Image

MORNING LIGHT BREAKING THROUGH — LIKE LIFE

Frame of Mind – If you could paint your current mood onto a canvas, what would that painting look like? What would it depict?


 

Early morning. Sun coming through and the mist in the woods is lifting. Like life. misty morning 1

Image

LILIES AND ROSES

Despite the horrible condition of the garden as winter ended … and despite my not having done anything at all to improve the situation, nature appears to have triumphed. The garden is back.

72-JuneGarden_07

Maybe it’s the amazingly good weather we’ve had all through June. Almost no rain, but the sun has shone every day while the heat and humidity have been minimal. In other words, perfect summer weather.

72-JuneGarden_18

It’s been downright Caribbean around here … except for the lack of rain. I noticed today that the dam on the Mumford has also been closed and just a trickle of water is being allowed through.

72-JuneGarden_01

If we aren’t yet having a drought, someone in the water and drought commission is worried and saving up water in the bigger lakes and ponds. Meanwhile, the flowers are blooming like mad.

Gallery

ANOTHER LOOK AT MANCHAUG – GARRY ARMSTRONG

It’s always interesting shooting in tandem. You’ve got the same stuff to look at and some of your pictures are likely to be very similar. But the eyes are different.

The cameras have different lenses and no two photographers ever shoot the scene exactly the same way.

This is Garry’s look at Manchaug.

Image

DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING

Groundhog Week - If you could relive the past week, would you? Would you change anything?


It has been a simply gorgeous week. The weather has been perfect and nothing memorable has gone wrong.

river bend

We haven’t needed either heat or air conditioning. None of our dinners burned and the new convection oven we bought works like a charm.

72-Deck-Flowers-02

I wouldn’t change a thing. As I look out my window, it’s another perfect summer’s day, the kind of day about which Shakespeare wrote sonnets.

Sonnet  18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
   So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
   So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

And again today, the sky is bright blue. The air is warm with a zephyr breeze ruffling the leaves while a yellow sun lights the world. I’d have to be mad to meddle with this!

A SOLSTICE STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Set for Solstice - Today’s Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere). How are you taking advantage of the extra hours of light this time of year? Do you like it, or do you already miss earlier sunsets?


I finally crawled out of bed this morning … an hour ago? Yeah, that’s about it. I noticed it was bright (not before coffee!) and cool (thank you!). After I scrubbed my teeth and limped to the kitchen, greeting each dog as I made my way past the big biscuit canister to the coffee machine to press “start” lest I not have coffee. Without coffee, I don’t care if this is the final day before Armageddon, I’m not ready!

The pig-chicken-cow antique canister where i store the Greenies

The pig-chicken-cow antique canister where I store the Greenies

Summer Solstice. What do you know? Time just crept up from behind and whacked me on the head. Last I knew, it was the Vernal Equinox and I was on a gurney rolling into the operating room where they were sharpening their scalpels for me.

And look! The world moved a quarter way around Old Sol and it’s summer. Already. I should rip my clothing off and go dance under the moon tonight to honor Mother. I’d probably get munched on by millions of flying jaws who want my blood. Maybe that’s their own tiny way of honoring Herself.

Anyway, a naked me in any light might scare the wild creatures so much they’d move to another part of the forest. It might even scare me half to death. It’s not pretty. Mother Gaea wouldn’t mind, though. She’s entirely open-minded. Just mark me “crone” and move on.

Petunias on the morning of the Summer Solstice

Petunias on the morning of the Summer Solstice

It is a beautiful day. Couldn’t ask for a nicer one. This kind of perfection is rare in these latitudes. When the still sleeping husband arises from his dreams, maybe we can talk about an itty bitty excursion to one of the many waterways. With photographic intent. Perhaps fit in a little dinner afterwards at a favorite Asian eatery. I like that plan.

Of course, it’s just my plan and I’m half a pair of oldies. It wouldn’t be fun without the other half. Strange how closely connected we are. Much closer than when we were when younger and working separate jobs, going separate ways.

I guess that’s what happens in retirement. You get very close or pull apart. I know a lot of old couples who discover on retirement they can’t stand each other. A bit late to make that discovery, I should think. Not like you’re going to rebuild your world at this late date. And who would want to? Of course, we don’t always have a choice in the matter but I refuse to think about that.

