A quiet evening, the air heavy and damp from late afternoon rain, darkness moving in early. Showers throughout the month have kept the landscape green, so different from other years when August has brought drought.
The tulip poplars that line the grassed-over lane drop yellow leaves with each burst of wind and rain.
At the bend of the drive as it joins the common lane to the main road, unripe black walnuts have dropped to the ground.
The sunflower hedge has taken a beating, some stalks broken with the weight of blooms. The shorter varieties remain upright but the blossoms are tattered. Goldfinches dart in to perch on the flower heads and nibble at the seeds.
Tattered sunflowers, dark against the sky.
Bumble bees love the sunflowers.
There are a few buds still to open.
In the rather neglected plot at the north end of the house, coneflowers are past their best.
I leave them in hopes of gathering seeds when drier weather prevails--and because the birds and butterflies love them.
The robust butterfly bush is thronged with swallowtail butterflies. Spent flower heads need to be pruned yet again.
Blackberry lilies raised last year from seed, the swelling pods laid low with rain.
The pink rose was labeled as a groundcover variety. I think it would prefer to be a gentle climber.
Zinnias will hold their color until hard frost.
Sunset colors after rain.
There was more coral and mauve in the western sky than my simple camera can record.
Matt and Gina attended the local Mennonite/Amish produce auction last week and scored a bounty of good canning tomatoes which they shared with us. [Sadly, our own garden tomatoes, though fussed over, have not been of superior quality.] I have canned the tomatoes in increments as they fully ripened--with considerable help--the last 12 quarts were processed today.
I began the day with a burst of housecleaning--floors on the main level vacuumed, woodwork wiped down, furniture throws laundered and replaced with clean ones.
Howard's dogs arrived and approved of my efforts.
Mudgie is not a good fit for the shabby loveseat.
During the hot weather of July and August I have spent hours downstairs in the large sunlit room where I have set up both of my sewing machines. I've been challenging myself to take out projects which have languished through several years of frequent moves.
I started the Ohio Star blocks when we were living in our Amish farmhouse; I brought them with me into the 5th wheel camper that was our abode during the building of this house, but there wasn't room to set up a sewing machine.
I began by cutting and stitching the blocks re the directions in the magazine pattern, but wasn't happy with the fiddly method which yielded too many difficult bias edges.
I made more of the stars via the grid method which serves me well for accuracy.
All of the printed fabrics feature pansies. Another set of these will make a second quilt with a different setting.
I think I've found a local quilter who can finish these economically. I consider these 'utility quilts'--to be used, frequently laundered.
This quilt is special, created for a dear sister-in-law. I began work on this in March just before being side-lined for weeks with a DVT. The fabrics in the star centers were made from 'fat quarters' gifted to me several years ago--the star points are hand-dyed coordinates. I sent the quilt to Vermont to be machine quilted by a woman who lives a scant two miles from my old home there.
The batik cat fabric was from my 'stash' and made a delightful border.
Marion used a silvery thread for the quilting design.
More of the pattern swirls on the back of the quilt.
Hand stitching the binding in place to the quilt back required several sessions. As I did this I enjoyed the colors in the quilt, the closeup of Marion's work and my own--a satisfying labor of love.
The cats enjoy my sewing room--there's usually one on the sewing table--others sprawled on blanket covered chairs or sofa. I frequently need to discourage one from 'helping' when I have fabric spread out to cut or pin.
Sewing projects are on-going--it doesn't appear that I will run short of fabric!
I close this rambling journal entry with a photo of signet marigolds raised from seed saved last year.
Other plants in my container garden have languished in the hot weather, leaving "Lemon Gem' as the colorful doorstep greeter.
Today I can record the encouraging results of the ultra-sound done yesterday on my left leg: no sign of the blood clot remains.
Somehow, I don't think this signals a return to crawling about for hours on my knees in the garden. The past few months have been a lesson in 'moderation!'