Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Stroll - Full Circle

Have you come to share my walk through a day flecked with hints of autumn's approach? Perhaps you can blame the gardener for that pot of orange mums in the front garden, but what about the blush of color just teasing the edges of the leaves in the woods of the eastern hills? As we walk down past the Fiesta Maple, we see that it's carnival of color has yet to begin but, in the garden just beyon the maple, a little sunflower mummurs something quietly about summer's end. Did you hear?

The cosmos are unfolding... This picotee, with it's delicate color and vivid edges was the first to bloom. A seashell cosmo blooms nearby. We stop for a closer look, but a spirited breezes urges us down the trail.

Despite the aura of autumn that circles the garden, most visible in the abundant goldenrod, there is still a lot of pink in the garden... in the sedum, some of the mums, and in those resilient coneflowers.

Other blossoms echo the hues of the fields and wild-edges beyond the gardens.

Enjoying the afternoon sunshine, the warmest hours of this Sunday late in August, we wander through the yard from the butterfly garden to the vegetable plot. Amid the ripening pumpkins and watermelon, and a sea of still-green tomatoes, we find a little zinnia on the cusp of her grand entrance. We see a little sunflower, still green, but stretching toward the sunlight.

Like the seasons, we have come full circle... As we approach the front door, I stop for a sprig of fennel to sweeten our tea. Let's go in and put the kettle on.

Where-ever you are, what ever the weather, I wish you the all the beauty of this season.
all photos by Aisling, August 30, 2009

Sunday Stroll Invitation

If you have time this week for a Sunday Stroll, please post about about it on your blog and then come back here with a comment and a link to your post. You may use the Sunday Stroll button at the top of this post on your post or side bar if you would like. I will add participant names to this post so other strollers can walk through your garden too. I'll check back often and try to keep the list updated.
Look who's strolling:
Cloudhands at Uncarved Block

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Poetry Thursday - Last Days of August

Since this is the last Poetry Thursday of August, I am posting this haiku... however, I plan to fully enjoy these last few days of the month, which are also the last few days of my "summer vacation" from college.

cone flowers linger

petals waving in the wind

farewell to august

a haiku for the last days of august, by Aisling, 8/27/09

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you peace in these last days of August.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Muse - Melody

Another "free on itunes" song has captured my interest. This past week, I downloaded (free as an introduction to this artist) the song Melody by Kate Earl. It is not a song I would have picked for myself, in all likelihood, but I like it's free and easy, slightly quirky, sound, and its positive message. In the song, the singer finds comfort and balance through music:

"& i find that im never alone
& i find that my heart is my home

& the music within makes me whole

a world that i built on my own

& i know that im never alone
& i know that my heart is my home

every missing piece of me
i can find in a melody."

Listen and watch here. An acoustic alternative, just Kate at her piano, can be found here.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Stroll - Waiting for the Cosmos

Most of the flower varieties that I grow in my gardens have already blossomed. I am waiting now only for the Cosmos (the flower variety, not the universe!) While I wait, even the mums are already opening; a sign of autumn's approach.

The boy's garden this year is a happy tangle of vegetables and flowers pulled at random from my seed box and scattered across one end of Limerick’s large garden plot. In that rambunctious quarter of the garden, sunflowers are tended by long-legged arachnids, and pumpkins are blooming aside morning glories which look as if they were lit from within.

Nature makes her own bouquets. Along side the vegetable garden in a strip of earth missed by both the lawn mower and the rotitiller, queen anne's lace blooms amid wild mustard, chicory and thistle. Even the tomatoes form a bouquet of color as some ripen earlier than others.

Bouquets are forming in the perennial garden also, of autumn mums and the still-blooming marigolds planted in early summer. Butterfly bush, bronze fennel and purple cone flowers form a chaos of butterfly-friendly color.

As I walk, clouds roll softly above me and the hills roll slowly beneath my feet. All the while, in movements too subtle for my impatient human eyes, the cosmos buds roll slowly, softly outward toward that wider, greater cosmos.

Where-ever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you joy.

all photos by Aisling, August 23, 2009

Sunday Stroll Invitation

"Go outside and walk a bit, long enough to take in and record new surroundings. Enjoy the best-kept secret around - the ordinary, everyday landscape that touches any explorer with magic."
~ John R. Stilgoe

If you have time this week for a Sunday Stroll, please post about about it on your blog and then come back here with a comment and a link to your post. You may use the Sunday Stroll button at the top of this post on your post or side bar if you would like. I will add participant names to this post so other strollers can walk through your garden too. I'll check back often and try to keep the list updated.

