A Good Home, Change in Seasons, Late summer and early fall

To Everything, A Season – or Two

I’m living a double life.

Trying to hold on to summer while quietly giving in to early-autumn rituals.

Blog Photo - garden Sept 2018 chairs and pool

I’m still ‘swimming’ outdoors, but the heat also went on in the house last night.

Blog Photo - Garden Sept 2018 benches and blue pot by pool

I dusted off the outdoor furniture as if summer isn’t almost finished, but I also changed the tablecloth in the dining room to something autumnal.

I’m still watering the flower pots containing summer flowers  — pansies, petunias, lilies and lobelia — but we also bought 3 large pots of chrysanthemum. (At ten bucks a pot, including tax, that’s a great deal.)

Blog Photo - Garden 2018 Single Pansy

I salute the few late blooms of white hydrangea as if it’s early summer, while around me, most Annabelle hydrangea flowers have already turned green for autumn.

Blog Photo - Garden Sept 2018 Three Hydrangea turned green

I’m still urging on our beets and zucchini in the garden, but getting ready to roast and preserve some just-picked tomatoes for autumn meals.

Blog Photo - Garden Sept 2018 Beets in Ground

I’m also cheering the raised container bed of herbs my husband planted in the spring: rosemary, basil, thyme, parsley.

“Keep growing!” I tell them.

Blog Photo - Garden Sept 2018 Herb Bed.JPG

I eye the pots of amaryllis outside, knowing it’s almost time to shake off the soil and bring the bulbs indoors.

I see this patch of maple leaves changing colour, and pretend they’re a charming seasonal anomaly.  Meanwhile, I narrow my eyes at a nearby tree whose leaves have already turned an unattractive dull-brown.

Blog Photo - Garden Sept 2018 Leaves start to turn

Perhaps most ridiculous of all, I am foolishly encouraging this sunflower seedling to keep going, telling it that blooming is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Blog Photo - Garden Sept 2018 Sunflower Seedling

Yesterday, I listened to an old favourite song, “Turn, Turn, Turn”, (Pete Seeger) whose lyrics were excerpted from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes (“To Everything there is a season”).

But there are limits to these accommodations of the change in seasons. For example, I have resolutely not bought any spring bulbs, though I know my husband will likely go out and get some.  (I figure he has enough garden work to do at this time, with little help from me.)

Yesterday, I glimpsed a Christmas decoration show on television. For a few moments I stared in bewilderment, then turned off the TV.

To everything there is a season. But even as I creep and lurch my way into fall, it’s way too early for Christmas!

 

 

 

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A Good Home, Birds, Hamlin Grange Photographs, Nature, Nature Photography

The Little Ones

PHOTOS BY HAMLIN GRANGE

We have babies!
“We” being the pair of doves that nest in the vines just outside our window.

Blog Photo - Dove in Freezing weather

Blog Photo - Dove in Freezing weather 3

These birds are monogamous. Their roles are quite specific at first and perfectly illustrate the term “nesting”. The male selects the spot for the nest (“Hey Babe: I’ve found us a nice piece of property!”) He also collects the twigs and brings them to the female, who builds the nest.

After that, the parenting duties are shared equally: the egg-sitting (the male sits on the eggs during the day, the female at night) and  the baby-feeding duties, and watching out for predators. 

This morning, we noticed that the mother/father had left the nest for a little while, so Hamlin took this photo through the window:

Blog Photo - Baby doves

Isn’t it a strange-looking little grey bundle?  They hardly look like birds!

Meanwhile, under our deck, the robins have built a nest. This couple shares the gathering of twigs, and the female builds the nest alone. It usually takes her 2 to 6 days.

I’m wondering if the female had help this time because the nest was built in just one day. (It was built after a night of soaking rain, which is ideal for gathering building materials.) 

Blog Photo - Robin's nest

And that, in my uninformed opinion, is an amazing feat. So we’ve decided to let the nest be.

Which means, when the robin babies are born, we’ll be dive-bombed every time we pass. Yikes.

Ain’t nature grand? 

Here’s more about the doves. 

And the robins.

A Good Home, Bowmanville, Heritage Trees, Trees

Wondrous Wednesday

This tree, which I ambitiously tried to hug — in my own special lop-sided way — is a mighty oak indeed. It stands tall and wide in the front-yard of a beautiful brick home, and though the home is old, the oak is older.

I recently met the owners of house and tree at their home in the gorgeous heritage district of one of Canada’s nicest small towns: Bowmanville, Ontario. They’ve lived here for decades and have learned much about their home, the town, and of course, the tree.

“It’s more than 300 years old,” the husband told me. “Many people stop to take photos.” 

As did my husband and I.  I’ve even told friends about this tree, and directed them to it!

It is, indeed, a wondrous tree. 

blog-photo-trees-three-trunks-in-autumn-e14165477151391

There are other large trees on this beautiful street. Maples, magnificent beeches and others. But none as massive and wondrous as the oak.  Which is ironic as the street is called Beech.

Here’s to the mighty oak!

 

A Good Home, Maples, Nature, Poetry, Spring, Trees

In Praise of Trees

Blog Photo - Apple Tree and others

The apple blossoms soon will bloom

The lilac fragrance fill my room

Leaf buds will open on large trees

Gardeners will fall upon their knees


Blog Photo - Tree and Shady Garden

Bring forth your green, oh maple grand

Welcome the spring across the land

Whisper to me through rustling leaf

And I shall sigh with great relief

Blog Photo - Trees Woman hugs tree

Bring back your shelter, copper beech

With arms that dare to heaven reach

Bring back your green leaves, walnut friend

And cleanse the air, our bodies mend

Blog Photo - Ebor House back lawn

Give us your shade, oh mighty beings

Cover our spaces with your wings

Shade so the grass becomes a bed

Shade for the place where lies our dead

Blog Photo - Trees and Memorial Stone

Shade for the robin, perched on limb

Nest for the bugs that pester him

Blog Photo - Bird Scratches self For trees are gifts to creatures all

From those who walk to those who crawl.

~~

Dedicated to all my blogger friends.