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If we were having coffee: Of sunrises and marsh grasses

Sunrise this morning.
Sunrise yesterday morning.

We lack – we need – a term for those places where one experiences a ‘transition’ from a known landscape… into ‘another world’: somewhere we feel and think significantly differently. They exist even in familiar landscapes: there when you cross a certain watershed, recline or snowline, or enter rain, storm or mist. Such moments are rites of passage that reconfigure local geographics, leaving known places outlandish or quickened, revealing continents within counties.

~ Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot

Another look before going inside.
Another look before going inside.

If we were having coffee, tea, water, a fancy soft drink, or a flavored seltzer water, I would be happy to see you again.  I’d give you a hug, but it’s probably best if you keep your distance.  While I’m not as ill as I was earlier in the week, flu symptoms continue to persist and I’m not sure if I’m still contagious or not.  Come on in!  Let’s grab some drinks and something to nosh on, and head out to the back porch where we can watch the rain pour and the wind gust.  Hurricane Matthew is turning out to have more influence on our weather than the weather prognosticators predicted.  There are flood watches and wind advisories in effect until 6 PM tonight.  We had about 4.5 inches of rain overnight with more heavy rain expected until around 1 PM today.  As for wind, we had some gusts up to about 30 mph this morning.  I was hoping we could have our coffee chat yesterday, but once the rain started in the afternoon, our satellite connection to the world (internet) refused to work.

One of the those fancy soft drinks I mentioned.
One of the those fancy soft drinks I mentioned.

How are you?  What have you been up to lately?  Have you traveled anywhere?  Seen any new sights?  Taken any good walks or hikes?  Have you read any good books or seen any good films?

Scoping out a place across from Wallops Island to watch the rocket launch later this week.
Scoping out a place across from Wallops Island to watch the rocket launch later this week.

If we were having coffee or something else to drink, I would have nothing new to report in regards to books or films.  I just finished reading Lit: A Memoir by Mary Karr.  I’m not sure what I will be reading next.  Perhaps I’ll close my eyes, pull a book off the shelf, and go with it.  It will be a bookish adventure of sorts.  Usually I stand looking at the to-be-read bookshelf for a while, mulling things over, or picking based on my mood.  A random pick might make it more fun.

The marshes are putting on their autumn colors.
The marshes are putting on their autumn colors.  (Chincoteague, Virginia)

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that M and I took a trip south to Virginia yesterday morning to do a little shopping.  We went to one of our favorite nurseries in the area to see what they might have on sale now that it is pretty much the end of the growing season.  We picked up a couple of items for my scrounger’s garden, including some purple asters.  I’ve missed the purple asters we had in the wildflower meadow at Breezy Acres in the Bogs, and I thought I’d see how they do out in my flower garden here.  Perhaps they’ll manage to spread out to the meadows here to join the white asters and the goldenrod in autumn displays.

Glasswort in bloom.
Glasswort in bloom.

Once former hurricane, now tropical storm, Matthew moves through, we should have some very fine weather with sunshine and fall-like temperatures (highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s and 50’s).  It will be a good week to work in the garden once the flu that’s had a grip on me fades away.  I think I might work on the extension, but it depends on how much I get done towards putting the garden to bed for the winter.  The lavender is still blooming, and so are the zinnias.  I’ll leave the zinnias to go to seed since the birds (particularly the goldfinches) like to eat them.  Plus I get volunteers now, and it’s possible I may not have to plant zinnias next year, just let them come up on their own.

I wish I'd had the "good" camera with me yesterday, but have to admit that the old Kodak didn't do too poorly.
I wish I’d had the “good” camera with me yesterday, but have to admit that the old Kodak didn’t do too poorly.

The hummingbirds left us about a week ago.  It’s probably time to take down the feeders.  I will wait a few more days to be sure the stragglers are on their way south.  Maybe I’ll put up the winter feeders soon.  I usually wait until it’s cold, but I do enjoy watching the birds gather for meals.  You never know who will show up.

It was a lot windier than it looks in this photo.
It was a lot windier than it looks in this photo.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that M and I are going to visit a local orchard today to pick up our apples for the season.  M likes to make gallons and gallons of applesauce so I imagine we will be picking up a lot of apples.  His favorite apple for applesauce is the Golden Delicious.  Sometimes I think it’s more a matter of nostalgia than taste (although Golden Delicious apples do make a sweet and tasty applesauce).  When we lived in Ohio Appalachia (southern Ohio, where West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio meet) we had a Golden Delicious apple tree in our backyard.  It hadn’t been taken care of for years, and when we bought the house and property, M began his career as our resident Tree Guy, learning everything he could about tending to an apple tree.  Some years that tree put out so many apples that we had to leave some for the critters because we’d already made as much applesauce as we could possibly eat in one year and given away as many as we could get friends and neighbors to take off our hands.  The groundhogs, in particular, loved apples, especially once they began to ferment.  Have you ever seen a drunk groundhog?  It’s hilarious.

I love the marshes this time of year.

Some of you might remember that groundhogs have long been our adversaries (in the garden and digging under porches and outbuildings).  There may be groundhogs on the Eastern Shore, but I have not seen any.  If there are any, I expect you’d find them more inland at the wider parts of the peninsula.  I think M is relieved not to have to deal with them anymore.  There are still rabbits, though, so I suppose there will always be some critter that wants us to share our gardens with them.

Autumn beauty.
Autumn beauty.

