After the storms

We had a number of thunderstorms. (I slept through two Code Red storm alert calls, the phone within 30 inches of my head.) Tuesday night’s took out most of the Sweet Williams and in the early morning, a lot of the day’s new blooms. The rain has, however, encouraged some new flowers. The pollinators were also in evidence.

Some of my favorites from the past few days, now. Clicking on the photo and likewise on the attachment page should bring you to a larger version of the picture.

4 July 2018

5 July 2018

3 July 2018

While the U.S. Independence Day fireworks (illegal, but omnipresent) were loud, including someone shooting off the stuff on the street in front of our house, the Scampers and I weathered the noise. I put on some opera music (mostly tenor arias and operatic songs), and the dogs soon fell to sleep. I later switched to Mozart symphonies, and they napped until it was time for their last snack and outing and into their kennels for the night. I am quite happy that the celebration is over for another year.

Our dogs are accustomed to joining us in the gazebo for thunderstorms, and so the loud noises do not upset them. I jump when the strikes are too close. When we were children, we lived in a large house on a double lot that had ten or more gigantic cottonwood trees that inevitably drew lightning strikes. And we would be out in it, since the water buildup in the basement window wells (we started out living in a “basement house”, the main floor not added until the ’50s), with our little buckets, bailing out the water before the windows could pop open and send the water into the living room, bathroom, and bedrooms. Such fun!

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Garden Life

A lovely week, last week and this weekend, for photo taking in the garden. Finally got caught up on household chores, got my clinic appointment and lab tests done, and today, grocery shopping. And Al finished putting the last coat of paint on his woodworking shop. I suspect that it will take him the winter to make the furniture, shelves, and cupboards that he needs, but he’ll have fun doing that.

I have gotten the summer/fall blooming wildflower seeds strewn along the side of the garage, and there are signs of germination. I still have to dig out areas in the wildflower garden to plant the rest of those seeds. Scattered rain showers are forecast for a few more days, beginning Thursday. I will need to get the planting done before then.

I hope that you’re having a good day. Best wishes for the week!

Monday’s Flowers

The cold weather last night was hard on the tulips. These photographs are from last Monday. I did get outside for photographs, also, in spite of the winds. Not all of the tulips had opened up, yet, and so I am hopeful that the next batch will bloom and be photographed in turn.

Today I am engaged in sorting, tossing, shredding, &c, to regain enough bookshelf space that I can organize and put away at least the books that have migrated to my bed sitting room. Before I get on my exercise bike, which lives in the gazebo (which is now minus Al’s mother’s one-seat balcony swing, having gone off with a sister), I must remember to turn on the space heater for half an hour. Otherwise I might freeze to death!

Lizl

P.S. I really do enjoy the sorting/tossing…but I don’t think I’ve done a thorough job of it since we got married, twenty-five years ago, and I moved from apartment to the house.

Sunday Tulips | My Spring Garden

The cold temperatures and rain lasted long enough that we did not get garden spaces cleaned out before plants began to come up. I have since (this last week) thrown down some flower seed in the back garden (mixed California poppy, annual blue wild flax) and the south side of the house, after adding old coffee grounds from last summer and some peat moss: nasturtiums (an extra seed packet that came with an order) and annual blue wild flax. I have more flax seed and half of a wild-flower mix that I got last year, which came up nicely.

We also have dandelions and wild violets in the yard.

 

 

 

Supper is in the oven: Baked Chicken Breasts

Our butcher posted his weekly specials, this week, on his web page. We had been forgetting to stop at that store, somehow, without specials posted, even though we did not always take advantage of them. I had been wanting to bake chicken breasts, and that was one of the three specials, so we stopped by the shop before Al went off to his volunteer work, this afternoon.

With two pounds of meat, I washed and dried the chicken breasts, rubbed them lightly with olive oil, added seasoning to top and bottom (crushed peppercorns, sea salt, and cumin), and put the baking dish into the oven for forty minutes at 350°F. Twenty minutes to go!

The strong winds, combined with heavy rain, this morning, pretty much beat down and soaked the plants in the backyard wildflower garden. The ornamental clover is still doing well, and there are some Black-eyed Susan and Siberian Wallflower plants that still have blooms, but that’s about it. The blue wild flax … may dry out. If not, I will be taking photographs of fallen leaves until the snow flies.

In this morning’s rain, I saw two Northern Flickers hunting out bugs in the front yard. I’m glad that they are still around. I don’t imagine that the raptors do much hunting in the midst of thunderstorms or torrential downpours. (See Hunting Circles for background.)

Pictures of September’s Last Days

A flight of fancy …

Autumn’s Garden
(False Colors)

… and some favorite photographs from September 28, 29 and 30.

I am now in the last week of the four-week “Introduction to Japanese Poetry” workshop that I’d signed up for in at the beginning of August. This week I am to write tanka every day and read essays that I am finding quite helpful in understanding the underlying rationale (?). My understanding of haiku has changed a lot during the course of the workshop, also. Very happy that I signed up for it, and I will have a lot to carry forward after the workshop ends.
I find that my joy in writing poetry is expanding.

These weeks have been, as I had expected, quite difficult to get through. My youngest sister died on September 30 in 2014, and the anniversary of her memorial service is Tuesday. Last year, these two weeks included my mother’s transition from the family home to hospital and when a bed became available, transfer to a care facility under hospice care. The feeling of loss contests with my joy in their present joy. And yet it’s not the one against the other, but both emotions, each a legitimate recognition of reality, coexist. Life’s texture becomes deeper, more intricate. Things are settling inside me. I think that’s a good thing.