FLOWER MOON

Change is coming.  I can feel it in the air.  Hear it in the breeze.

So close and real it is palpable. As if, if I knew the exact moment, I could reach out and grasp it…

     …like the moon…

The Full Flower Moon is upon us. Smiling from a star-filled sky.  It is a most appropriate name this time of year.  Even more so, it seems, this year.  The air is perfumed with magnolia and jasmine, wisteria, roses, and sweet tea olive.  

Things are changing.  Something new appears each day.  New butterflies join with newly opened blossoms. 

New migratory birds drop by to add their beauty and song to the spring chorus.

Much is the same as ever it has been. Frog songs. Spanish moss festooning the ancient live oaks.  The beauty of a new full moon shimmering over a peaceful sea.

Some things change.  This Flower Moon sings a new song and leaves me wondering what this change brings.

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Spring…Sprung…Sprang?

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Lilacs see to have sprung into bloom… gracing gardens with their perfume and their beauty.

  Dogwood blossoms are everywhere. 

From the trees sprang a myriad of sounds and critters.  Chirruping squirrels, chasing one another in the thrill of spring’s ecstasy.  Tree frogs…completing the chorus with croaks, trills, bleats, and grunts. At night it can sound like a fleet of fire trucks descending on the neighborhood. The anoles don’t have a lot to say as they leap and slither about the limbs or run along the morning glory shrouded fence.  Skinks slither under the raised garden beds, hide in the damp shade beneath the kids’ sand/water table.

Already broadhead skink females are hidden in my woodpile, guarding and tending their clutches of tiny white eggs.

species photo (not  my picture…but I seldom get the females to stand still for me, lol)

The males, with their big red heads are much more imposing than their ladies and less skittish. They love it up in the big live oaks.

species photo

Spring is here in the Lowcountry.  It couldn’t have sprung up at a better time.

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April foolishness

A gorgeous day in the Lowcountry…mid 80s, clear blue skies and bright sunshine. Wisteria is coming back from the frosts that killed its first flush a couple of weeks ago, camellias and azaleas are offering a scant but determined final bloom and all around my neighborhood there are pinks, reds, corals, and soft purples rejoicing in Spring’s renewal. We have all the windows open every day and night and the fresh air is such a joy after the claustrophobic chill of winter.

The dogs spend a lot more time outdoors.  I spend more free time at the first wave of farm markets.  Last week’s excitement was over asparagus.  This week I am giddy over the prospect of first crop green (spring) garlic (as farmers thin their fields) and sugar snap peas.

Spring’s bounty in Asparagus, leek, and green garlic soup

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The bluebirds are nesting in the backyard. I love watching them skim across the open flight path between the azaleas on one side, the shrubbery on the other, over the ancient wisteria to their little houses along the back fence.  As we are contemplating the possibility of moving from this lovely old house to a smaller place the one thing I should truly miss the most is this yard.  Most people miss their homes…apparently for me home is the outdoors, not the in.

Which means I probably should not be surprised at little environmental themes that seem to be continually popping up in my writing. Who knew dragons had such an important environmental niche to fill?  (okay, so that doesn’t really surprise me as they would be an apex predator and as such a linchpen in their cycle…. I just hadn’t really given it much consideration till they showed up)  Glad they did.

 

Daylight Savings…!

So thrilled Daylight Savings has returned.  It really should be the only time, because it makes the best use of daylight hours.  And I LOVE my daylight hours. More time to be in the yard, in the garden, enjoying my azaleas and camellias, more time for the kids and critters to play outdoors. Perfect.

Image result for red and white striped camellia

Except…sadly…this year’s change is accompanied by a very NOT usual for this time of year cold snap.  Chilly.  And I do not, as everyone who knows me even casually knows, like to be chilly.  Ever.  So here I am, eating my big ol’ yummy salad with spicy avocado-lime ranch dressing and enough peppers to warm me up, dogs curled up underfoot to keep my feet warm, and working diligently at my four zillionith attempt at a synopsis.  That will keep the brain cells firing.

 

Lovin’ the life I live

RAINING~  huge storm moved in in the wee hours of morning.  Not so much thunder and lightning as an abrupt and long lasting deluge.

Wonderful to sleep to the rain pounding on the roof (although I did have  few concerns for the trees out front)  Today, more rain.  Some heavy.  Some light, with very few breaks between the fronts.  Streets are flooded  (of course, this is the LowCountry)  Everything is fresh and green and the dang morning glories have gone nuts literally overnight and completely COVER the entire side fence!

Now it is SUMMER

If there was any doubt before, it is now JULY….full on the middle of our gorgeous, glorious SUMMER!

Yes, that is me you see happy dancing in the puddles from the thunderstorms, and grinning like a Cheshire cat as I revel in the hot, hot, HOT sunshine.  I love Summer.

Summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime!  (feel free to sing along)

Have to get up really early to mow the yard now.  Walk the dogs early.  But I still do my work….lots of outdoor gardening and landscaping… in the middle of the day.  All but watering, the plants appreciate me waiting till late afternoon for that.

I did have to replace a couple of pots of flowers at DeeDee’s that just weren’t up to the heat/sun (the three digit temps are hard on flowers) but I found good sturdy stock better suited to this year’s weather and they are looking wonderful.

Miss my Little A soooo much.  Can’t wait till he is home again.  Got his replacement hammock swing for out under the live oak and it looks great.  He will love that.  The swing is his favorite place.

Tomorrow is 4th of July.  No big plans.  Kids will shoot off some fireworks in the driveway.  We’ll watch whatever the neighbors shoot off.  Going to grill out back and enjoy the sounds and smells and ‘family’ of the 4th.  We are blessed.

my magnificent magnolia….and other tales from the backyard

I have a magnolia tree.  Not too old, but old enough it towers above everything but the live oaks, beautifully pyramidal in form, deep glossy green and loaded with rust colored buds and huge creamy white flowers it is my showpiece.  I love this tree.  Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) flower   I wish I had a picture of the whole tree!

But these blossoms perfume the whole yard.  Heaven. 

And to make things even more amazing in the yard… I have hot banana peppers, baby white eggplants, big yellow bell peppers, tomatoes that are almost ripe, cucumbers going crazy…. and my FIG TREE is loaded down with baby figs.  So exciting.

In backyard news of the animal variety…. glass snakes! LOTS of them.  Looks like last year’s bumper crop of babies did well and now I have large, fat beautiful glass snakes in every part of the landscape.  Since they are actually legless lizards no one needs to freak out over their presence and it is so nice to see nature’s creatures enjoying the habitat I provide for them.