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If we were having coffee: Of butterflies and sunsets and other summer things

At last.
At last.

Hundreds of butterflies flitted in and out of sight like short-lived punctuation marks in a stream of consciousness without beginning or end.

~ Haruki Murakami, 1Q84 

Wednesday's sunset at the Point. (Taken with my phone camera.)
Wednesday’s sunset at the Point. (Taken with my phone camera.)

If we were having coffee, tea, lemonade, water, wine, beer, or some other beverage, I would be delighted to see you again.  Come on in!  I’ve already put drinks and snacks out on the porch so let’s head out there to sit, sip, nosh, and chat.  I’m so glad the coffee chats now include Fridays because I’m going to be busy tomorrow.  I’ll tell you all about it once we’re settled in.

Beauty in the garden.
Beauty in the garden.

How are you?  What have you been up to lately?  Are you enjoying summer?  Or winter (for those of you in the southern hemisphere)?  Have you been keeping busy since our last chat or is your life slowing down to a seasonable pace?  Have you been on any good walks or hikes?  Taken a trip anywhere?  Spent time with family and/or friends?  Have you read any good books or seen any good films?

Delightful.
Delightful.

If we were having coffee or something else to drink, I would tell you that I put aside Nemesis by Isaac Asimov for now.  I might pick it up again in a few weeks.  Right now I have library books to read.  Since the library books have a due date and I don’t feel in any hurry to finish Nemesis, I decided to start on the library books. I’m currently reading Life Class, and thoroughly enjoying it thus far.

An almost perfect moment.
An almost perfect moment.

As for films, M and I recently watched Big Eyes.  In case you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a movie about Margaret Keane whose paintings of big-eyed waif-like children were popular in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  I think my parents had a couple of Keane prints.  Or knock-offs of Keane prints.  I remember something like them hanging in the living room.  As for the movie, it wasn’t bad.  I like the way Tim Burton made it look a little like pop-art (especially the grocery store scene which, of course, reminded me of Andy Warhol).

Seeing the caterpillar the butterfly used to be.
A glimpse of what the butterfly used to be.

If we were having coffee, tea, water, or something a little stronger to drink, I would tell you that tomorrow I am taking a lesson in kayaking.  Finally!  I originally looked into a two-day kayak class, but decided that was more than I need right now.  The two-day class involved learning to use a touring kayak which, it turns out, is not something I am interested in at this time.  I didn’t realize until I started looking into classes that there are several different types of kayaks and, for me, the best one is either a recreational kayak or a sit-on-top kayak.  The touring kayaks are for serious kayaking, and I’m not ready for serious kayaking.  An hour or two on the water is enough.

Ablaze in the garden.
Ablaze in the garden.

I am looking forward to the class.  It’s only 1.5 to 2 hours long, and I’ll learn the basics of paddling and getting in and out of the kayak.  Since they use recreational and sit-on-top kayaks for this class, it’s perfect for me.

After the rain. (The hostas are beginning to bloom.)
After the rain. (The hostas are beginning to bloom.)

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the scrounger’s garden is filled with butterflies lately.  They are loving the lavender, the sage, and the butterfly bushes.  The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail that I featured in my last Wordless Wednesday post was the first swallowtail butterfly I’ve seen in the scrounger’s garden since establishing it.  I was thrilled.  Believe it or not, I was more excited about the butterfly than I was about harvesting beans (green and wax), sugar snap peas, Swiss chard, broccoli, dill, and cucumbers on the same day.  There was still a little excitement about the early harvest and the feast we had that night, but it didn’t eclipse the butterfly.  (Side note:  I originally thought to use the word “trump” rather than “eclipse,” but I don’t care much for that word lately.)

This is the first time we’ve grown sugar snap peas and I have to tell you, they are delicious!  I knew they would be because I like sugar snap peas, but I was surprised at just how wonderful they are freshly picked.  It wasn’t more than a few minutes from garden to table.  We’ll be growing them again in the growing seasons to come.

Most of what was on this plate -- beans, dill, sugar snap peas, Swiss chard, rosemary, potatoes, and garlic -- was harvested from our gardens.
Most of what was on this plate — beans, dill, sugar snap peas, Swiss chard, rosemary, potatoes, and garlic — was harvested from our gardens.  Only the potatoes came from Elsewhere.  (Another phone shot.)

If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would tell you that we had quite a bit of rain this week which has been great for the gardens.  It’s also been great for the grass and weeds.  I could use a volunteer to come out and help me weed the gardens and mow the grass.  As you know, it is important to keep the grass mowed near the house and on the trails in order to avoid ticks and snakes.  My indoor work is getting behind, too, due to all the time I spend on outdoor work.

One of many zinnias blooming now.
One of many zinnias blooming now.

The storms that brought the rain also brought plenty of clouds, and sometimes the clouds would part enough to give us a glorious sunset.  I’ve been down to the Point a few times to watch the show.  It wasn’t always a successful trip, but oh, when it was, it was spectacular.

