Finding Beauty

I am, by my very nature, someone who seeks ‘connection’ in the world around me. I revel in time spent swinging in the hammock swing under the ancient live oak in my backyard.  Staring at the leaves, noting how much the spanish moss has grown since I first ‘introduced’ it to the oak tree five years ago, listening to the vast array of bird songs.

I thrive on walks on the beach, the feel of warm sand under my bare feet, the scent of the ocean, unexpected treasures to be gathered, or moments of wonderment in the sea and coastal critters we share these beaches and tidal marshes with.

https://passyingbyphoto.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/531a9778.jpg?w=474&h=379  Endangered Wood storks have returned to the coast after a long absence.

And the easily missed, once common and now making a slow comeback, Sea-beach amaranth can be found if you know what you are looking for…and are open to the tiny humble details to be found in nature.

Today I didn’t go anywhere unusual. I puttered about the house and yard. As I was clearing small downed branches from the week’s storms I spotted this lovely hiding near the bushes.  An Island glass lizard, I see them every once in awhile about the yard and love seeing the tiny babies when they hatch in the summer.

Always something beautiful to see here.  The white azaleas are in bloom in the yard, saved by their later bloom time from the late season frost which decimated most of our early bloomers.  The camellias are still heavy in flowers and the wisteria has joined in.  By the time the magnolia blooms, it will be swathed in soft purple wisteria blossoms.

Everyday miracles.  Every day…wonder.

 

 

 

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.

 

July slides by

,,, and I shall miss it!  So quickly come…and gone.

We found this gorgeous creature in our backyard.  She has an amazingly perfect web and sat and posed for her photograph.

Golden orb weaver…right next to the screen porch.  So beautiful.

More planting of flowers today.  Pentas, Mexican sage (which is a kind of salvia), found the most gorgeous phlox in a pale pale pinky lavender with white, and added more portulaca.  The raised vegetable planter is now a butterfly garden and they were already visiting it before I could even get the final plants in the soil.

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.

Bring it on…

It has been a fabulous Friday here in the Lowcountry.  Work…was fun and productive, filled with friendship, laughter, and getting things done.  Spring is certainly well into its ‘middle’, but my camellias continue to bloom.  Less prolifically now, but still beautiful with their bright colors and soft petals.  The azaleas are also winding down their show.  Early bloomer are all but spent, but the late ones are in full color.  This week the tricolor azalea in the backyard…which occupies an ‘odd’ placement just standing alone and without any reason or plan we can find…burst into bloom.  Red, pink, and white ALL at once in one gorgeous display.  The wisteria is still blooming, but as it fades the magnolia will soon take over.

I added a wild carolina clematis along the fence next to the Kickin’ Chicken neighbors 🙂  If it lives up to its heritage it will cover the fence in a couple of years.  Spotted a bright coral lawn chair to add to the two turquoise ones in front of the house.  While DeeDee and I were picking up paint chips for her kitchen, dining room, and hall I took several home with me as well.  It will take a few years (fixed incomes are notoriously angsty about home improvement, lol) but one by one I will get my little beachy rooms painted and fixed up and turned into something everyone who lives here can enjoy.  Where to begin?  In the living room and hall which are the ‘public’ rooms?  In the kitchen which is just beige on beige?  The teen son’s bedroom which he will soon be sharing with the 5 yr old (I figure he deserves a little reward for that 😉 ) The equally beige on beige bathroom?

Decisions decisions.  If you were beginning this one room at a time project, where would you begin?

And because I have had such a fabulous Friday…. we get a little Fantasy reward.  It’s Fantasy Friday!

I am happily editing my fantasy and this picture reminds me of the backstory for the current scene.  The Ohnori of Khyr’s people went on a quest and never returned. His sword is found in the current scene where he flung it into the water where his enemies could not recover it.

Glorfindel -

Beautiful artwork isn’t it?

Shine on…

The first genuinely perfect spring day here in the Lowcountry!  It was 80 here on the island, bright sunshine and just the sweetest breeze blowing inland from the beach.  Everything smells of sun and sea.  Birds of every variety singing joyously, even the plants rejoiced!  My camellias, who have blessed me with daily blooms since December, went crazy with a wild, glorious profusion of flowers in this single moment of glorious spring weather. Reds, pinks, white, cream, and striped… all burst forth in a display unequaled with the long cold, dreary winter we’ve had this year.

In the yard, because the long-ago owners of this house were quite eclectic as to how and where they planted things, I have jonquils, narcissus, daffodils, and these lovely purple flowers I have yet to identify that pop up randomly in beds and lawn, and the huge red and white blooms of the amaryllis stuck against the wall of the house behind the azalea bushes.  A joyous display for those with the time to stroll this big ol’ yard and just enjoy the randomness of it all.

Today was a walking day.  To the bank, home, to the store, home, back up to the bank, back home…about 10 miles all told.  By that last walk home my feet were protesting, so once I got past the big road I took them off and walked the rest of the way home barefoot.  My tootsies were ever so grateful, the soft squish of turf and sand underfoot was a joy and a reminder that spring really is finally at hand…or foot, as the case may be. I rejoice in the return of flip flop weather.  What could be more perfect?

Not that winter is through with us just yet.  I hear there is another cold snap in a couple of days… but embracing these moments keeps it all in perspective. Winter will pass.  Spring is at hand.

Tonight I sat out in my bright turquoise lawn chair in front of my little house and listened to the night sounds, lifted my face to the warm wind blowing in from the sea, and stared into a clear star-flung sky with a soft full moon bathing all below in its gentle embrace. And life, my friends, is so very, very good.