Look who's strolling:

Margaret at Periodic Pearls

Me, here at the Quiet Country House

Abbie at Farmer's Daughter

Cloudhands at Uncarved Block

Friday, August 21, 2009

Beautiful Life Friday - Lush Green Everything

It isn’t so much that it’s raining today, as that the wind is blowing veils of mist across the sky. The lush green everything outside my windows reminds me to be thankful for the rain.

In previous years, dust from our country lane has seeped in through the windows and the edges of the front door. This year, with all of the rain, there is very little dust to contend with.

In previous years, we have had to water the garden faithfully every second or third day. This year, with all the rain, we have hardly had to water by hand at all.

In previous years, high fire danger and low lake levels were the norm. This year, raised umbrellas and rain-slicked hair-styles are the norm.

And you know what? It’s all good. I am thankful for the rain, for the lush green everything, for the soft give of the saturated, well-nourished, earth as I walk barefoot through the gardens. It's a beautiful life; rain and all.

For more beautiful life inspiration, visit the Inspired Room.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Poetry Thursday - Haiku for an August Morning

an august morning
dew spills from petals to earth
sun spills from the sky

~ august morning haiku, by aisling, August 19, 2009

all photos by aisling, August 19, 2009
1) garden in early morning 2) bachelors button 3) the first cosmos bud 4) lady's mantle; alchemilla mollis 5) balloon flower 6) web in grass 7) morning sun over the eastern hills

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday At Home - The Little House

When I was a child, the picture book The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton was one of my very favorite stories. Have you read it? In it, the little house sits on a beautiful hill way out in the country, with farm fields and orchards on the rolling hills nearby. By that description, it seems that I grew up and moved to the Little House from the story, though my house is not painted pink.

In the story, perhaps you remember, the Little House is curious about the far off city (a curiosity I sometimes share!) Well, as time goes by (with urban sprawl and that sort of thing) the city encompasses the little house, shutting off the sight of the moon and the changing seasons. The author tells us that the Little House did not know whether she liked living in the city. “She missed the field of daisies and the apple trees dancing in the moonlight.”

Spoiler alert (*grin*)
Ultimately, the descendant of some former resident of the Little House sees the house in the city and recognizes it, despite a desperate state of disrepair. In perfect storybook fashion, the problem is simply and neatly solved. The Little House is moved out of the city, to a gentle hill in the quiet countryside. “Finally they saw a little hill in the middle of a field… and apple trees growing around.”

A blissful scene closes the story:

“The stars winkled above her… A new moon was coming up… It was Spring… and all was quiet and peaceful in the country.”

Did I love this story as a child because the appreciation for this simple country life already existed in me, as an intrinsic facet of my nature? Or did the story I so loved influence me subtly, infusing my choices with story-book magic, stirring within me this peaceful appreciation of the seasons and the beauty of our earth.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Muse - Wonderful

A few lyrics from a song I've been enjoying lately:

"If what you’ve lost cannot be found
And the weight of the world weighs you down
No longer with the will to fly
You stop to let it pass you by
Don’t stop to let it pass you by
You’ve gotta look yourself in the eye

Say “I am”
Say “I am”
Say “I am wonderful”
Oh you are!"

~ Wonderful by Gary Go

This is a very positive message, in a song that I downloaded as a "free on itunes" song last week. A totally irrelevant but fun fact is that the singer's father was a producer for Jim Henson's Muppets... back in the day.
You can watch the official video here, on YouTube: Wonderful

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Stroll - Skyward

There is lovely color in my perennial gardens in these days of mid August, but the "wild edges" are almost stealing the show as golden rod bursts into bloom.
I am enthralled, as I am each year, by the humble joe pye weed. It stretches toward the sky, cloudy and blue-gray on this hot, windy day, some of it taller than my 5 feet 2 inches.

Limerick and the boys have faithfully planted and tended a vegetable garden while I focused on my studies this summer. Things are progressing slowly, but steadily.

While some things, like this pretty sweet potato vine creep along the earth, the slow-growing sweet corn reaches for the cloudy sky.

The milkweed has set pods and seeds are forming for next year's milkweed. The milkweed borers are hungry, but not stealthy at all. It is hard to be mad at anything with such handsome antennae!

Monarchs have been visiting the butterfly bushes, now at the lush peak of their bloom. Their honeyed fragrance scents the humid evening air as a storm gathers in the west. Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you happy wanderings!

1) casa blanca lily 2) star gazer lily 3) blue balloon flower and golden rod 4, 5, 6) joe pye weed 7)roma tomatoes 8) pepper 9) cabbage 10) pumpkin 11) sweet potato leaf 12) sweet corn 13) milkweed pod 14) milkweed borer; Tetraopes Femoratus 15) butterfly weed and western sky

all photos by Aisling, August 16, 2009