Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Plodding Toward the End of Summer

It has rained in brief but torrential bursts throughout the day.
Jim had an errand in Lebanon, KY, about an hour away.  He chose a winding secondary route which took us past fields of soybeans and corn, swooping around curves, descending into hollows, climbing hills. He drove with rain cascading down the windshield,, rounding a bend to find that the shower had passed and clouds of white mist were rising from the wet black surface of the road. 

I sat contentedly in the car, reading, during the nearly half hour that he was selecting what he needed at the tractor dealership.
Into Campbellsville by the more familiar and mundane route, where I had been promised a few minutes to collect some sewing supplies. 
I scurried around the JoAnn's Fabric and Crafts, finding a skirt pattern, zippers, lining fabric, hastily adding a quilting magazine to my shopping basket as I headed to the checkout counter.
I wouldn't have minded poking around a bit longer, but I didn't need anything else, so back out into the humid dripping heat to find that Jim had disappeared. 
I always have a car key in my purse, so unlocked the door, dumped my bag of goodies inside.
I was considering where to look for him, when he emerged from the shoe store next door!
The man collects more shoes than I do!
Lunch at the Subway sandwich shop and then home through the green darkness of a rainy afternoon.

The sky cleared about 6 p.m. and the slanting sunlight of evening shimmered through the mist rolling up from the creek.
I walked down the lane with tidbits for the goats, stopped to pat and cuddle the barn kittens--who are growing into lanky and sleek adolescence.

Shadow-cat follows me up from the barn, winding about my ankles, tail held high.
He has been told by Willis and crew that he is not to pass the fork in the lane and approach our house!
Here he is, sitting quietly at a safe distance.

The hibiscus by the front porch is experiencing a fresh burst of bloom.

Only one signet marigold germinated from seeds sown earlier.

Ipomoea Pandurata aka Big Root Morning Glory, Wild Sweet Potato, Man of the Earth.
 Naturalized, invasive, but beautiful with a fresh show of silky blossoms in the relative cool of early morning.  Long before noon on these sweltering days the flowers have shriveled.

I have read that if one wants the labor of digging the tuberous roots they can be eaten like a sweet potato--although there is a bitterness not wholly diminished by boiling in several changes of water.

Our neighbors have needed to be away for several days, so I was gifted with the glads that were ready to be cut.
Teasel examined them with interest. Mima had to be shooed away from the bouquet when she had notions of creating a colorful 'salad.'
I usually take the precaution of shutting a vase of flowers in the pantry overnight so that I am not greeted in the morning with the mess of puddled water and disheveled petals from an 
over-turned vase. 

One of the barn cats, Bonnet, has produced another litter of kittens.
They are darling [of course!] but--oh dear!
Our 7 year old great-niece was here for a day last week with her parents; we made several trips to the barn so that she could play with the older kittens and ever so gently cuddle the babies while the 
mom-cat hovered.

Jim removed a set of wooden stairs from the outside of his workshop several months ago.
[I have referred to then as the 'stairway to nowhere' although they led up to the unfinished loft  area above the shop.]
Jim and our renter/neighbor hauled them down the lane and installed them for access to the stable 
hay loft.

There is satisfaction in re-purposing rather than discarding!

A dahlia sent by my sister has bloomed in the weedy edge of my garden, albeit nibbled by some nasty beetle. 
The state of the garden is most disheartening at this point. I had it quite tidy at the end of June, fresh mulch laid down around the perennials, the vegetables and melons mostly free of weeds.
The long spell of damp sweltering weather has defeated me!
My hope is for a long and sunny autumn--and the stamina to tackle the mess once more!


  1. Enjoyed your photos, the lack of rain here has about done our garden in. Autumn cannot come too soon.

    1. Janet; I suppose we die-hard gardeners need to realize that the season will either bring us too much rain or not enough--or it rains at exactly the wrong time! I do wonder why I keep hoping for the near perfect garden year!

  2. I join you in that hope! I too, am "plodding" toward the end of summer. Hope you get some relief from the heat soon!


    1. Jane; Having lived most of my life in places with long cold winters I remember waiting for summer. Kentucky summers tend to go on for a bit too many weeks!

  3. I am trying to get ahead of myself in the garden and have started on the Autumn tidy up - 6 barrows of stems and leaves etc removed today!

    Those kittens are DARLING! I can imagine your niece was enthralled by kittens big and small.

    I liked the sound of your "little jaunt" especially the going to the fabric shop! I'm glad Jim hadn't gone far.

    1. Jennie; Six barrow loads of garden debris is a considerable day's work!
      Oh--the kittens! There are several that I would love to adopt, but common sense prevails.

  4. So good to see a post from you. I always enjoy my visits here, always interesting in words and photos. I loved those misty photos. I can just feel the peacefulness.

    Stamina, yes, that's what we need to work in heat and humidity, especially the older we get. I'm looking forward to cooler temps.

    Love and hugs to you dear Sharon ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey; I didn't get a photo but when the nearly full moon came up and shone through the hanging mist it was so lovely--I stood by the bedroom window enjoying it. We treasure such moments of peace and beauty--in a world full of unrest.

  5. How beautifully, you tell, of the weather. Clouds of mist... Slanting sunlight shimmering.... -happy sigh-

    Happy Full Moon tonight!

    Luna Crone

  6. Luna; Our weather is so variable today I wonder if the moon will be visible--maybe it will be a 'ghostly galleon'as in "The Highwayman"

  7. The kittens are so adorable! I loved your misty photo, it is like this here in Glastonbury today, we cannot see the tower on the tor, for mist.

    1. Kath; A look at the extended weather forecast suggests that we had better get used to mist and drizzles. Oh yes--the kittens! I am firmly resisting the urge to adopt!

  8. maybe it will be a 'ghostly galleon'as in "The Highwayman"

    Ohhhhh, I love that!!!!

    Thank you for reminding me of that so-beautiful and poignant story.

    Luna Crone

    1. Luna; I met up with 'The Highwayman' in high school [senior English lit] my Mom could still recite it from her school days. So romantic--it took me a few years to realize that highwaymen were not good citizens!

  9. Replies
    1. Lillian; I'm pleased that you enjoyed the photos!

  10. Summer is waning here in SW Vermont as well. The early morning valley mists are tell-tails of what is to come. Yesterday I noticed a few isolated patches of color on the mountainside. The endless months of no rainfall have taken it's toll on my gardens, even my 'steady Eddy' red dahlia is suffering. We finally had a significant rainfall and as much as we appreciated it, it was too little, too late. The tomatoes are finally ripening and that is my raison d'etre.

    1. Mundi; You have described perfectly the first signs of autumn in New England--no other place I've lived quite equals it. I recall with longing my tomato harvests in Vermont--here we are beset with blight!

  11. Summer in the the various parts of the US seems to have been rather challenging and to have gone from one extreme to the other depending on where you are - all very irritating to gardeners. My garden is heading towards autumn, I've done a lot more deadheading and cutting back than usual so it looks fairly tidy but not very colourful at the moment. Autumn isn't far away I don't think, it looks like being early this year which suits me fine.

    1. Rowan; I'm beginning to believe that summer usually brings frustration--in particular to would-be gardeners! I hope for a long and mellow autumn.