>Summer’s End

August 27, 2010 at 4:48 am (Uncategorized)


Raspberries and blueberries from my garden

Well it’s happened again. Summer’s end. Not much time for blogging, although I did get a bit hooked on Facebook for awhile before I decided to just quit cold turkey. I got tired of eavesdropping on all these private conversations going on between friends and family. Didn’t seem right. And I wasn’t getting enough work done. Plus I feel compelled to rant and rave when somebody says something that “ain’t right.” Gotta stop that. But I’ll do a post now and then, just to let folk know I’m still alive.

Papa bluebird feeding his kiddoes

So I did what I usually do – took care of the yard and gardens, though not as aggressively as I usually do. I did the art shows to sell out of inventory and save up money for a new vehicle to get me back to Big Bend in October. And I spent a little time with friends. Here are photographs of the summer here in Maine.

Edmund my Garden Muse and loosestrife

I also began to clean out the house and studio of all the stuff I’ll never use, even though I thought 15 years ago I’d really really really make a quilt someday with all those fabric scraps, or do a stunning found-object sculpture with those flattened catalytic converter rusted metal parts. So what I can sell I’ll put out in my yard sale Sept 11-12 (Ya’ll come now, hear?) or list on craigslist or Uncle Henry’s.

Turkey family

I’ve got ads out to rent my house year-round. My goal is full-time work for the Park Service, preferably two seasonal parks. I bit hook, line and sinker when I worked at Big Bend this winter, and I also have a goal of visiting all of the national parks in my lifetime. It’s a leap of faith, but I’ve got the Wanderlust again, and I’m ready for a big change.

Day lily with dew

It seems like every 18 years there’s a Big Change in my life. First joining the Army at age 18. Then being married and living in Washington state for 18 years. And now it’s been nearly 18 years in Maine and the road calls again. It’s harder this time. But I’m excited despite the uncertainties. Life’s given me a lot of lemons the last few years, but I do like lemonade. Needs lots of sugar though. Sugar can be hard to come by sometimes. Maybe some day I’ll tell you about some of the summer lemons, but for now I’ll focus on the peaches.

Yeah, real peaches. They came off my very own trees. I planted them 3 years ago and they finally produced. The Reliant gave lots of small, sweet fruits, and the New Haven gave fewer very large peaches. Next year whoever rents the house will be soooo lucky.

Peach ripening and the August harvest

There was lots of bird activity. A flock of turkeys consisting of 3 hens and 17 pullets has been visiting regularly and is tamer than I’ve ever seen turkeys. I threw out scratch feed the other day when the flock was in the yard, and not only did they not skedaddle, but one of the babies came running up to within three feet of me!

Part of turkey flock

Bluebird baby

My bluebirds successfully raised a family, although they didn’t hang around after they fledged. The catbirds barely had the first crew out on their own before mama built another nest in the wild rose bush. Tree swallows, mourning doves, song sparrows, common yellowthroats, and who knows what else found nesting spots in my yard.

Catbird with yummies for babies

I had a boarder this summer, though he didn’t pay any rent. Matter of fact he stole from me. Woody Woodchuck dug a hole under the living room (my house is on a slab) and thinks I planted the zinnias and daisies for his snack bar. But he’s just too cute to evict, though I’ll encourage him to leave in a few weeks by shoving the dirt back into the hole. Don’t want a skunk to take up residence there over winter!

Woody Woodchuck

Yeah I’ll miss all this critter activity. I love my yard. But I hate winter. Hate hate hate. And I love America’s natural places. Love love love. And I love helping people respect and enjoy them, too.

The most beautiful gladiolus (gladioli? gladiolusus?) in the world

Another little thief

My cats have been tormented by a chipmunk which they sometimes “attack” through the screen door. This little guy has been raiding my bird feeder and storing seed under the deck. I’ll probably have sunflowers popping through the cracks next year. The red squirrels (below) have also been busy, but the blue jays are the champions when it comes to tucking away sunflower seeds in their throat pouches and caching them for winter use.

Red Squirrel

What? Me? Steal the bird seed?

One of the banes of my existence is the Japanese beetle. Thanks to the early spring, the roses were more voluptuous than I’ve ever seen them, blooming long before the beetles emerged. But once they did, every emerging petal was covered with ravenous beetles and I never got a rose past mid-July. Does no good to spray, since new beetles just take their place.

Japanese beetle – so pretty, and so HORRID!

Another garden heartbreak – late blight. Again. The tomatoes were huge and green. And the blight, which first appeared in Maine last year, got ’em again. I hope my friend down the road did a prophylactic copper fungicide application, as she has probably 100 tomato plants. I salvaged a few, but even a long soak in a chlorine bleach solution didn’t keep the brown blotches from showing as the fruits ripened. I salvaged what I could and made fresh salsa. Yum.

Sweet pea

Birdhouse my friend “Mama” Gay gave me, and climbing sweet peas

Late summer flower arrangement

Well tomorrow I’ll hit the Speed Limit (55) and I guess that means I’m supposed to slow down. But as long as I have meaningful work, and good friends and family, and a lovely place to live, how can I? We must move toward the Light in the world, and try not to let its Darkness overwhelm us. The best revenge is a well-lived life.

Here’s to living well!

Full moon setting at dawn


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