A cicada thrummed up a storm on my deck yesterday.
You know the ones, not the low-volume cricket, but the quivering tatarakihi - the species whose love song sounds like the teeth of a comb run across the back of a fork.
But a single cicada doesn't a summer make. Other phenomena in this province give it away.
Gas bottles are being swapped and filled.
The rubbish bag in the garage odourises much sooner in the week before its date with the kerb.
Syrah rejects me and takes on a biting tone; it's suggesting a paler choice from the fridge.
Men and women across the region work up the fortitude to attend their partners' Christmas work do.
The bellbirds voice their four-note chorus at an earlier start of 4.45am (why is it always the native species that wake first?)
We endure the major beer companies' seasonal epidemic of launching rafts of summer grog infused with aspirational ingredients.
Bumble bees divide their time between the flowers of chives, passionfruit and tomatoes.
It's so hot you contemplate mixing a shandy in the stretched daylight.
Hard green apricots blend in with the foliage - no colour yet in the cheeks.
F.Scott Fitzgerald summed it up nicely in Art Deco City's adopted novel, The Great Gatsby: "And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer".
The only thing more joyous than summer, is pending summer.