Under ordinary circumstances, July on the island is one of my favorite times. Considering the heat and humidity, many people don't understand this...until they see the golden sea oats of July.
During a few weeks each summer, clusters of seed heads (called panacles) swell, ripen, and wave gracefully atop stalks of sea oats. Starting as the palest shade of gold, they become darker and more burnished with each passing day as we move into fall. In July they glow, but by September they seem so full of sun they are weighted down by the treasure they hold.
It is in July, however, I most appreciate the way they catch the morning and evening sun and shimmer in the breeze like slow moving waves on a bright golden sea. It's one of the most visually-stunning sights you will see on the Gulf Coast.
"Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour...
"Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay."
~~ Robert Frost (1874 – 1963), "Nothing Gold Can Stay"