… and some favorite photographs from September 28, 29 and 30.
Black-eyed Susan with Painted Lady
Flower and Seed Pod
Upper and Lower Flowers
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.
In the midst of the day’s work on the workshop in the back yard, I took out some time to play with the dogs and take photographs in the (now fading) wildflower garden. The night temperatures are pretty low, and there’s been relatively little rain. Rain and thunderstorms figure in the forecast quite often, but actual storms and precipitation just aren’t making it to our town very often.
Charlie, cricket hunting
Thaddeus, paying attention
Only two more boards of siding to put up on Friday
I spent a lot of the day at the top of a tall ladder. There was wind, and so I have ended up with a sinus headache. The hot tea will take effect, soon, and I’ll be able to get back to sleep. (That is, soon after I heat the water and steep the tea.)
The first week of my four-week poetry workshop approaches, and I have to decide which of the haiku I’ve written, I should send to the instructor. Between my aunt Marion’s funeral and burial on Monday and acting as carpenter’s assistant, the week has been quite scattered. This coming week, I have to go in for a blood panel, and then an appointment with my doctor. Nine-month check-up on the progress with the type 2 diabetes. One needs the lab results to know for certain, but I think it’s going great.
Also, I am supposed to make appointments with eye and foot doctors. I am not ready for any new adventures, right now, and so I am not making those appointments yet. The past twelve months have held quite enough events as it is.
Now that Mother is no longer acting as gate-keeper for contacts with the broader family on my father’s side, I have gotten a couple of email addresses. I’ve gotten a response to the one email I sent out, this week, and a new-to-me cousin on the west coast is favorable to the notion of making and maintaining contact. By token of which, we are now “Friends” on Facebook. I still don’t have emails for the cousins that I met at the funeral on Monday. Hopefully, information on those will be forthcoming. Two of them are people that I met in 1969, when I stayed with the family for a week, and I also met the widow of the third cousin and their offspring, Monday. Lovely people!
I was up quite early, this morning, having collapsed into bed before ten o’clock, last night, and sleeping straight through until nearly six in the morning. The Scampers and I were out early, when it was still cold and it looked as though frost was melting from dead dandelions. The dogs had a good run outside, and then checked for rabbit tracks, the second time out, and searched for butterflies in my wildflower garden on the next outing.
I did get some flower photos, and also a few snapshots of butterflies, mostly from a distance, this morning. In the afternoon, Al has some people dropping by, and so I’m going to try for an early lunch and perhaps a short nap, afterwards.
The garden flowers got off to a slow start, this morning. The temperature was quite chilly when I first took the dogs out to the back yard. By the second outing, there were butterflies, and at the third time outside, the blue wild flax flowers had appeared. As I was photographing what I think is a wild sunflower, a butterfly flew in to land on it, and so one frame shows the butterfly sitting there. Too bad that I was getting a close-up of the flower, and did not get the entire butterfly into the picture.
Yellow Wildflower with Butterfly
There were many of the same sort of butterflies in the back yard during the day. The Scampers thought it was great fun, chasing them from one dandelion to the next. Fortunately, they only caught crickets—the huge ones—which they carry around in their mouths until they find good places to set them down and bat them around. When they do that outside in the grass, the crickets most often get away. When they “catch and release” in the woodworking shop, the crickets are more likely to get stepped on.
I have been out twice with the Scampers for flower photographs. The pollen count … is not so high today as is promised for Sunday. Got a shower in, last night, and hope to wash the dishes, today. Laundry’s caught up for a while.
Al is building soffits. The Scampers are fast asleep. I am behind by two assignments in Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration. Again.
About .11″ of rain has fallen here since 11 o’clock in the morning. The temperature has been cold for this time of year. Of course, the Scampers and I were all barefoot when we went outside and got wet. At some point, the puppies came in and took a nap. Thaddeus curled up on the loveseat with his toy beaver, where they fell asleep.
The rain has caused postponement of the work that we were going to do on the backyard workshop. Not really good for wood putty, sanding, or painting. Instead, we went to the store to buy the items that were not available from the butcher’s or from our primary grocery. Also, we stopped at the nearer pharmacy for their store-brand eye lubricant and medical supplies. I was right to think that each chain-store pharmacy would have single dose packaging for eye lubricant (without preservatives). I even took time to put in a couple of miles on the exercise bike in the gazebo, while Al was vacuuming his workshop. Lots of woodchips and sawdust in there.
The blue wild flax flowers looked so sparkly, covered in mist and raindrops. I hate to see them go, come wintertime.
Speaking of which, here are some photoart pieces showing blue wild flax flowers in new-and-different colors:
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 reports of the Nile Virus on the news broadcasts sounded daunting. Since I can’t use insect repellents or insecticides, I may be spending more time indoors than I had planned on, timing my gardening around pest-free conditions. I expect that may involve being out on a breezy, dry day in long skirts/long-sleeve shirt and work gloves. I still have to improve the soil along the front and sides of the house, where nothing grows, now, but for the tulips in the spring. I’ve the “aged” used coffee grounds and the peat moss. I have only to dig out half a foot of soil all the way around (in sections), mix the barren dirt with the additives, and smooth it out, again. Then I can water the soil and tamp down the seeds. I’ve only the annual flax seeds, and only two ounces of those, and so I may have to order more for summer and autumn blooming.
The new garden is in shade more than I’d planned on, by the backyard fence. It catches tree and house shadows before 9:00 a.m. and late in the afternoon until dark. So, I must pick wildflower mixtures next year that fit better with that.
Poppies with Hoverfly, by Lizl Bennefeld (2017-07-06)
Blue Flax Flower (False Colours), Lizl Bennefeld (2017-07-06)
California Poppy, Lizl Bennefeld
California Poppy in the Morning Sunlight, Lizl Bennefeld (2017-07-07)
Wildflower in my Garden, Lizl Bennefeld (2017-07-07)