‘Tis Christmas in July! Otherwise known as the time of year you are saying, “It’s way too hot! I cannot wait until Christmas!” And, then Christmas comes and you’re saying…. Well, we all know how that works. Since we can’t do anything to change the scorching temperatures, we may as well embrace them.  There are many ways we humans choose to cool off in the heat of summer: jumping in swimming pools, running through sprinklers, drinking a cold beer, slurping on an ice cream cone, but my favorite is under the shade of a tree.  I can be outside soaking up the sun, and cool enough in the breeze that I’m not complaining. When standing in the shade of a tree, the temperature can be 10 degrees cooler than in the direct sun.  And, it can get even cooler depending on the current wind.

Relief from direct sun is one of many benefits provided to us by trees.  There are many tree species that provide good shade.  Some of my favorite shade trees include: white oak, dogwood, weeping cherry, tulip tree.  Sycamore is also a favorite, as it is a riparian indicator species.  If you spot a sycamore, there is water present.  There is no greater peace than swinging in your hammock and hearing the song the breeze is singing through the leaves of a sycamore.

If you’re out and about downtown Easton and need relief from the summer heat, or your wife’s shopping trip, check out one, or all of these shady spots. Also, if you forgot your sunscreen, the trees will shield you from the ultra-violet skin cancer-causing rays; they reduce UV-B exposure by about 50 percent.

Thompson Park –  a “pocket park” located on the corner of Washington St. and Dover St.  A wonderful, quaint park with a wall waterfall and plenty of bench room to enjoy the shade.  Sit under the shade of the large pin oak and honey locust.  The crape myrtle, magnolia, and redbud bring a lovely color to the park.

Historical Society Gardens – just down the street from Thompson Park at 30 S. Washington St.  Beautiful is an understatement! These gardens are maintained through a partnership with the Talbot County Garden Club.  The gardens are free and open to the public seven days a week during daylight hours.  If you need an escape from reality, this is your place! I guarantee you will step into these gardens and forget that you are in downtown Easton.

Bay Street Ponds– located on Bay Street.  These ponds were completed in 2012, and are a major benefit to Easton.  Serving as a collection area and sediment trap for the Tanyard Branch Creek, these ponds drain 723 acres of watershed, all within town limits.  They also serve as the host site of the “Dock Dogs” event during the Waterfowl Festival.  Go have a picnic with friends under the weeping willow, and be sure to read the informative signs.

Idlewild Park – located on the south end of Easton, by the five corners light.  This park is more family-friendly.  Amenities include: basketball court, tennis court, ¼ mile track, baseball/softball field, playground, gazebo, garden, picnic tables. Many large oaks, maples, and pines shade the picnic area.