Saturday, September 14, 2013

Clear September Skies

A thunderstorm rolled in late on Thursday--nothing dramatic--a bit of rain, a few rumbles.
Still, when I collected the cats and shut the sliding door at bedtime I noted that the air seemed fresher.
After a few false starts on Friday morning, the sun broke through the mist along the creek.
We stepped outside to a day of clean crisp air, dew-sparkled grass, and temperatures 25 degrees lower than they've been in weeks.

There was a brisk wind from the northeast that pushed puffy white clouds across the blue sky, creating shifting patterns of sunshine and shadow over the rippling grass of the  meadow.
I opened all the windows, pegged a large wash on the lines where shirts and shorts and towels jiggled and bobbed, quickly dry.

Gone was the heavy humidity that has wrapped us for days, stifling ambition.
I dragged out the vacuum cleaner--which the cats detest--and followed my 'hoovering' with
a quick mopping.
With this virtuous bit of housekeeping accomplished I felt justified in devoting several hours to the current quilt in progress.
I laid out and stitched together half the blocks.
No photos yet--I hope to finish the other half tomorrow.

 The cosmos are still pretty--a thick tangle of wiry stems and pink petals dancing in the wind.
I took out a piece of string to mark the one white-flowered plant so that I can save its seed separately.

This grasshopper-creature was sunning itself on a fading zinnia.
The boy cats pounce on such things as they made their short buzzy flights, landing in the grass.

It seems to me that butterflies have been less plentiful this season--perhaps because because my flower garden has been less than flourishing. 
Those still hovering over the zinnias seem tired and tattered.

The Michaelmas Daisies are coming into their full glory.

These are very similar to the widely naturalized New England Asters.

This clump of pink phlox is a winner. It withstood the very hot and dry summer of 2012 and has continued to put forth fresh bloom during the humid rainy months which have been our lot in 2013.
I will be browsing plant catalogs come spring for other varieties of phlox to plant in the bare spots in the perennial strips.

Bobby McGee enjoys making the rounds of the dooryard with me.
He likes this humped rock which is surrounded by pink cleome.
I imagine that when he and his brother Nellie scamper over the rock, chasing and staging mock battles, the rock becomes their play fort.

M. sat on the porch last evening patiently aiming my camera at the hummingbirds as they whirred from the maple tree to the syrup feeder, zinged past us on the porch.
They go quiet for a few moments, then the pattern of feeding and zooming, looping past each other, 
begins again.

Edward is mischievous, fat and quite lazy. 
He is content to loll on the porch in the sunshine while his brothers tear about in the yard. 
At the moment he--and four other cats--are curled on the bed which shares the room with my desk.
There is a half bath off this room and before the weather turned, I discovered that Edward was favoring the sink basin as a cool place to keep me company when I was at the computer.
It was cool last night--only in the low 60's F when I stepped outside this morning.
We slept under a quilt all night with the window partly open to crisp air.
When I half woke at 4:15 and attempted to roll over, I found I was tucked in with a bevy of snuggling cats!

We've had a rare lazy day. After a late breakfast we moved onto the front porch, each with a book.
For the first time in weeks we dressed in jeans and warm shirts.
As the sun moved around the side of the house we moved our chairs to follow it.
Various of the cats came to sit with us awhile.
We enjoyed the antics of the hummingbirds, listened to the cries of  hawks as they wheeled above the front meadow, their shadows floating over the grass. 
The sun moved behind the fringe of woods that marks our western boundary and the air struck chill--unfamiliar, but welcome.
A half moon rides the night sky--a red moon.
The cicadas still rasp out their nocturnal songs, the cry of a coyote drifts down from the ridge.
There will be warm days yet and a harvest moon--but summer has passed for another year.


  1. Our summer is still here although the nights are cooler. Our garden (yard area) is flourishing after much tender care, hard work and watering. We almost lost a few shrubs before the home changed hands, but it's looking really good now. I so love our new home -- so does Scruffy, windows that come down to the floor are his love. He can see everything going on outside.
    I enjoyed your e mail. Thank you so much for writing.

  2. I am glad that you are now enjoying cooler conditions. I can't cope when it is hot and high humidity ("muggy" my mum used to call it).

    Edward keeping cool made me smile! He looks so like our Jarvis (aka Little Whale).

    I think you and J deserved a lazy day on the porch with a good book apiece.

    Meanwhile, I don't know whether to be shocked into total submission, or think I may get the Christmas-present quilts finished in time by your throw away comment: "I laid out and stitched together half the blocks" (for your latest quilt). Yeesh . . .

    I love your garden - you have many of my favourites, and ones I have in the garden here (the Michaelmas daisies and Phlox, though my Cosmos was started very very late (July!) and only just thinking about flowering.

    I wish I could see your exotic butterflies and humming birds - sparrows and cabbage whites don't quite compare, somehow!

  3. Oh, you are so blessed to have summer over for this year. We still have a month of so to go before our weather turns cooler, not cold, but cooler. I've had hints of fall coming, 'hints', but it's most definitely not here yet.

    I always enjoy reading about and seeing pictures of your life there with your 'bevy of cats', your lovely flowers, quilting projects, etc.

    Have a nice Sunday and a great week.


  4. Your welcome to fall weather sounds wonderful, and I am hoping tomorrow will bring us some of the same refreshing cool, dewy air.

  5. Lots of lovely photos,it's great when Autumn starts coming in, it's my favourite season. Those Michaelmas Daisies are a marvellous colour.