My getting old is barely acceptable, but Garry is forever young to me. The world is always young too. Bright green leaves, flowers, waterways — they all constantly renew their youth. That’s amazing, isn’t it? If only we earth-bound creatures could do the same.

I’ll ask The Mother if she might make an exception while I do that naked dance under the moon.

Image

THE FLOWER PLACE IN TOWN

There’s a place in town that sells flowers. Flats of pansies, Vinca, miniature roses, zinnia and other annuals. When I was still planting, before I ran out of room and my spine ran out of flexibility, I bought a lot of stuff there.

violet petunias

It remains a wonderful place to buy flowers. They dead-head everything and never let it dry out. Their plants are always healthy and bug free. Inconveniently — but typical of small businesses in town — they only take cash and checks.

Purple striped petunias

Fortunately (and rarely!) we had enough cash because it turned out, the checkbook was back home and not in my bag as I thought it was. It was good to be back. It’s been more than a year. I needed a flower fix.

White begonia

They sell hanging pots. Fuchsia is my favorite, but if you want some, you have to get there the same day the fuchsia arrives. Otherwise, it’s sold out. The fuchsia came and went in a single Saturday last month. Before I was ready, it was already too late. So we won’t have them on the deck this year.

purple petunias

Last year I had two magnificent fuchsia plus a scarlet begonia to die for. This year (so far) I have my two hanging pots: a white begonia and a purple and white striped begonia. I’ll probably get one more standing pot and that will be enough.

Whenever I look out through the french doors in the dining room or the dutch door (international doorways?) in the kitchen, I see my flowers. Summertime is short in the valley, but it can be beautiful.

Image

FATHER’S DAY AT RIVER BEND FARM

River Bend Farm river

There were no swans out on the pond, probably because people were there – boating. It’s the first time I’ve seen people on the pond. I’m sure it confused the swans almost as much as it confused me. There is a small boat launch area and always has been, but I’ve never seen a boater on the pond. Maybe I just missed it.

River Bend Farm Father's Day

I was trying to think of a place to go and realized it’s been a long time since we visited River Bend Farm. It’s one of the many parks along the Blackstone River, part of the Historic Corridor in which we live.

River Bend canoe

Being Father’s Day and perfect weather — as good as weather can be — we had plenty of company. Families including as many as four generations and lots of dogs.

River Bend June

A fine day. It’s our reward for surviving the long winter.

Garry at River Bend

Image

A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE: SUMMER MEMORIES, OR WHY IT’S GREAT BEING A KID

A Photo a Week Challenge: Summer Memories

I thought these might be a perfect entry for this challenge. Not me, but my granddaughter and friends when they were children. Before makeup and boys and drama.

Almost the definition of why it’s great to be a kid.

Summertime Ready

Summertime SET

Summertime - GO

Anyone want to do it again?

Anyone want to do it again?

CRANKY AND WHINY IN NEW ENGLAND

Climate Control

The idea that the weather and people’s moods are connected is quite old. Do you agree? If yes, how does the weather affect your mood?


 

fresh snow deck bird tracks 7Welcome to New England. Technically, our most popular regional sport is politics with baseball running a hot second. But really, the one sport in which everyone of any age can actively participate is complaining about the weather.

Winter is too long, too snowy, too icy and much too cold. I couldn’t agree more and everyone is cranky and whiny from the first snow until final melting.

Spring? What spring? Where are the flowers? Why don’t we get a decent spring season? Is it the punishment of a malign deity? Until the day lilies bloom, New Englanders are cranky and whiny.

75-spring-songbird

Summer is usually too hot. Then again, it may not be hot enough. It is always too humid. It makes everyone cranky and whiny.

Autumn is everyone’s favorite season but it’s never long enough. As often as not, heavy rains from tropical storms ruin the foliage, which makes everyone cranky and whiny.

For everyone, the weather provides something about which to complain. I love New England.

Image

REFLECTIONS ALONG THE BLACKSTONE

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s the canal, not the river, but time has erased most of the differences. Fish live in the river and the canal. Wildflowers line the banks of both.

72-Mumford-052714_011

The canal was in use for only 10 years. After that, the railway came and the canal because what it is now … another lovely waterway in the Blackstone Valley.

canal river reflection