Mornings have dawned grey, wet, overcast this week, although there have been sporadic hours of sunshine most days.
Rain was drumming on the roof, lightning zipping above the ridge, as I attempted to fall asleep in the earliest hours of Friday morning. At 5 a.m. the landscape was wrapped in green darkness and the sound of rain was dominant.
I've been only briefly at the new property this week, although Jim has worked there and made good progress in excavating for the foundation. Thursday's rain put paid to that project, but a run up the ridge before breakfast today proved that the ground is draining well.
The nearest neighbor at Turkey Flatt keeps a jack at stud. The jack's pasture and that of this boarded mare is on our route in and out of our property.
The foal was about 9 days old when we stopped to admire him and take photos.
Who would have thought a baby mule could be this cute?
I spent some time tidying the straggling nasturtiums in my porch planters.
Nasturtiums get messy quickly--yellowing limp leaves, long trailing stems, but they are a favorite since childhood.
I leave some of the blooms to go to seed and poke the dried seeds back into the soil.
With pruning I should have fresh bloom until the first frost.
The dreadful scourge of Japanese beetles seems to be over for another season.
The rugosa that leans over the side steps to the landing is opening fresh, fragrant clusters of blossoms.
Double Red Knockout is a cliche in this region--a true landscape stalwart. The fragrance is very light.
The beauty of these is their habit of repeat bloom and the ability to bounce back after the beetles leave. I clip the freshest blooms nearly every day, line them up on the kitchen windowsill in a variety of small jugs and vases.
A praying mantis has domiciled in a clump of Joe Pye weed below the cement landing.
I brought this plant in from the upper meadow last summer--part of the effort [not entirely successful] to use native plants to choke out weeds in that gravelly area.
The blooms of okra are exotic--similar to a hibiscus. The process from bloom to a grotesquely overgrown pod of okra is very rapid. We enjoy a side dish of fried okra but can't keep up with the quantity. I snip off over-grown pods and let them fall to the ground. The stems and leaves of the okra plant are irritating to the skin. Sometimes I remember to pull on a long-sleeved shirt prior to harvesting the pods.
Another view of the rugosa as the mid-morning sun burned away fog and mist.
I spent a morning grubbing along the side porch. Spent poppy stalks, the gone-to-seed clary sage, clumps of shallow-rooted grass--all removed. Strange to think this likely won't be my garden when another spring rolls around. I wonder if the new owners will like the clary, the poppies and the cockscomb which self-seed in that area.
Jim has done more excavating since this photo was taken.
I've done some sewing this week at odd moments--found some really nice denim skirts at Goodwill earlier in the summer--I like them as an alternative sometimes to jeans or pedal pushers --but they were ankle length, which tends to trip me up. Three of them nicely shortened and patch pockets made using the cut off material for the one that had no pockets. Navy blue skirt [new!] in a suede-like fabric shortened and ready for fall wearing.
Sleeves shortened and new cuffs made for a lovely soft 'jean jacket' made of a rayon/tencel fabric--I'm planning to wear it to church over a flowing crinkled silk skirt.
For many years I made my own clothes--as well as for my daughter and my nieces--now I put my energies in other directions and happily repurpose my finds from consignment or charity shops--often 'new with tags.'
My 'everyday' clothing takes a beating: garden soil, paint, the cooking smudges that evade my apron.
Three books read on rainy evenings--Ann Cleeves' final book in the Shetland/Jimmy Perez series will be out in a few weeks, so I'm speed-reading the earlier books to put myself back in the picture.
This evening I was inspired to rummage out packages of frozen fruit--blackberries, peaches, blueberries--made a crumble for a church dinner, and another with dropped buttermilk biscuit topping for Jim.
We each had a helping served warm from the oven and lavished with whipped cream.
A pleasant ending to a long day!