Posted in Change, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Summer, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Wonder

Wonders of summer

Waiting for someone to come along and enjoy the view.

One human life is deeper than the ocean. Strange fishes and sea-monsters and mighty plants live in the rock-bed of our spirits. The whole of human history is an undiscovered continent deep in our souls. There are dolphins, plants that dream, magic birds inside us. The sky is inside us. The earth is in us.

~ Ben Okri

Yesterday, by the marsh where fish were jumping and otters were fishing.

A people are as healthy and confident as the stories they tell themselves. Sick storytellers can make nations sick. Without stories we would go mad. Life would lose it’s moorings or orientation… Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart larger.

~ Ben Okri

Summer clouds, reaching.

I’ve been writing a post about elderhood that I might or might not post soon (or never), but it’s on the serious side and I’m not feeling particularly serious today.  Summer has been weaving its spell of beauty now that the heatwave from hell finally broke.  All of nature seems to be celebrating the cooler temperatures while they last.  Perhaps we need the contrasts to help us appreciate the season, any season.  That’s true of life as well, and it sometimes helps to think that much of what we’re seeing today is the contrast, the lesson, the story that leads to a better one.

We met at sunrise, when the dew on the grass had a slight glow to it.

I’m not sure what’s changed but the other beings around here seem to be less frightened of my presence.  Even the Great Blue Heron who visits the pond will look over at me and then resume his fishing expedition.  Herons are so skittish.  Usually I have to watch them from the kitchen window.  Now I can sit on the bench by the pond and he or she will fly in and not mind me in the least.  I do sit quietly, of course, so as not to disturb the heron’s concentration.  I imagine one has to be quite focused to catch a fish.  Crabs, on the other hand, are probably easy to spear with a beak.  I watched as Heron caught a crab yesterday, and winced as s/he swallowed it.  That’s just me, putting my humanness on the process.  Maybe it doesn’t hurt the heron at all to swallow a crab.

Stopping by the scrounger’s garden on the way to the woods.

The deer have been especially tolerant of me.  That’s been generally true of the female deer.  Bucks, on the other hand, rarely show themselves.  It was a treat yesterday to have one stop by at sunrise and not run off as soon as he spotted me.  He came back later in the day, bringing the whole family with him.  He’s out there again now, with mama and the twins, as I type up this post.  There are butterflies, too, flitting around the hydrangeas.  And dragonflies galore!  They like this side of the house for some reason.  I haven’t yet figured out why.  There are no water features and they are there throughout the day, from dawn until dusk.

Dewy at sunrise this morning.

I watched some of the Mueller hearings yesterday.  I don’t think the folks in the media were watching the same thing I watched, but that’s always true, isn’t it?  Five people watching the same event will have five different stories to tell.  Somewhere in the middle of that, maybe, is the truth.  What I saw was a deep desperation and disrespect on the part of the Republicans (GOP).  I don’t know Mr. Mueller.  As far as I can tell, he’s a good man.  Why yell at him and talk over him?  He was obviously uncomfortable.  Why not put him at ease?  Things calmed down later in the day but the morning show gave me a glimpse of just how wretched the GOP has become.  Again, that’s merely my story and how I interpreted events.  I have to admit, too, that I gave up watching the morning show (because that’s what both sides wanted — a show, not an an informative hearing) after about thirty minutes.  I was too disgusted with it to continue.  Better to be outside, enjoying the lovely weather we’d been granted.

Grazing.

There’s that seriousness creeping in again.  Since I’m on serious subjects, I’ll make a quick run through another serious thought.  My meditations lately have been focused on the heart and on compassion, on serenity and on courage.  If you’re familiar with it, you might have guessed that the Serenity Prayer is part of it.  It’s something my yoga teacher has been using in our meditations.  Although I don’t pray to any particular god or God, it’s still a prayer and there is something calming about it.  If you’re not familiar with it, it goes something like this:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Anger arose very quickly yesterday as I watched the early part of the hearings, and then disappointment in myself for the fast and furious anger.  I wondered then, as I wonder now, how do we remain calm and compassionate in the times we’re living in?  How do you do it?  Or do you do it at all?  I’d be interested in your thoughts on this if you’re willing to engage in the conversation by leaving a comment.

One of the twins.