And oh!  Speaking of critters, we might have a mouse under the house.  Every morning, promptly at 4:30 AM, we hear scritching and scratching around the heating/air conditioning vent in our bedroom.  It is quite annoying.  I have considered letting the cats roam around in the crawl space, but I’m afraid of what else might be under there.  M says nothing much.  He should know since he’s had to crawl around in there fixing things from time to time.  He hasn’t seen any signs of mice or snakes, but maybe a mouse managed to find it’s way in through the new flood vents we were forced asked to install to help reduce our flood insurance rates.

Lines of red and green.
Lines of red and green.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would turn this over to you now.  I don’t really have much to share this week since I’ve spent a lot of it resting.  The things I would like to share don’t seem to have words to describe them.  The illness and rest created an inner space and peacefulness that go beyond language.  There is gratitude, too, but I wrote as much about that as I could in my last post.

One more because this is the first year I've been able to catch the glasswort in bloom to this extent. Usually I'm too early or too late.
One more because this is the first year I’ve been able to catch the glasswort in bloom to this extent. Usually I’m too early or too late.

Thank you so much for braving the wind and rain to stop by today.  I just checked the radar and it looks like the rain is almost over.  They say it will be blustery for a while (at least until tomorrow), but that should help dry things out.  There is a cold front nudging Matthew out to sea, and maybe all the tropical muggies will stay away for a while.  Feel free to hang out here if you’d like.  We can catch the sunset at the Point later.  It’s scheduled for 6:33 PM.  Sunsets after a storm are often quite colorful.  Maybe that will be the case tonight.

In the scrounger's garden.
In the scrounger’s garden.

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

Reminder:  Walktober 2016 will take place between October 15 through the 23, with submissions due by October 25.  I will post an official “link here” walk on or around October 15.  Not sure what Walktober is or if you want to join?  Follow the link over in the sidebar (it’s the third widget up from the bottom labeled “Join us in October!”).  If the dates don’t suit you for some reason, let me know.  I’ll be glad to extend them.  I’m easy that way.

Light in the shadows.
Light in the shadows.

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.



Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

20 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Of sunrises and marsh grasses

  1. The photos of red flowers and green are spectacular. I kept saying “this one,” “no, this one.”
    I like golden delicious for applesauce, too. I guess I may be buying apples and making tons of it soon, too. Today would have been a good day. It’s so cool and rainy.

    There were groundhogs at my daughter’s apartment this year. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before–and never a drunk one. I can imagine that would be interesting. Haha. One groundhog went right up to her patio door, and her dog went crazy barking at it. 🙂

    Hope you continue to feel better, Robin!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 Every day is a little bit better. We didn’t make it to the orchard yesterday, but I do hope to get there this week. My favorite applesauce is made with a variety of mostly tart apples with a few golden delicious thrown in to keep a good balance between sweet and tart.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We have groundhogs here. They eat everything. Found out a couple weeks ago that a neighbor shoots them…so that would be why there are less. I am grateful to the neighbor I guess, that I don’t have to figure out how to deal with them.

    I love the marsh and the red flowers…amazing. All the shots are beautiful.

    Glad you are getting over the flu. May it float away along with Matthew.

    I have friends who live in Jacksonville. They evacuated, along with their two dogs, to our house in Alabama to wait out the storm. It made me happy that we could help. And I like the thought of them being there at the house with the dogs.

    Beautiful weather here in Michigan. Was very warm until yesterday when a cold front came through. Was only 42 this morning. We were going to sleep out in the tent last night but I wimped out. Maybe tonight. Maybe not.

    Now we (Katie and I) are off to her park to meet a doggy friend and his mom for a walk.

    Have a wonderful day, don’t work so hard in the yard that you get sick again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 Hope you had a great walk with Katie and friends. Groundhogs can be nasty creatures, not only digging where you don’t want them to dig and eating everything, but they have been known to be aggressive towards cats and dogs. We used to trap them and move them. I’m glad there aren’t any here. We have enough trouble with the rabbits eating everything. The hawks will be returning soon and that will cut down on our bunny population.


    1. Thank you, Betty. 🙂 Matthew was mostly rain and some bluster in our area, thank goodness. I know they got hit far worse down south. I have not seen (or smelled) skunks here. Used to see (or smell) them all the time when I lived in Ohio. I get your point, and will be careful about who we are evicting. 😀


    1. I didn’t know about it either, Eliza, until our first autumn here. This is the first time I’ve been able to see it in full bloom, and I can’t tell you how excited I was. I was reminded of the pink/purple-ish flowers that grow in the spring in the fallow farm fields around here. There are so many things here that are different from what I came to know in Ohio. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to explore a different kind of landscape and ecosystem. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That glasswort makes me sigh. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it growing anywhere. But, I don’t live near a salt marsh either. I hope you’re feeling better and that the flu and the storm have both departed by now. We are already through with fall and all of my gardens have gone to seed. I don’t clean up much in fall, preferring to leave the seedheads and wait to gather the debris in the spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Barb. 🙂 I don’t clean up too much in the fall either. I do like to get some of the weeds out of the way and put down some mulch. The rest goes to seed. As for the glasswort, I am almost convinced it only blooms for about an hour. I’ve had so much trouble trying to catch it every fall. Avocados are that way, too. They suddenly become the perfect ripeness that lasts about an hour and if you miss it, they’ve already begun to rot. lol!


  4. Some of the humming birds and monarchs are passing through our yard on their way. (I’ll tell them you said “take care”). Haven’t seen a drunk groundhog, but have seen drunk cardinals, bluejays, and sparrows when the pyracantha berries are just right for them. (Love pix # 8. 13, 14) Glad the weather’s cleared – hot again here with drizzle today – baking this weekend – perfect for monarchs and butterflies?


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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