Purple coneflower (echinacea) in the rain garden.
Purple coneflower (echinacea) in the rain garden.

The black rat snakes were pretty active for a few weeks, but have gone back to wherever they hide when the weather gets hot.  They are probably in the deep summer-green shade of the woods avoiding the heat of the sun.  During cooler weather we see them sunning on the paths and driveway.  We also have a group of crows meeting on our lawn throughout the day, combing it for whatever it is they are eating.  I hope it’s Japanese beetles as those pests are now having their season.  We will probably have to spray the roses and the dogwood this year.  They decimated the dogwood last year, and I had leaves but no blooms (or bracts) this year.  The roses in the scrounger’s garden were also picked clean of most of their leaves and did not bloom as well this year.  (Side note:  I know it is a “murder” of crows, but frankly, I find that unfair to the crows.  Other terms for a group of crows includes a parcel, a horde, a muster, and a hover.)

Shall we enjoy another sunset?
Shall we enjoy another sunset?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that summer is doing what summer always tries to do, and that’s seduce me with her beauty and her harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables.  She sends butterflies and beautiful sunsets, Strawberry moons and Black-eyed Susans, sparkling dragonflies and days on the beach playing in the ocean’s waves, blueberries fresh off the bush and the cool green shade of the woods on a hot day, twinkling fireflies and the Milky Way stretched out across the night sky, daisies blooming in the rain garden and the quonk of the tree frogs in the evenings, laughing gulls flying over the meadows and the rustling of the rushes in the wind, and oh, a thousand other tricks, big and small, that summer utilizes to try to get me to like her.  I call it the Summer Seduction, and have written about it pretty much every year since I started blogging way back in the ancient days before the word “blog” had even appeared on the scene.  If interested, A summer embrace is last year’s post on this phenomenon.

Summer orange. It reminds me of the daylilies.
Summer orange. It reminds me of the daylilies.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would say I have rambled on quite enough for one coffee chat.  It’s your turn to tell me how it’s going in your life these days.  Thank you so much for visiting and putting up with my babbling.  Stay a while, if you like.  We can go for a dip in the pool and later take a ride down to the Point to watch the sunset.  It’s at 8:29 PM.  I’ll probably call it a night shortly after that.  My kayak lesson tomorrow is early which means I have to be up around sunrise if I want to arrive on time.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Ripples and light.
Ripples and light.
Something cold on a hot day.
Something cold on a hot day.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Thank you to Diana for hosting it.  Also, a big congratulations for the #WeekendCoffeeShare being featured on WordPress’s Daily Post.  So glad to see it being shared among the rest of the community!  Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

One last look before we head home.
One last look before we head home.

Author:

Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

33 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Of butterflies and sunsets and other summer things

  1. So many beautiful photos! Butterflies, sunsets and good home grown veggies are delightful. I am like you, totally enthralled with nature in summer. So many wonderful things to notice and be in awe of. Our weather continues to be cool in the 70s and dry. Which is heavenly, but I kind of wish we got some of that rain. I’ve had to water the seedlings and transplants in the garden. Something I’ve rarely had to do. Blogging is getting only dribs and drabs of my attention these days. When the heat hits, I’ll be spending less time in the garden, so will have more time to compose and visit. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 Your weather sounds wonderful (except for the lack of rain). Watering seems to keep things alive, but rain makes them thrive. We are officially into the hot and humid days here. I have to force myself outside, but I’m almost always glad I did. If only we could somehow rid ourselves of ticks, mosquitoes, and deer flies, life would be almost-perfect.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. 🙂 I had some trouble at first (almost hit a big boat anchored in the cove where we were learning and practicing). The instructor was patient and good at his job. By the time we finished, I was feeling more confident and having fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gorgeous photos, Robin!! Great butterfly shots and sunsets on the water. and I love the orange lilies too. Nice to see what you are growing.
    Have you seen Finding Dory yet? It is soooo good. I loved every second of it. And just before the movie started, they showed a short animated film called Piper, about a fledgling sandpiper. It was one of the most adorable short films I have seen.
    Anyway, nice having a glass of wine with you.
    Peace
    Mary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary. 🙂 I haven’t seen Finding Dory yet, but want to. The short film sounds wonderful, too. I was just looking at pictures of a newly hatched Piping Plover yesterday, and was surprised to find out they are out foraging for themselves within 24 hours of hatching. They’re really cute, all fuzzy and feathery.

