Her real name is Marigold. Youngish and still a bit skittish with strangers, our new Gran-pup came to visit with her mom and dad. Marigold was rescued a few months ago and then adopted into the family a few weeks ago. This is her first visit and we found her to be a lovely houseguest, quiet and polite. Isn’t she lovely? The sound of her nails on the floors brought back so many memories of our Ada and the silence when she had gone was loud.
August days bring parties and birthdays and here in the “land of pleasant living”, steamed blue crabs covered in seasoning are on the table. Smiles are on faces and warm memories are being made. I hope you are enjoying these last warm days of summer!
Cleome – I first met this flower in my sister’s garden. Its prickly stems made me take a step back and only admire them there.
Fast forward to these fighting-the-deer-in-the-gardens years and a friend offered seedlings with the words, “The deer don’t eat them.” Suddenly spiny stems were appealing and I gratefully planted them.
I love the airy beauty and amazingly complex flowers that bloom through the long summer and fall days. I love that they are at home here and freely reseed. I love seeing them from the swing and I smile as they glow pin and lavender and white in the ever changing light of day.
I’ve learned they have common names like Spider Flower, Spider Legs, or Grandfather’s Whiskers.
I thought I would include an update on the resident deer family who love fresh rain drenched hydrangea with tomato, pepper, and sunflower salad – they pick their own!
Background sounds change through the day. Cicadas of kinds must dwell in the woodlands around us. I understand that the night chorus belongs to the katydids and crickets. Creating a kind of white noise, they fill the hours with sound.
The other day, in the perpetual yard tidy, I glanced at the ground by a maple tree and bright green attracted my attention. Without thinking, I picked up this creature partly freed from its shell. When I felt the pulse of energy, I ran for the porch calling for my camera assistant.
He snapped away and I sat amazed, feeling the pulses of energy as it continued to push itself free.
It had a strange fishlike appearance and as the final pushes were coming, I placed it back at the base of a maple tree. Out, it began to crawl away from its former skin.
After our quick supper, we returned to find the beautiful wings had unfolded and the new cicada was making its way up the trunk. We were thrilled to have this amazing experience!
The ocean sang from the cover of a book on the library table; I listened to it call my name and I hurried it away.
They usually file it in the children’s section where I might never look. Ocean Poems. Perfect for a summer day. So beautifully illustrated that I’m drawn into the words like listening to a shell held tight against my ear and I dream … … ocean roars
quiet swimming … … cool water and sand
Listen now from Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs and hear the “Song of the Boat” …
Push away — heave-ho –from the heavy brown pier, from its pilings huddled and dull.
For the water sings blue and the sky does, too, and the sea lets you fly like a gull.
Now go and find a copy and sink into the illustrations of Meilo So and feel the ocean.
“The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
I don’t know if many kings are happy but I was thrilled to find a Luna Moth – a bit bedraggled, but live as I cleaned up after yet another stormy night. The long tails on the hindwings have been lost but there is no mistaking the size and eyespots on the wings of this beautiful moth. I’ve learned that they lay their eggs on the bottom of black walnut leaves. There is an old back walnut tree across the road perhaps this lovely creature was born there.
I had the opportunity to visit this garden again the other day. Frog and I had another quiet visit as he continued his work.
The waters bubble and flow through a small waterfall to his pond. I love the serenity in this place, although perhaps it is not place exactly, but the intention to go and breathe deeply and just be present to the timeless wonder of plants and fish and sun in the summer breeze that brings tranquility. Do you see that bright green edge? Look deeply now… slide into the pool of green refreshment.
I love the light glowing through the daylilies, bringing the garden alive for the day. Every day fresh and new beckoning me to come and see.
She is such a good mama, I can tell by the way her children, twins, pay close attention. They scamper away when I come outside. And hide behind the tree while mama teaches them about blueberry foraging and the wonders of our yard.
Or they scamper and hide behind mama after a night of gluttony in the small vegetable garden, eating every tomato and pepper and munching the plants too, for salad.
Such a good mama to keep her children so well fed.
Seems like a stormy summer. Last evening’s was unusual to us with strong winds in the tree tops tearing them apart. The sky seemed eerie for a long time after the rain with an almost silvery look to it and then, the clouds faded away and the evening drama began.
Happy Independence Day, USA!
Hope you are celebrating with family or friends or even by yourself. Remember those who hoped great things, turned their backs on all that was familiar and came to this land bringing us to this day and place, home.