It’s only the beginning of August, but summer is racing toward its Labor Day expiration date.
In case you haven’t noticed — or haven’t wanted to notice — the days are getting markedly shorter. We’re already nearly six weeks past the longest day of the year and before you know it, we’ll be down to four hours of daylight per day.
We’re exaggerating, of course, but with August starting Saturday, it’s time to think about those summer resolutions. You know, “I will do (insert activity) at least once this summer.” Well, at least once is just about all the time that’s left to start checking things off the summer bucket list.
So here goes, a look at some items that might still be on your list, and suggestions for how to remove them.
Bucket of corn — Plainview’s Corn on the Cob Days come around Aug. 12-16, with a parade, model railroad show, tractor games, the Minnesota State Cow Chip Throwing Contest, three street dances, a firemen’s water fight and all the buttered sweet corn you can eat.
Bucket of baseballs — The Rochester Honkers have six regular season home games left at Mayo Field, including at 7:05 tonight against Eau Claire. The final home game is Aug. 6 against Waterloo, so there is basically one week of the season left to get out to the ball game.
Bucket of fish — If you’ve been promising all summer to take the kids fishing, and you still expect to make the Best Dad list, time is obviously running out. Eric Atherton, Post-Bulletin outdoors editor, recommends a quick trip to Rochester’s Foster-Arend Lake fishing pier off East River Road. “The lake contains panfish, bass and stocked trout, so bring some minnows or nightcrawlers — and have the kids wear swimsuits,” he said. “If the fish aren’t biting, the best beach in town is just a short walk away.”
Bucket of golf balls — Again we turn to Atherton, a former Iowa high school golf phenom, for advice. “Play Little Willow, the executive par-3 layout at Willow Creek Golf Course in southwest Rochester,” he said. “It’s not a pitch-and-putt — it has two par-4s — so you will have a chance to hit your driver. Hole No. 5, a 180-yard par-3 with a creek on the left and pond right of the green, will test any golfer’s nerves.”
Bucket of cheese curds — If you’ve got a late-summer hankering for all that is good and greasy in the food world, you’re just in time for the Steele County Free Fair in Owatonna. This is the state’s largest county fair, with attendance of 340,000 in 2014. The fair runs from Aug. 18 through Aug. 23.
Bucket of stars — The shorter days mean that the final Down by the Riverside concert of the summer, Aug. 23 in Mayo Park behind Mayo Civic Center, will conclude under a starry summer sky. The headline act is America, and a huge crowd is expected for the free concert.
Bucket of berries — According to pickyourown.org, we’re at the height of the season in Minnesota for pick-your-own blueberries and raspberries. The strawberry season has just about ended. There are several berry farms in southeastern Minnesota farms that offer pick-your-own options. Take a bucket, dress comfortably and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
Bucket of popcorn — The summer blockbuster at the cinema is over, but there are still some fine movies set to be released by Hollywood in August — although there’s no guarantee they’ll show up immediately on local screens. In any event, movie-goers should keep in mind “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” “Ricki and the Flash” (with Meryl Streep as an aging rock star) and “Walt before Mickey,” about Walt Disney.