Winter solstice

Winter solstice

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dog Days

              We are now in the middle of the dog days. They are officially from July 3rd to Aug. 11th, but in our neck of the woods, we don't need a calendar to tell us. You can tell by the way the air smells in the evening, heady with all the scents of the flowers blooming. You can tell by the way the humidity hangs in the hollers in the early morning hours. You can tell by the millions of lightening bugs that fly in the twilight, lighting up the yard and the pasture like Christmas. You can tell by the frogs that are lazily croaking in the pond. You can tell by a  roll of thunder before you even get out of bed in the morning. You can tell by the fragrance that comes in the kitchen windows from the herb bed after a thunderstorm. You can tell by looking at the garden in the morning and every plant is covered with thousands of sparkling jewels. You can tell by the orb spiders web, which are also decorated with jewels up and down each strand. You can tell by the all the fairy lace in the grass in the morning, where the fairies had their party after you went to bed. You can tell by all the mushrooms and toadstools up in the deep woods, bright red and orange and white. You can tell by the turkey tail moss growing on the sides of the stumps. You can tell because there is always less milk in the bucket during dog days. You can tell because the chickens forage out in the pasture early, to catch their daily supply of bugs before it gets too hot. You can tell by opening the barn door to find kittens stretched out on the cool floor to take their naps. You can tell because the raspberries are done but the elderberries are just starting to turn purple. You can tell because there is a basket on the back porch that makes several trips to the garden each day. You can tell because we had our first tomato sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce grown in the garden. You can tell because we are eating zucchini 8 days a week, 4 meals a day. You can tell by the sound of the crickets and tree frogs that sing us to sleep each night. You can tell because the cicadas and katydids are already singing this morning. You can tell because it is heaven in our neck of the woods.......

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Picking berries...

           I love to pick berries. Some people hate it, my husband being one. But I love to stand there and be very quiet while you are picking. Of course, you hear the plink, plunk of each berry as it goes into the bucket but usually there are birds singing around you and the buzz of the bees as they try to steal the juice from the berries. My favorite spot to pick is on our creek bank. You have to stand in the water while you pick, so your feet are nice and cool while the rest of you is sweltering hot. The minnows are nibbling on your toes and you hope that a crawdad is not. The sun beats down on your head and the sweat runs in your eyes but I love every minute in it. I like to imagine myself biting into a hot bisquit with black raspberry jam on it while the snow is pouring down outside my window in January.  Thinking this way helps to keep me cool and it reminds me why I am doing this. When I was picking the other day, a movement caught my eye, about 6 inches from me was a tiny nest suspended between two pokeberry stalks. I had disturbed the mama bird and she hopped out and ran along the ground. I peeked in the nest and there where four brown and blue speckled eggs. I'm not sure what kind of bird this is, but she has the most beautiful little basket hidden right in our berry patch with some very precious cargo inside. You just never know what you will find when you are out in this creation that God has made for us. We have lots of berry bushes on the hill, up in the woods. Tim won't let me go up there by myself because of the bears we have. So then he has to go and it's just not the same, because he hates it so and then I have to listen to him...... Just between me and you, I would love to see a bear in our berry patch and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't eat me. I just can't convince Tim of this. So in the meantime I pick berrries close to the house and away from the bears. I take my blessings where I can get them... Happy July everyone!!