There are a few memories I’d like to take into winter with me. I’d like to remember the hot breeze on my forehead, the warm sun against my back. I’d like to remember the whispering of the pines and the tinkling of the poplar leaves as they dance in the wind. I’d like to remember the hot sand beneath the soles of my feet, and the soft grass tickling my bare toes. I’d like to remember this: standing (carefully) in the dappled shade of a thorn tree, hearing the buzz of flies circling lazily in the noonday sun, gazing at the wide open field under blue blue skies.
Taken on August 11, 2010
Deer are common here — so common that they are considered a nuisance. Gardening columns and nurseries contain lists of “deer resistant” plants. Newspaper articles talk about the pros and cons of “deer culling”. When people mention “the Millidgeville herd”, they’re not talking about a social clique. My parents used to be able to grow bulbs and shrubs in their garden, but now the few plants that survive are protected by chicken wire. Our tulips were destroyed before they even bloomed this spring, and yes, there were deer tracks in the ravished garden bed. In the field behind our house, we often see two or three deer, and the dogs know they’re there even when we don’t. Not even the experts can agree on why the city’s deer population keeps growing, so it seems that we have to learn to live with them. I still think it’s a treat to see them appear… as long as they stay out of my vegetable patch!
Photo taken on July 16, 2010
I didn’t get to the beach this summer. We could have packed a picnic lunch and the dogs and some toys and found a sandy spot to sit and enjoy the sun and the sea. There were some glorious summer days, and we did had time to spare. We had time to putter out in the garden, except for a few days when it was too hot to do much of anything at all. But the time slipped away.
Now that summer is at an end, I’m beginning to remember what it’s like to be cold and to have to wear multiple warm layers whenever I go outside. I’m beginning to see the calendar fill up and the busy days that lie ahead. And I’m beginning to think I should have gone to the beach, at least once.
Taken on August 23, 2010
Fairgrounds and cotton candy are almost inseparable. When I was younger, I needed one serving of cotton candy each year, to complete the experience of going to “the Ex”, just like I needed one day on the beach to properly appreciate the summer weather. In recent years, I haven’t always made it to the fairgrounds, let alone the beach; time just seems to have been speeding up. But yesterday, it was too perfect an evening to stay home. So we went out to “the Ex” — the one I remember from my childhood — and strolled by the brightly lit rides and the carnies at their games, and soaked in the fun atmosphere. We visited the chickens and the drooping flower displays and watched the dog agility demonstration. But this time I bypassed the cotton candy and chose a caramel apple instead. It was delicious.
Taken on September 1, 2010
Red is strong and smart and active and full of mischief. Red is comfort and plaid shirts and wool socks. Red is danger and anger and love and everything that makes your blood boil or sing. Red is a rocket and a camera and a very fast sports car. Red makes a big room cosy and conversational. Red is hearts and roses. Red is cherries and chili peppers, spaghetti sauce and apples. Red is the colour of luck and celebration in many eastern countries. Red is the colour of our flag. Red is barns and tractors and rosy cheeks on a winter day. Red is the candy you eat last, because it’s the best.
Taken on August 23, 2010
Yesterday the wind switched direction, blowing strongly from the south. It was a relaxing wind, warm and full of dreams. But it felt like fall. Last night I went out and talked sternly to my tomatoes, still green and undersized. My feet were cold in their sandals. This morning at 6 am it was still dark, only a hint of blue in the east. I can feel the change coming, the nearness of autumn, the breath of snow on the air. No, it’s too early, I cry… but I know in my heart that I cannot stop the seasons any more than I can make those tomatoes grow faster. So I am spending as much time as I can outdoors, basking in the last of the summer sun, trying to store it deep in my bones to last through the winter.
This is the growing season. Everything is growing full tilt — flowers, weeds, vegetables, trees — and producing to its fullest. Everything looks its best in this season, and not only the flowers. Painting and re-siding projects are all over town, and if you can’t hear any hammering or sawing, there will at least be a lawn mower running somewhere close by. This is the time of year to be outdoors, to enjoy the fine weather and the sheer variety and vibrancy of life. In winter this will all look barren and cold, save for a splash of colourful paint on the house down the street. Take nature’s example to heart: don’t just live — thrive!
Taken on June 23, 2009