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, Beautiful writing, Nature Writing

Simply Beautiful Writing

Blogger Jeni Rankin wrote: “Now is a time of re-discovering the wonder of  the natural world, remembering all that I had forgotten and seeing things I have never noticed before.”

Some bloggers blow me away with their nature writing. Mind you, it’s writing that would never use terms like ‘blow me away’ — and that’s a good thing! 

Lavinia Ross and Andrea Stephenson write about the seasons — the seasons of the year, of place and life.

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Take, for example, this post about August on Andrea’s blog, Harvesting Hecate:

“August is a month of waiting.   Not the desperate waiting of winter, when you can no longer stand the darkness, but the sweet longing for something anticipated to come.  I look at the calendar and am always surprised that the month isn’t yet over. 

“There are days in August that seem poised on the edge of time.  Perfect days, like this one, when the sun is hazy and still low in the sky, giving a blurred luminosity to the light.  A day when the earth seems to be holding its breath.  When I feel myself expand out into the silence and every step is like a sigh.”

A continent away, at Salmon Brook Farms in the US, Lavinia Ross observes each month’s visitors and blessings, even a creature some people fear — the garden spider:

Blog Photo - Lavinia Photo Newsletter August - Spider

“With luck, someday this autumn I may catch her tending her web, freshly festooned with the night’s dew. It has been too hot and dry lately to see these arachnid silk Brigadoons.  Damp, sunlit mornings can sometimes reveal an entire dazzling city of webs, which fades into invisibility in the heat of the day.”

Their writing is multi-layered. In her August post, Andrea writes:

“Lately I have been feeling the speed of the world.  I’m young enough to have used computers for two thirds of my life; old enough to remember when shops closed on Sundays, when letters were written by hand to far-flung penfriends, when, if you needed information, you had no choice but to visit a library.  Lately, the world often seems ‘too much’ and I long to return to what I remember as a slower time.”

And Lavinia says:

“As occurs with most things in life, beauty and goodness come packaged along with assorted trials and tribulations; August was no exception….”

“August brings day after day of heat and drought; temperatures in the 90s and 100s are common, with few interludes of coolness… Dust devils, heat-spawned vortices known by different names around the world and thought to be the spirits of the dead in some cultures, spin lazily across the broad, barren farmlands, carrying the fertile soil of Oregon skyward until the bright blue above is stained with a tan haze.”

Congrats, Lavinia and Andrea. And thank you.

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This post is dedicated to the memory of Jeni Rankin, aka The Hopeful Herbalist, who also lifted my days with lyrical poetry, prose and pictures of life at her seaside cottage in Scotland. 

 

A Good Home, Autumn, Garden Humour, Spring, The Seasons

Autumn Here, Spring There

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It’s Springtime now Down Under

While we here are right in the Fall

Hard to believe it’s the same Earth

It barely makes sense at all.

blog-photo-gallivanta-spring-table-with-daffodils
Photo Credit:  silkannthreades.wordpress.com

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I wonder how folks in the old days

Reacted to this bit of news

That Christmas could be in the summer

Did they think it was some kind of ruse?

blog-photo-christmas-2012

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Oh – look what I wrote up above there!

A captive of my point of view

Though for folks in the lands Down Under

This cannot be anything new.

Blog Photo - White garden Solomons seal

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So let’s start this poem all over

Let’s turn it upside on its head

And now, it is Fall Over Yonder

But here it’s the time to plant beds.