That part of summer has arrived when rain is irregular, the sun is strong, there are patches of brown grass in the yard, and the chewing insects are eating the leaves and petals in the wildflower garden. I do still have the section of silt-textured dirt along the south side of the house to turn over and mix with the spent coffee grounds and peat moss to add organic materials. Right now, there are none, and nothing grows there but in a few spots where I tried adding the coffee grounds some months ago. And then it was evident that I needed to do more with it.
So, I have reserved most of the 1/4 lb. package of annual blue wild flax seed, which I will try to get planted, assuming I prepare that stretch of dirt. In previous years the stuff reseeded and bloomed into November on its own in the old plot. I think it is not too late, getting it into the dirt at the beginning of August, here in North Dakota.
In the meanwhile, some photographs from the past two to four days of the California Poppies.
The week has been too warm and too humid, with attending off-and-on rain showers. I’ve turned the desktop computer on (but not the printer) and will not unplug everything again until/unless there is a thunderstorm in the immediate area.
In the meanwhile, the puppies and I have gotten outside occasionally for short time periods to walk around and remember that we are mobile creatures, all of us. I am happy for the Tough camera that I bought (Olympus), which is droppable and waterproof. Yes, the wet is that wet.
The Scampers and I leave tracks from the back step into the living room until the sun’s been out long enough to dry the grass in the back yard.
Things are … scattered at this point, disorganized and relatively low key, but comfortable.
Here are some of the photographs from the last time that the Scampers and I went outside. Not that long ago.
The Scampers mostly do not come immediately in answer their names, but when they hear the call “Scampers!” there’s a rush and the sound of galloping feet. They know, when they hear that call, that something important is about to happen. (Treats, a ride in the car, a meal, or to stay home and take care of the house, which involves a special treat beforehand and a reward when we return home.)
The Scampers turned one, last December, and they’re growing, energetic, and happy. Mostly. The beginning of summer’s heat is dragging them down, already. 80°F isn’t hot, but the 45% humidity doesn’t help things.
One of the Scampers’ favorite things is to chase the neighborhood bunnies. It’s fortunate that there are so many ways out of the back yard, since the Scampers are learning to hunt as a team. If they’re anything like our previous dogs, though, they wouldn’t know what to do with a rabbit if they caught one.
Scampers at Rest
Mostly, the Scampers are really good friends. They brighten our lives.
This post was written in response to the Daily Post prompt of 2 July 2017: Scamper. Without the Scampers knowing about it.
After a rainstorm in the early hours of the morning, which woke my husband, but not me, I was surprised when my cell phone announced a Code Red Alert just after lunch. Simultaneously, the storm hit with winds and torrential rains, quickly interspersed with pea-sized hail. I got wet, going out to make certain the rain spouts were down to direct the water away from the house. I so very much enjoy storms, and I miss the storm spotting that we did over the years with the ham radio club.
While the dogs were in the back yard after breakfast, I went out also, the temperature’s being low, and pedaled another five miles on the exercise bike. I’d like to go out again, but the mosquitoes look ferocious … and they outnumber me.
Because of the rain overnight, there were few flowers in the garden, but I enjoyed playing with them before lunch, while the dogs’ bedding was in the dryer. I also played the piano for a while. I did not play very much during the last several days, but I have made some progress since the last time I played the exercises.
Several days this week were damp and relatively cool. The first blooming of the blue wild flax plants of the year has ended, and their seed pods have spread. I wait to find out if there will be a second growth and blooming. Many seeds ended up growing in the yard outside the garden area, and were mowed down.
The Scampers come in soaked in rain and dew, more often than not, and lie on the love seat in the living room to dry out. Since Thaddeus has a predilection for chewing fabric, I have run out of blankets to spread over the cushions. I may next sacrifice my old bath sheets, the next time there is a good sale on towels, wash cloths, &c.
I will continue this on The Art of Disorder, once I get the puppies out, fed, out, coffee made, and so forth. The household is beginning to wake up, and my husband has places to be, this morning.
Or, not sunlight. When I first got out to take photographs, before our assigned workman was dropped off at eight o’clock or so, The sun, nearly hidden behind high haze, was bright red, again. I assume that someone upwind is having problems again with wildfires. This had a gigantic effect on the reachable effects in my recreational time with the flower photos. I took photos during three sessions, and with each, the quality of the sunlight changes.
And now that I have come to a stopping point, relatively, I need to move the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer.
Samantha woke me around 8:30, this morning, and we went outside. The temperature is still in the 60s, which is a wonderful change from the mid-90s. I am not sure we’re going to get rain, but the forecast indicates there’s a chance until mid-evening. I took some photographs while we were out, then came in and put out breakfast for myself and Samantha (who chose to curl up in the deep shadows at the back of her crate and go back to sleep). I had planned to have a hard-boiled egg, but found none in the refrigerator, and so I put on nine eggs to boil while I assembled something else.
This morning’s weather (61 °F, and a stiff breeze) was not conducive to picture taking, but I’ve pulled out a few that are presentable with some “adjustments”.
Blue Wild Flax in Gold
Blue Wild Flax in Yellow
Blue Wild Flax in Orange
The rest of the morning was taken up by chores. In addition to putting the eggs on to boil (now cooked, labeled and back in the refrigerator), I have put the coming week’s Toddy coffee on to steep, and caught up on the dish-washing. When the weather is cooler, and I have fewer problems breathing, and everything seems to take 90% less time to do.
I much prefer the Toddy coffee, because it is less acidic and tastes sweet, unlike coffee that is brewed using hot instead of cold water. I believe the cold-brewed coffee also has more caffeine. We use Folgers classic roast (medium grind). I usually add the coffee concentrate to half-and-half or whole milk rather than water, which gives it a more noticeable chocolate-like undertaste, one part coffee concentrate to two to three parts milk. Otherwise, I’m a drinker of strong, black tea.
The weather was too hot and humid for photography, and so I ventured out just a few times with Samantha, the first time at about 8:30. I slept a lot. I think that I made two more visits to the back yard before the flower petals had all dropped. The temperature was at 95°F when we returned home from grocery shopping late in the afternoon. By then, there were no flowers at all.
Wild Flax in Shades of Orange
Wild Flax in Red
This weather calls to mind our September of two years ago, when I became unable to breathe because of the heat and almost ended up in the hospital, again. This year, I am staying inside and enjoying the new central air system that we had installed, that year. It keeps the temperature at an even 72°F all year round, making it much easier to breathe, most of the time.
At the back of the yard, along the fence and in the mostly shade, the lawn grass has been totally replaced by thistles that grow close to the ground and spread out their leaves in a circular pattern. I have seen no flowers on them. I believe that whenever the lawn is mowed without first removing the thistles, each piece that remains tries to grow into a new thistle, until there is barely room for new ones to find a place. I plan to boil some water, add vinegar, and pour it over a section of the thistles to see if it will kill both plant and roots.