The season is upon us when the question, "Hot enough for ya?" becomes a conversation starter.
Usually around Fathers Day, though sometimes earlier and, more rarely, a little later, the sun interacts with the shallow water of the upper Chesapeake Bay in such a way that the second part of the conversation can easily be, "It's not the heat. It's the humidity."
It is fair to say Harford County had plenty of both last week, and this week promises more of the same. Unofficial time and temperature signs were flashing heat levels in excess of 100 degrees, and it wasn't the kind of dry 100 degrees people talk about after they've traveled to Las Vegas or the Grand Canyon.
It may get hotter in the deserts of the Western states, but it's hard to imagine anything more uncomfortable than an afternoon in the Chesapeake gray summer haze, with the temperature in the shade reading in the mid-90s and the humidity approaching the same number.
Mercifully, this summer has brought a little bit of relief to the idle conversation options. The question, "How about them O's?" which had all but fallen from the Baltimore region's lexicon of summertime banter is back, albeit with a measure of caution. The return of the cartoon Oriole mascot appears to have coincided with a change of fortunes for a ballclub that suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune for more than a decade.
For those who remember the glory days, it's hard to imagine that a whole generation has come into adulthood without ever having witnessed anything even remotely resembling a pennant race. Back in those times, even in the hard years, fans could fall back on the hope of a new season because the Orioles, as a franchise, had the best record in baseball.
Baseball not your can of worms? If your can of worms is a can of worms, the Susquehanna River gave up one of its many curiosities in early June when Brian and Fred Twigg, of Bel Air, boated an Atlantic needlefish. Such a catch can spawn speculation about whether one of those 14-foot sturgeons, massive dinosaur–looking fish that can live more than a century, will turn up in the river any time soon, or whether this year will bring the kind of dry spell that results in blue crabs venturing well into the river's fresh water environs.
Can't bear the thought of talking about fish? Well, how about that bear?
It's acquired enough Harford celebrity to have prompted more than a few family "bear hunts" in recent days.
Seen recently on a T-shirt: "If it weren't for sports, we'd have to talk about politics." With all due respect to the wearer, there are a few other topics worthy of conversations, at least in these parts at this time of year.