My favorite place in the summer is my backyard. It is my retreat to meditate in, my wildlife preserve for bird and animal watching, my creative outlet when I am designing new beds for planting, and my exercise gym when I actually do some work.
After retiring, I (with help) built my long wished for pond. I'm sure it would be bigger and better if money were no object and the pond people had built it, but it is mine. In the spring I watch the fish emerge from their winter rest and bring life to a plain rock pond. Then gradually the plants start to grow and add more interest to the pond. I fuss with their arrangement, tweak the waterfall, and marvel at how much the fish have grown. From my perch on the deck I envision new landscaping and when in the mood I actually start new planters and borders.
When it is cool enough to forgo air conditioning, we sleep to the sound of the waterfall. In the daytime, we enjoy the antics of the fish from the shade of the umbrella on the deck, and sit by the pond during the shady morning and evening times to feed the hungry hoard. My pond is far from perfect and sometimes I plan how to enlarge it or how to add a bigger waterfall, but for now it is the center of my favorite summer place.