Summer time

By Rob Zwetsloot. Posted

In the (fantastic) game Stardew Valley, you play out several years each split up into four distinct seasons lasting 28 days. It’s a farming sim after all. On the last day of summer there’s a nighttime event that ends with a load of glowing jellyfish swimming by before a message pop ups: “the glow of summer has faded, now… and the moonlight jellies carry on toward the great unknown”.

I’ve never had any real melancholy for summer ending – aside from, I suppose, having to go back to school when I was a kid – but while reading the game’s text I think I came close to understanding why people do.

I do like summer though; after months of cold and dreary rain, it’s lovely to have a bit of sun. It also helps that I live near the beach so I can go for sunny and beautiful walks. I’m also pretty good with a barbecue if I do say so myself.

At the time of writing this Final Word, the aurora borealis had appeared all over the UK thanks to Earth being in the path of a solar storm and… I missed it. I had no idea it was happening until I was snuggled up in bed on a Friday night and friends from Scotland and northern England started sharing photos. Good for them, I thought! It wasn’t until the morning I found out it had also reached my end of the country.

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I went out the following night to try and catch a glimpse but unfortunately for me – and the hoard of locals convening at a dark corner of the beach – there was nothing to see apart from some pretty stars.

People had been taking photos on smartphones with night shot features, and that made me realise that a long-exposure Raspberry Pi camera would have worked perfectly… just like in the many astrophotography features I’d written. Unfortunately it was too late for photography that night, but it got me thinking about other outdoor activities I do which could be improved with a Raspberry Pi, rather than forcing myself to do something new just to use the SBC.

Last year I decided on a near-whim to go hiking in the Peak District with some friends. It was a very wet August weekend so I’m glad I didn’t take a Raspberry Pi with me, but I understand there is a ton of geocaching you can do in the area. I’ve never played around with a geocache project, so if I revive the concept this year I might just have to make a Raspberry Pi-powered one.

Staying in

Unfortunately I also like staying home a lot. Maybe I need to invent a Raspberry Pi-powered air conditioner for myself as it is getting extremely roasty-toasty at home these days. I’m also always very interested in some minor gardening, whether it be herbs or some flowers, so perhaps this is the year I finally make an automated plant watering system.

Well, with all that planning out of the way, maybe I can start thinking about Autumnal projects. Those long months of sunshine and heat can get oppressive…

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