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Burst open thistle blossom

Burst open thistle blossom

In less tolerant places, one could probably be punished for writing a blog like this.  For daring to bring up the subject.  For discussing this.  For even mentioning the edges of this. 

Thank goodness we’re allowed to speak the truth, all of it.  And here’s the deep-down nitty gritty awful truth:

Autumn is right around the corner.

Swirl of fern drying up and turning brown

Swirl of fern drying up and turning brown

“What?”  you’re saying.  “What are you talking about?  It’s only July 20th!  It’s mid-summer, for goodness sake.  Fall isn’t for a couple months.  Let’s enjoy summer.  Let’s just stay present with the beautiful green leaves and flowers.  You got some kind of weird winter fixation, or what?”

Nope, not me.  I’m enjoying summer (or whatever resembles summer in these parts, this year) as much as anyone else.  Loving the blossoming, the blooming, the rich greenery, the garden, the jungle-like woods, the sun, the warmth, the…well, you get the picture.  Summer rocks!

But the woods, itself, tells a story of the changing seasons.

Dead fern on crumbling log

Dead fern on crumbling log

A slight yellow hue transmutes some ferns from vibrant green.  Some leaves waving merrily in the wind of green trees lose their vibrancy.  The reds and oranges and yellows of autumn still remain at bay, but the subtle signs of change already waft through the landscape.

Pock-marked leaf

Pock-marked leaf

Some of the leaves now sport pock-marks from fungus or other diseases; many contain holes where insects have lunched their fill.  If you look at the different leaves, each one has endured a journey throughout the summer which has both strengthened and challenged.  Hey, does that sound like us humans as well?

Lupin pods

Lupin pods

Even our “Bud Man” has disappeared from the elder tree; the berries eaten by birds.  Click here to see how the “Bud Man” looked back in May. Oh how fleeting is the Moment!  Perhaps it can make us appreciate even deeper the momentary appearance of the flowers, the berries, the garden peas. 

Goodbye Bud Man.  It was nice knowing you.

Goodbye Bud Man. It was nice knowing you.

The forest whispers its secrets to us.  And the secrets are not taboo.  If we allow the hint of autumn to open our hearts to the majesty of what appears, right now.  Let’s continue to appreciate it.   Perhaps if the leaves never turned red or orange, or the frost never nipped the pumpkins, we’d never truly feel so amazingly blessed by what the Earth shares with us.

P.S.  Today’s my birthday!  And I am feeling so utterly grateful and blessed by all you readers, this blog and the world of opening the door, walking outside…

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ooops, there goes the bird feeder

ooops, there goes the bird feeder

Mr. or Mrs. Bear scored a hit the other night.  We think it’s the same rather large bear that Barry saw a couple weeks ago at 3:50 a.m.  He (or she) swiped the bird feeder.  We awoke yesterday morning to this sideways view.

Someone suggested it might be a raccoon.  But Barry thinks a raccoon wouldn’t have enough heft to bend the pole at such an angle.  I think he’s right!  Definitely, it was a bear. (We’ve seen similar behavior over the years in regards to the bird feeder and compost bin…and once we actually saw a huge black bear pawing in the compost.)

Today’s outdoor activity involved splitting more wood.  However, I don’t want to talk about it.  Let’s just say we finished the un-split pile behind the house (six sessions thus far) and now we’re ready to move to the huge pile in the driveway.  Sigh.  Seems like most of my outdoor adventures in June will involve some sort of wood splitting.

Aren't they lovely horses?

Aren't they lovely horses?

Since we won’t be talking any more about wood splitting today, can I just show you some leftover photos from the “end May” folder on this computer?  Photos not yet posted, but perhaps interesting to some folks.

The above photo depicts our friends Bertha and Bob’s horses.  They were casually munching grasses and weeds in the field yesterday while we lingered at their house enjoying a great potluck dinner.  One of the horse’s names is Dawn.  I believe that’s the white one.  I may have even ridden her years ago.  The other horse may be named Ben.  I am ready to stand corrected on that name.  They are good friendly horses.  It would have been lovely if they wandered closer, for a better photo opportunity.

Three new spruce buds (or fingers, or whatever you want to call them)

Three new spruce buds (or fingers, or whatever you want to call them)

The woods green up daily.  When you look beyond our deck, the forest is starting to take on its impenetrable green hue.  Look at the growth on the spruce!  Who knows, they may even double this size before the growing season ends.

The intimate inner world of ferns

The intimate inner world of ferns

Besides ferns, the world is a a-blaze in flowers.  Wild flowers and garden-variety flowers.  First, let’s examine a blood-root flower.  It’s toxic.  The Peterson Field Guides of Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants warn:  Toxic.  Do not ingest.  But it shares a magic spell:  A bachelor of the Ponca tribe (wherever the Ponca tribe might be) would rub a piece of the root as a love charm on the palm of his hand, then scheme to shake hands with the woman he desired to marry.  Within five or six days, sure enough, the woman would be willing to marry the fellow.  Hmmm, what do we think of this?
The bloodroot plant

The bloodroot plant

Finally, a garden plant.  From our perennial garden, facing the north in front of our house.  It is the primrose plant.  Sweet with the morning dew, it beams its red beauty into the world.  Hoping you’re enjoying all the lovely blooming flowers this season…and hoping bears aren’t knocking down YOUR bird feeders!

Primrose in the perennial garden in front of our house

Primrose in the perennial garden in front of our house

 

Shakespeare's garden (Central Park)

Nature in the city

 

Fern growing up wall

Fern growing up wall

 

Beautiful blooms

Beautiful blooms

 

Typical NYC lantern/street light

Typical NYC lantern/street light

 

Scarves fluttering in the breeze

Scarves fluttering in the breeze

 

Fence & garden (Central Park)

Fence & garden (Central Park)

 

Goodbye New York City.  Fare thee well.

Goodbye New York City. Fare thee well.

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