until I'm driven back to the house inspired maybe to make a dreamlike breakfast of berry scones and coffee. Early one morning, creeping out of the tent into an almost psychic orange mist, I saw a buck so majestic I understood why the classics say a god disguised himself as a stag.