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If we were having coffee: This week on the ranch

Rust and spokes.

The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.

~ Anais Nin

Lavender in the scrounger’s garden.

If we were having coffee, I would be thrilled to see you again.  Come on in!!  It’s hot out there today, isn’t it?  The weather prognosticators were a tad bit off when it came to predicting today’s temperatures, a “tad” being about ten degrees.  They usually are when it comes to the heat.  I’ve come to expect it — our weather people are consistently wrong — so when it got up to 80°F around 10:00 this morning, it was no surprise.

The lily is making a comeback.

We have the usual assortment of coffee and tea, plus I have some fruit and veggie infused water in the fridge that is quite refreshing.  This particular batch is infused with strawberries and cucumbers.  I’m going to use lemons and mint for the next batch.  Let’s grab our drinks and something to nosh on and have a seat out on the porch.  The ceiling fan should keep us cool enough for now.  If it gets too hot for you, we can move back inside and enjoy the coolness of the air conditioning.

Sage.

How are you?  What have you been up to lately?  Have you gone on any adventures?  Learned anything new?  Have you traveled anywhere?  Spent time with family and/or friends?  Have you tried any new foods?  Experienced anything amazing?  Have you read any good books or seen any good films?

Nick, hanging out by the garden.

I am currently reading Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates.  I think I heard about in on NPR way back in 2015 when it came out.  Or maybe M told me about it after he heard about it on NPR.  It is described as a psychological thriller, and I’ve always liked a good psychological thriller.  Whether or not this is a good one remains to be seen (or read).  I’ve only just started it, and have little to go by right now.  I am somewhat intrigued, even this early in.  That’s a good sign.

As for films, M and I watched What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? last night.  It’s another one of those films that escaped me at the time it was out (1993).  I thought it was good.  Leonardo DiCaprio was fantastic as Arnie, the mentally impaired younger brother of Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp).  Tonight we will be watching the newest version of The Jungle Book (2016).  The Critics Consensus on Rotten Tomatoes is that the film is “as lovely to behold as it is engrossing to watch.”

We saw a lot of clouds this week, and they say there are more (with rain) on the way.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that it is wonderful to be spending the weekend at home.  I was exhausted from all the traveling.  We had a lot of rain this week, and that means I was able to take it easy, guilt free.  There were the usual daily chores that must be done but otherwise, I was able to relax, do some reading and writing, and take a few walks around the Wabi-Sabi Ranch where everything is growing like crazy, including the lawn that I will have to get out and mow soon.

Thursday’s rain pummeling the surface of the pond.

If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would tell you that we had one heck of a storm on Thursday evening.  It started with ferocious winds followed by heavy rain and two rounds of hail.    I have seen hail before, but never as heavy as it was on Thursday.  Some of the hail at the beginning of the first round was about the size of marbles.  It was pea-sized after that.  I tried to take a few pictures.  I didn’t want to step outside into the hail and the lightning.  The best I could do was shoot through the patio door windows.

Not a very good picture of the hail, but the best I could do under the circumstances.  By the time it finished, the deck was covered with it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the air today is quite warm and slightly humid, perfumed by honeysuckle and magnolias.  Of course you probably noticed that on the way in.  There are winged creatures flitting around everywhere.  Red-winged Blackbirds and swallows cruise around the meadows.  Laughing Gulls fly and call overhead.  Dragonflies seem to be everywhere.  Butterflies, too.  The hummingbirds are as curious as ever, approaching me whenever I walk out the back door or when I’m in the scrounger’s garden.  On the negative side, the deer flies are out and biting.  So are the mosquitoes.  And the ticks continue to be a problem.

The elusive Bobwhite.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that one of the good things about the grass growing so long is that we’ve been able to see a pair of Northern Bobwhites bobbing across the front lawn.  They are shy birds.  We hear them frequently, but rarely see them.  Getting a good photograph of one is on my list of things I’d like to do.  Alas, it didn’t happen this week.  Bobwhites scurry around quite quickly, especially if they catch sight of me.  I do kind of like this photo:

Sitting by the vegetable garden fence.

It’s blurry, but you can see the pair of them and get an idea of what their plumage looks like.  They are beautiful little chicken-like birds.  I was hoping they might present a partial solution to our tick problem, but Bobwhites eat mostly seeds and leaves.  In the springtime, they like their leafy greens.  During the summer they will eat some arthropods such as spiders, flies, beetles, bees, and wasps.  There’s no mention of ticks in the list of insects they eat.  I really should get a flock of guinea fowl.  They would have plenty to eat around here.  If I didn’t travel so much, I’d do it.

