Tag Archives: summertime

Growth

Lots of things have been growing in the heat of summer.

Whispers of Rest  When the weather is pleasant, I like to sit outside and read. Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray has been my 40 day companion for rest and personal growth. I enjoyed it so much, I’m starting over in August!

St Michael's  It has been many years since we took a trip to St Michael’s and the maritime museum. It was a hot day, but we did enjoy the indoor and outdoor museum features and a lovely river cruise.

Most days are home days this summer and while we will be settling into green, the flower gardens have been lovely – take a look!

Garden collage 1

Garden Collage 2

I’ve been working on some quilt projects this summer. Piecing a small project, sewing blocks together that I cut back before the broken foot, and sorting through the dwindling stash of old.

quilt plans  The last piece is part of a comforter cover I made long ago. It was seriously damaged when we had the fire, but I saved what I could. I just loved the colors. I’m trimming it down and backing it with the bird fabric for a kind of “cozy”.

jar of flowers

I haven’t forgotten Calla’s story. Coming soon…

 

Garden Notes

calla lily

September 20, 2014  I wrote about discovering seed pods in my neglected pot of Calla Lilies.calla lily seeds

July, 2015, I wrote of sprouted seeds.
calla lilies

Last fall, we moved the pot of sprouts into the garage where they would not freeze. In the spring, we rolled the pot out and up steps to where the plants would be seen and watered.

And we waited.

Our sprouts popped up and flourished. Sort of. We have a great pot of leaves. But no blooms.

Calla leaves

Around July, I did some research. Too late, I found that they don’t like to be all cozy but needed to be given some space when you plant them. I would need to use more pots or space in the gardens.

Soon, we’ll move the pot back down the steps and into the garage. I hope the tubers have strengthened and  will overwinter again. If they do, then next year, I will follow instructions and give them all room to grow and hope for bloom.

Colocasia

Another note: Last fall, I dug up the Elephant Ear bulb and found 3 offsets, which I saved.  They managed to survive the winter cast onto the pot where the Calla Lilies slept.  Potted up, they sprouted and have grown well.  Previous years, I was not successful in keeping the bulb over winter, so this was great fun.            Colocasia The “ears” wiggle in the slightest breeze.

 Elephant ear

Rain and dew collect on the fleshy leaves and I’ve seen butterflies stop for a drink but they are much to quick for me to capture to share here.

Note #3: An odd sighting on the grounds. We have a bird bottle from Williamsburg, VA nailed up by the wood shed near our driveway. I’m used to wrens nesting in it twice each summer. However, the other week as we were driving out, I looked up and saw something quite startling — and certainly not a bird! You can click on the picture for a better look.bird bottle

So many things happen from day to day, it’s good to take note. One never knows just what might happen next in a wild, living community!

An old school question

There comes a time when autumn* asks,

What have you been doing all summer?  Anon.

Perhaps you too had teachers who asked that same question and required a paragraph or two of fun and exciting adventures.  Oh my.

I think it was the shoes I bought in spring,   shoe though it would be a while before I remembered the brown buckle shoes of many childhood summers. But once remembered they stirred other memories of those long ago summers — countless hands of Canasta and hours of board games with my sisters, afternoons of stitching, evenings of reading and porch sitting while thunder and lightening rolled across the sky. There were late, dark nights spent twirling the dials of a vintage radio dad brought home, listening for already old-time comedy or suspense broadcasts still playing in other places.

And I realized that while they might not have gotten me a good grade in school,  those simple pleasures set me for life. I’m always up for a great adventure to distant parts, but the everyday life here is one I am grateful to be able to enjoy even on the days when everything seems all wrong in the world.

embroidery  Simple embroidery,

learning a new quilt pattern from Craftsy,  scrappy quilt

finishing a small quilt started last year, small quilt.

or recalling seashore trips of other years with small vignettes shells & stuff   shells  are parts of my summer days now.    20160824_080926

Reading continues to be a blessed pastime and storms are part of every summer here. I’ve added other pleasures to these simple rhythms of life – letter writing, daily cooking, gardening, and the joy of meeting a friend for coffee. And old time radio has been bypassed by streaming videos, sometimes much too late into the night!

Our new friend Tim has just left a bag of tomatoes on the front railing – another splendid gift of summer! Rosy smiles in the face of heat and humidity.

*I recently learned that September 1 is the meteorological first day of autumn.

August – delightfully interrupted

Hot. Humid. August. Definitely in need of a lovely interruption.

Our daughter came bringing the Grandpup, Marigold,IMG_8273

and Grandkittie, Sadie 20160814_103830

Both are rescued and well loved. It was first visit for Sadie who made herself at home at my writing table right away. IMG_8275 Although she also kept me company as I did some hand stitching. 20160817_102627

Marigold was harder to capture but was so much more at home on this second visit — until the thunder storms. Then, although she has a crate, she tried hiding in all kinds of places she did not fit. Including beside the dryer. That turned out to be a bonus gift for us as we became aware of a hole hidden in the folds of the venting material. A hole unseen, but big enough to interfere with the function of the machine.

The days went so quickly and then, it was time to say our goodbyes.

20160817_110315 Marigold was ready to go with her mama wherever she was going!

We hugged and waved and there may have been a tear as we held each other and watched the car disappear from view. Come again, sweet girl!

