It's summer. The yard is nothing but a crunchy dry brown. Sunlight blisters everything within moments after rising above the trees in the east, and its trek across the open fields is a hellish monotony that doesn't end until the sun finally slips under the western horizon. The air is bone dry and you're soaked with sweat in minutes if you're unlucky enough to be outdoors for more than a quick trip to the car and back inside. Even the cicadas let their shimmering chorus die down after only a half-hearted attempt to sing.
Then a dark cloud sails overhead, blocking the intensity of the sun. A small breeze picks up. For a few minutes it's tolerable outside. The thought of a rain shower crosses your mind, and you hopefully scan the sky for signs of more clouds and listen for thunder. Then, if you're really lucky, a quick downpour wets everything, cutting through the dust and watering both the plants and your soul. You pause on the porch, rejoicing in the moisture and coolness. For ten minutes or so you consider finishing a few yard chores, taking advantage of this unexpected respite.
But then the rain diminishes as abruptly as it arrived, the clouds move on, and the sun returns in full force. Steam begins to rise from the pavement in palpable clouds. Any hope of working outside during the main part of the day quickly withers and dies. There's nothing to do except go back inside and drink yet another glass of ice tea.
At least we don't have mosquitoes.