Black squirrel in the woods.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that we had super high tides this week and the fish were once again swimming on the woodland trail.  The wind, tide, and strong current took a small piece of the dock.  The dock already needed some work to fix the loose boards, and putting that off resulted in the loss of one of those loose boards.  We will have to get out there soon to fix the remaining loose boards and replace the one that was lost.  Otherwise, we might not have much of a dock left after another strong storm and super high tide combination.

When the fish were swimming the woods.

If we were having coffee, it would be time to turn this over to you.  I’ve rambled enough for now, and I really do need to get outside to do some mowing.  You’re welcome to stay inside where it’s cool (and a lot less buggy!) or, if you’d rather, feel free to take a walk around the property.  Even with a board missing, you can still sit on the dock and catch a nice breeze or go out to the bench by the pond and watch the crabs and fish swimming around.

Thank you so much for stopping by for another coffee chat.  Let’s go down to the Point and check out the sunset later.  It’s scheduled for 8:17 PM.  I rode my bicycle down to the Point earlier today, and was surprised to see people swimming.  The water must be warmer than I thought.  We can wade around in it or, if you brought your swim suit, maybe go for a swim.  I’m going to opt for wading this time around.

This is the first black squirrel I have seen anywhere other than in Kent, Ohio (where they have loads of black squirrels).

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

When M and I lived in Kent (Ohio), one of our favorite things to do was watch the black squirrels playing in the backyard.  They are impish little creatures who appear to love chasing each other around the trees.  I was excited to see this little guy or gal when I was out for a walk yesterday.

This post is in response to #WeekendCoffeeShare which now has a new home.  Thank you to Nerd In The Brain for taking on the job of hosting it, and to Diana for starting it. 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.

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Author:

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.

9 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: This week on the ranch

  1. I love your first photo of the bicycle spikes Robin.
    If we were having coffee I would tell you that it is not hot yet in our part of the world but at least the temperatures are climbing 🙂
    Your ranch looks beautiful as always. I am sure the vegetation is enjoying what the rainfall brought them.
    Have a wonderful week.

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  2. Good to hear that you’re taking it easy after your travels. Rain is a good excuse to stay in and read. However, I find myself pushing too hard on the nice days to get outdoor chores done. I am quite behind this year!! Once it gets hot, I am not going to get much done at all.
    I’ve been reading ‘The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane’ by Lisa See and really enjoying it. I’ve read two of her other books, ‘Snow Flower and the Secret Fan’ and ‘Peony in Love’ and liked those as well. She writes well.
    Have a nice holiday weekend… we have a family BBQ on Monday that I’m looking forward to. I’m bringing my (tart) rhubarb crisp. 🙂

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  3. I love to think of fish swimming on your woodland trails. I don’t know why. It just seems cool. The hail?? Not so cool..though I suppose it was literally cool. I’m worried about ticks this year too. A friend and I are going camping again at the end of June. Last year we spent the evening picking ticks off each other. I am considering ways to avoid that this year. No walking randomly through the woods for one I suppose. Plus I am concerned about Katie and ticks. It’s so hard to find them on her. Sunset here on the western side of Michigan isn’t until about an hour after yours, though we’re also in the Eastern Time Zone. Hard for me to stay awake that long…yet here it is 1 in the morning and I’m still up. Silly me. I blame the cat.

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  4. Wow! I’ve never seen a black squirrel before! A quick internet search tells me they are extremely rare in Connecticut. I never even knew they existed. 🙂 Great shots!

    Do you wear mosquito netting when you mow? Sounds very buggy down there…

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    1. oh ty! I forgot to type that in my comment I have never…oh wait memory…at Knoeble’s Grove they have black squirrels but those are the only times now I have seen them!

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  5. good morning! i went to look up that movie! Yesterday my son lifted 3 sacks of potting mix, so I got all of my pots filled and re-potted this year finally! I got Lavender, sage, thyme, rosemary and basil. He dug and weeded my altar area for me with minimal fuss! I am grateful. This morning I made a Yam Turkey pot pie it smelled heavenly until I ignored the admonishment to use a baking sheet under it….small oven fire cough bwaaahahahahaha
    Working on taping in the plant tags and the amount of soil I needed into a notebook binder thing. For some reason this idea opened the ease of keeping the grimoire I do in my head and on the computer but feel like things aren’t right enough to put onto paper. The idea feels joyful woot!

    I consider I will use Move Toward, Imagine and Take Action to replace Resist, it’s more fun! Also is a much better aim for me.

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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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