TEN THINGS I LIKE ABOUT AUGUST

  1. High Summer arrives … gloriously, breaking the oppression of July. Days and nights are nearly perfect.
  2. Annual week of sessions at New England Yearly Meeting.
  3. Homegrown tomatoes. Who needs bacon? Good bread and mayonnaise set them off perfectly. I add a dash of Old Bay in memory of Baltimore.
  4. Lobster prices come down.
  5. Same-day corn on the cob. Boil it in the same water before or after the lobster. Eat both in the Smoking Garden, where a mess is quite easy to clean up.
  6. Apples and peaches at Butternut Farm.
  7. Ice cream.
  8. Body surfing at Long Sands.
  9. Two weeks of swimming laps in the city’s 50-meter outdoor pool while the indoor pool undergoes annual maintenance. On my backstroke, especially, I watching for bald eagles in the distance or count the contrails of jetliners heading for Logan – one a minute.
  10. Instead of a profusion of birdsong in the morning, it’s now crickets fiddling in the night, starting a crescendo that will end only with the first killing frost.

~*~

What do you like about August?

~*~

Shriners in an annual parade, Castleton, Vermont.
Advertisements

A FLICK OF THE LEO MANE

Just a taste of what’s popping up. In case you were looking for a prompt.

~*~

  1. This shift in my wilderness destinations, from mountains to ocean. When did that happen?
  2. The ripening of peaches spurs trips to our favorite pick-your-own orchard a half-hour to our north. More trips will follow for apples.
  3. Maybe I really am an “advocate of living-up-the-world-in-your-own-village,” as one comment chimed.
  4. I do like the concept of transitioning, rather than progressing, with all of its assumptions.
  5. Overheard at Walden Pond: “No, they won’t even get in a car anymore. They ride their bikes everywhere.”
  6. The Wiggly Bridge for hikers beside the York River. One way to get over high tide.
  7. Home Depot workers call their pesticide section the Wall of Death.
  8. So many field notes from spiritual aspiration and practice springing from a muse of fire. The one that’s sometimes scorched me.
  9. My life as a failure. There’s no autobiographical novel to be written on my last 30 years.
  10. A bumper sticker I’d like to create: I’D RATHER BE READING.

~*~

Downtown venting, here In Dover.
Downtown venting, here In Dover.

 

TEN MORE FAVORITE FLOWERS

Well, I’ve been mentioning some of my favorite flowers in seasonal lists. My wife has really opened my eyes to the range before us. And that means we have enough others to generate a list of their own.

  1. Flax or cornflower. The intense blue.
  2. Echinacea.
  3. Tulips. Memories of Camden, Maine.
  4. Coreopsis. Calendula.
  5. Sunflowers.
  6. Bee balm.
  7. Tithonium. Its intense color is a magnet for pollen-seekers.
  8. Sweet woodruff.
  9. Strawberry blossoms.
  10. Day lilies. Trout lilies.

~*~

What would you add to the list?

~*~

Day lilies behind our asparagus bed.

TEN THINGS I DON’T LIKE ABOUT JULY

  1. Too many days are too hot and too humid. I hate running air conditioning.
  2. Flies and mosquitoes.
  3. Lethargy.
  4. Everything’s sticky.
  5. Mowing the lawn. I’m drenching in sweat all too quickly.
  6. Tourists flock in. Means we stay away from the Maine Turnpike on weekends and the Kittery Outlets altogether. Route 16 to our north can be a parking lot, especially in Conway.
  7. Our water bill from irrigating the garden.
  8. The loft of the barn is a useless oven.
  9. The weeds are winning.
  10. The Sox are probably in a slump. And if they’re not, we’re jittery. We have good reason to be superstitious.

~*~

What displeases you at the moment?

~*~

Japanese honeysuckle. Its runners can grow almost 30 feet a year, and once it’s in place, it can become a very thick knot. Yuck!

TEN THINGS I LIKE ABOUT JULY

  1. Fireworks. I can do running commentaries on the artistic excellence of the Boston and Portsmouth displays. The crowds are another matter.
  2. Blueberries and raspberries.
  3. Languid evenings in the Smoking Garden.
  4. The ocean finally warms up enough to venture swimming. It’s brisk, not icy.
  5. Raw oysters on the half-shell.
  6. Florence Street block party.
  7. Daiquiris on 90-degree days.
  8. Portsmouth Greek Festival.
  9. Listening to Tanglewood broadcasts or Sox games.
  10. Great thunderstorms.

~*~

What do you like about July?

Anyone up for a parade?

 

TEN NOXIOUS WEEDS

They won’t coexist. They strangle any competition. At heart they’re boa constrictors with stubborn roots. And if that won’t work, they’ll just suffocate it.

  1. Yes, grass. When it gets in the garden beds, it pushes everything else out.
  2. Ground ivy. We have two types all over the place.
  3. Virginia creeper.
  4. Multiflora roses.
  5. Japanese honeysuckle.
  6. Goutweed (St. Jerome wort?).
  7. Stealth maples. Don’t laugh. Twice in two decades a pleasant little shade garden reverted to forest.
  8. Japanese knotweed.
  9. Dandelions, with their deep roots. Ditto for Queen Ann’s Lace.

Mint comes close. We have both spearmint, east of the house, and peppermint west of the Smoking Garden. But sometimes it comes in handy. Especially for folks who want contractors bags filled to brimming.

~*~

What would you add to the list?

Virginia creeper is an attractive weed … until it starts smothering everything it’s overrunning.

TEN THINGS I LIKE ABOUT JUNE

  1. Birthdays … my wife’s and then elder daughter’s.
  2. Natural light lasts long into the evening and returns again early in the morning.
  3. Warmth! Open windows!
  4.  Nobody gives you funny looks for ordering ice cream.
  5. We get serious about charcoal grilling.
  6. Ox-eye daisies blaze forth.
  7. I don my Hawaiian shirts for more than contradances.
  8. Mountain laurel bloom.
  9. Bare skin all through town the sidewalks fill with people once again.
  10. I can put my snow shovels away.

~*~

What do you like about June?

Sounds like a balanced meal to me. Damariscotta, Maine.