Tag Archives: summertime

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.

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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:

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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.

August outside #2

Catching up post: 5th-10th

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The rather ominous looking creature seems to be a fly of the tachinid type. They eat aphids and thrips and their larvae are parasitic on other pests. In seeking to identify it, I found an amazing number of flies that look like other things – bees and wasps, for example. Close up photos make them look very much like science fiction characters or rather, the characters seem to be modeled after flies!

August outside

Last month, Gretchen Rubin wrote on one of her Secrets of Adulthood: “Remember to go Outside”.

Nature is a restorative for me. This month, I have determined to go outside every day, there to linger, observe and enjoy and then to store up the beauty or experience in a photograph or two or 10!

From the first five days of the month:2015-08-05

As always, a click on the photo will enlarge it.

Comfort in stormy weathers

July started with the “thunder moon”.  Every storm that visits here brings rain, sometimes just a dust settling drizzle, other times it’s a big wash. But always we are grateful for the rains. While we live near a city reservoir, out own precious water comes from our well. IMG_6197

The rains have brought luxuriant  growth to garden plant and weed. Every time I think I have gotten control of a bed – rains come, hidden seeds sprout and I start over. My progress in garden weeding is slow.

 

With every pending storm, the air stirs the tree tops into a frenzy and when the wildness stops, I am again surprised at how much dead wood has been held in the tree tops, waiting for the shaking down for my exercise routine.

The glorious show of daylily bloom is slowly giving way to green again but these blooms, while few, are stunning – IMG_6194 and in the background, the Butterfly Bush is beginning its season.

The other week, I mentioned the wild dogwood – cornus alternifolia – Pagoda Dogwood – is my id of it. I neglected to show this bird treat tree in that post. IMG_6177The seedling planted itself under a maple tree many years ago. I thought it was a Flowering Dogwood as we have many planted by birds and squirrels. Only as the years went by, I realized the leaves were a bit different. Early, I tried to straighten it, but it chooses to grow leaning out from under a maple to face into the morning sun.

All the quiet, slow, solitary activity of summer days allows me time to tidy my soul as well. Reminiscence and introspection seem to go round with me as peaceable companions in my chores and I learn from them.

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My favorite thing to have with early morning wonder time is iced coffee. I’ve been using the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for several years now, Perfect!

I think I’ll call her Goldie-locks

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.

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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! IMG_3751

Summer songs

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.

cicadaHe snapped away and I sat amazed, feeling the pulses of energy as it continued to push itself free.

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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.

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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!

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Blue singing

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.

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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 … kite surfer … ocean roars

quiet swimming … jelly … cool water and sand  beach

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.

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“The world is so full…”

“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.

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