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  3. I’ve enjoyed our visit, and the wine and butterflies were like frosting on the cake. Hmmm – that’s a good saying, but I’m not a fan of frosting in real life. I agree that eclipse is a much better word than that five-letter word that starts with T and ends with p. I have managed to get some outside stuff done the past few days, and have given myself what I view as appropriate pats on the back. Your sunsets are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carol. 🙂 Pats on the back are always a good thing when there is outside work involved. As for frosting and cake, I like them both and I’m not sure I’d really like one without the other, but have never experimented to find out. Maybe I should. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the peacefulness here. And of course the butterfly. I’m excited for you and the lesson. I didn’t know there were so many different types either. I want to buy a used one when I’m down in Alabama the end of July. I guess we too would want a recreation kayak, since it’s just for goofing around on the lake. I’ll have to go look that up. Bruce says I should rent a couple different kinds and see what I like. That seems too sensible! Tell me what you think when you get your lesson done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 After yesterday’s lesson, I’ve decided that the sit-on-top kayak is the best for me. It’s more comfortable to sit in, and easier to get in and out (you just sit down sideways and swing your legs in). Although my exercise routine includes many squats and lunges, my knees don’t like a steep angle when I’m getting up, and the sit inside kayaks seem to require that sort of thing when I’m trying to get out of one. The sit-on-top, according to the instructor we had yesterday, have better stability, are (as mentioned) easier to get in and out of (people who want to go swimming after they paddle out to deeper water use this kind of kayak), and are great for calm, relatively flat water (such as a lake or pond or the marsh water trails around here).

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  5. Oh the sunsets!!! They are so beautiful! All your photos are pretty but I am partial to sunsets and waterviews. Kayaking is fun…hope you enjoy it. I am seriously longing for summer as I am not a fan of winter…which it is currently here in Australia. Great having coffee with you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Robin, stunning photos as usual. I love butterflies and sunsets so was particularly struck by your images. Funny how potatoes were the only veggies not grown in your patch because that’s all we’ve really grown successfully. Well, we did harvest one potato. It’s Winter here and our cherry tomatoes are covered in green fruit that don’t seem to be ripening. Wonder whether they’ll hang around long enough for Spring? UNfortunately, I’m not much of a green thumb.
    Hope you have a great week and enjoy those Summer delights!
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rowena. 🙂 I tried growing potatoes once and wasn’t very successful at it. I’m not sure why since I’m told they are easy to grow. Maybe I should try again. I’m not much of a green thumb either. My husband does most of the work in the veggie garden while I’m busy learning how to grow flowers (not always successfully, either!). If your cherry tomatoes don’t ripen, you can always cut them in half, drizzle some olive oil on them, and roast them, then puree and use them like a salsa verde. They’re very tasty that way.

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      1. My husband’s Mum made a green tomato relish. They come from rural Tasmania and I doubt anything went to waste. I’ll try your suggestion. Sounds great but at the same time stretches my comfort zone a bit…green tomatoes…?!!

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    1. Thank you, Ericka. 🙂 The kayaking class was great fun. I don’t think I’ll ever be a white water rafter. I’m more a lazy river kind of gal. But I do admire those who are more adventurous.

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  7. I love the idea of summer seduction..very aptly put. Hope you enjoyed your kayaking lesson . Years back, that was something I was interested in but ended up chickening out as far as trying it. I still look at the kayak wistfully.

    If we were having coffee, I would share that I love being a dog owner much more than I ever dreamed possible . Animals certainly add an element to our lives that I missed all these years. In fact I even dragged out an old blow up pool for him today .

    I will also share that I am going to see a Grateful Dead show (minus Garcia, of course) tomorrow evening. I am going with the same person that I saw them with at age 14.

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  8. Your paragraph about summer seduction is beautiful. I feel the same way. Thank you for the visit. I am sorry I can’t stay to help you weed but I don’t do snakes…..ever. 😊

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  9. Thanks for the coffee, it was great catching up with you! I found the kayak of my dreams yesterday, it has a clear viewing window on the bottom! I think I will check into kayak classes in my area. Have a great week!

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  10. I do hope you’re enjoying (or have enjoyed?) your kayak lesson. It can be such a sweet feeling to be out in the kayak on the open waters. I have loved every kayak paddle. Feeling that summer-feeling even more after reading your post. Sometimes it feels just good to pause and acknowledge that it’s here. We’ve had quite a bit of rain in the past 24 hours–over two inches–so our garden plants are drinking it all in. The book I’m reading is Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander, M.D. Have you read it?

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  11. I can see how late I am in commenting on this beautiful post (I was away a little this past weekend) but comment I must. So much beauty!! Your swallowtails on the butterfly bushes remind me of when I had huge glorius ones near my deck – but oh to see them blooming in June! Wow! A nasty winter killed my large bushes and I’m trying to regrow new ones, but progress is slow. The colors of your sunsets are gorgeous. And the harvest of the peas! Yummy! I’ve never grown my own but I can remember tending the garden in my Old Sturbridge Village days and enjoying the sweetness of freshly harvested regular peas (no fancy hybrid sugar snaps in 1840 lol) so I can imagine how wonderful your fresh sugar snaps must be!

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    1. I meant to add, but you probably already know or remember, how I love your summer seduction. We know it isn’t your favorite season, but I love how you’ve expressed how wonderful summer can indeed be! 🙂

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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