 

From the Garden

sticks  It has been the summer for yard exercise. When rain comes, it is heavy. Dead wood becomes sodden and gives up clinging to the trees. truck            So, I pick up and pray gratitude for the county brush recycling just a few miles away.

In between rains, I am working at conscious beauty rests.  Join me for spa treatments?

morning light     elephant ear     wild ginger     butterfly bush     rainbow     daylily rebloom     butterfly     cleome     butterfly

Early morning light, Elephant Ear leaf, Wild Ginger “cushion”, Butterfly Bush, Rainbow, Stella re-bloom, Butterfly feeding, Cleome, Nectar hunting! Click on photo for best view.

My friend, Marta, at Selah Reflections takes beautiful photographs as she lives her goal to find moments of stillness in the midst of the busyness of life. Whenever I forget, there she is with a post to remind me to stop and really be aware and rest in the beauty so generously supplied to me.

Lilies of the field

While not true lilies by botanical standards, daylilies are more welcome in my gardens. Their prolific and long bloom season with its ever changing presentation of unique blooms is so lovely to me. One of the last to bloom was a gift from my garden loving sister.

daylilyThe first blooms opened on July 12 and each day brings me new joy.

daylily

In the New Living Translation of the Bible, Jesus says, ” And why worry about your clothing. Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.” It’s a beautiful passage about the love and care that God has for His creation. Even for the blooms that last only one day.

Dublin Elaine

                                   Dublin Elaine      Dublin Elaine

Dublin Elaine

Dublin Elaine

As I gaze into these fragrant blooms, I find a quieting in my soul, a gentling, if you will. The world brought into my home daily, is a sad and sometime frightful place, and yet, in the garden, in the face of exquisite beauty, I feel hope. Hope for me, that with grace, I might show a kind and peaceful face to those in my world, just one day at a time.

Dublin Elaine

From the Garden

More and more I choose to appreciate simple things and then find they are not simple but intricate, complex, wondrous even.

morning lightThe quick change of light at dawn and dusk creates a kind of magic across the landscape. sunset

The wind blows where it will, now in the rustle of treetops, then down in the shrubbery and only sometimes playing the wind chime. windchime There can be silence or bird chatter, cricket drone or the startling scream of a vixen in the night.

There are birds, hummingbird bees, bee in astilbe bloommoths and butterflies moth on butterfly bush to capture the attention.

As Robert Lewis Stevenson observed, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” Or I, a queen! Early last Monday I gathered riches from the garden.

garden flowers  Simple, old fashioned flowers: hydrangea , spikes of hosta bloom, and a few day lilies became my treasure to be counted. blooms

flower arrangement Each day brought change, of course. and the fun of the new look of things.

Day 2  day 2  Day 3: Day 3   Day 4: day 4

Day 5:  day 5  Each daylily bloom had its day, each fairy bell of hosta too. The hydrangeas wilted with the heat so that by Day 6, my play was almost over.

hosta bloom  We retreated to the cool of the house. And enjoyed each other’s company for another day.

This week starts fresh with a small posy for the kitchen table, promise of a delightful week. May your week be blessed with health, safety and beauty in abundance.  a fresh posy

 

August finale

2015-08-31

Well, I only missed one day outside. That one was spent sleeping and recovering from what I can most gratefully refer to as – a minor accident in my home.

Out and about, the countryside views have been glorious. I’m blessed to enjoy the flowers in our yard. The child size statuary in a country town has been adorned by a red knitted cap. Fun! I’ve been thinking about the gate. It has a story it wants to tell; perhaps I can listen well and write it in the days ahead.

August went by so quickly this year. My decision to go outside every day and observe was a good one and I plan to continue into my favorite month, September. I’m looking forward to what will be offered to me and I encourage you to look about and truly see the things that might be just outside your own backdoor.

 

More August days outside

One day, it was just so hard to go outside. I only ventured out to tend a pot of marigolds.

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Another day, I spent lovely early morning time with some stitching while I enjoyed the rising cicada song. The stitching has been a long project and like my decision to go outside each day, I must be determined to finish – soon, I hope!

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Through the years I have sometimes been blessed to visit the ocean. I love to go and wander the beach in search of treasure. I enjoy having jars and boxes and piles of shells out in the summer and this one has been particularly intriguing to me this year.  Sometimes I have it on the kitchen table, other times it is on this one outside the door.

IMG_6489

The early light playing on the worn beauty of it draws me to look closer – the tiniest of stones are stuck tightly into the spiral –  and then I find I’m out the door! Yesterday, that meant going out and while looking about, finding that rain had washed the trees of more unneeded limbs that had to be cleared from the lawn. After that, the weeds called; I was glad when evening came!

More August offerings of beauty:

2015-08-25

It was surprising to go to the door and find the magnolia leaves thinking of autumn.

August Rain

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I remember learning how important August rain is for the formation of fruit bud wood for the following year. So, if August is dry, I begin to pray for rain for our region. Yesterday, I was delighted to wake to rain.  We had intermittent showers throughout the entire day which at times were so intense as to prompt flash flood warnings. Last evening there were traffic reports of unusual and serious road flooding in the next county requiring rescue operations.  Blessing and danger. And a caramel colored sky at sunset.

My growing up home sat at the top of our hilly street. I loved to sit on the porch during summer storms and watch the lightening etch the western sky. Swathed in a beach towel against any blowing rain and cushioned on our old chaise lounge, I had a wonderful seat for nighttime sky drama.

2015-08-20More August photo exploration, mostly in my own backyard.