Going out for a walk, of course, did grant me some serenity.  The twins were bounding around at the edge of the future woods, and it’s always a treat to watch children at play.  The flowers in the scrounger’s garden had a lot of visitors, and I spent a little time watching a formation of wasps leave their nest.  Fascinating stuff, at least for me.  From there I went into the woods and out to the dock where I met up with laughing gulls, turtles, jumping and splashing fish, and a river otter.  It was very busy out there.

High tide in the marsh.

Later in the day, as I mentioned earlier, the buck came back around, bringing his family with him.  I’ve been curious about what it is that brings the deer to our lawn, day after day.  What is it that they’re eating?  I think I finally figured it out.  I noticed an absence of plantain where there is usually a lot of it.  I looked it up and found out that deer love it.  It’s high in protein and contains a lot of minerals that are good for them.

Looking for an afternoon snack.

The rain that temporarily banished the heatwave caused the grass and weeds to grow so fast that we can’t keep up.  That’s always the case this time of year.  The scrounger’s garden is now the weed garden dotted with zinnias and cosmos.  The lawn has become a hay field.  I’ll be working hard over the next day or two to get caught up.  Then it will be time to get caught up inside.  You see, I was doing a great imitation of a sloth during the heatwave.  Many of the chores were set aside.

What big ears you have!

We’ve been feasting on summer’s fruits and vegetables.  I’ve eaten a whole season’s worth of cantaloupe and watermelon which is good because the season is just about over.  Zucchini and yellow squash are overabundant, as usual.  I spent part of the heatwave chopping up a bushel of different colored peppers to freeze so that we’ll have them over the winter months.  Peppers, particularly the red and orange and yellow peppers, are so expensive at the grocery store.  It’s nice, too, to be able to get locally grown peppers (and other produce).  I should have taken a few photos of them.  They were pretty, especially the purple peppers.  I thought, when I ordered them, that I was getting a 1/2 bushel.  Turns out it was a full bushel.  And then some, because the farmers I bought them from were generous and topped up the box.  You couldn’t close the lid on it, the box was so full.

The couple.

I reckon that’s about it from me and from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.  Thank you so much for visiting.  Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset this evening.  I haven’t been out there since sometime last week.  Sunset is scheduled for 8:19 PM.  It’s warm (in the 80’s) with a nice breeze.  I’ll bring some insect repellent along.  If it’s breezy enough, we won’t need it, but it’s good to have if we do.

Be good, be kind, be love.

Trying to scratch an itch.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,106) The Deer family coming around for visits.  It’s nice to see them all together.  1,107)  A break in the heat before the next spell hits.  1,108)  Dewy mornings and the change in the slant of the sunlight.  The heat will probably last another few months, but there are subtle signs that things are changing.  1,109)  Pink and red sunrises.  1,110)  Hanging the laundry out to dry today.

The Deer family, feasting.  Not a particularly good photo but it was almost midday.  Too much light.

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, yoga teacher, sometime poet, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She shares her daily walks and meanders, a lot of quotes, some of her artwork, and a lot of her photography here on Ye Olde Blogge. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are (still!) in the midst of renovating the house and cleaning up the 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.

25 thoughts on “Wonders of summer

  1. Such lovely photos of what must be a lovely place you live. I’ve been a sloth too, though in a different way, traveling way too much and need to stay home a bit to get caught up in the gardens. Instead, after DC, I took myself to the woods for a needed regeneration. It was nice and not nice…more on that later.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 Sloth is not the word for it when you’ve been traveling as much as you have. Time in the woods is a great way to recharge. I think I saw some of the “not nice” parts. I hope you’ve found a quieter spot.

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  2. Fawns are so pretty with their sprinkling of white. Deer are so destructive in my garden that it is hard not to get annoyed with them. I know they were here first, but I still feel upset when they eat my garden!
    I tend to have a short fuse, so I’m not one to advise on holding one’s temper, lol. When I’m not too tired, I can manage to think that ‘everyone is trying their best’ and believe they are doing the ‘right thing.’ Where it gets tough is when others want to push their ‘right thinking’ onto me. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear ya on all counts, Eliza. The deer can be very annoying when they are getting into things they shouldn’t be getting into. We had some of that during the early spring this year. I have a Japanese maple I’ve been trying to grow since our first year here, and the deer kept eating the new branches every spring. We finally put a cage around it and it’s beginning to look like a tree. I had to do the same with a dappled willow. After finally training the deer to stay out of that part of the yard, they decided to approach the house while we were on our trip to Roanoke and they ate some of the budding flowers from the hostas. Extremely annoying!

      We acquired a lot of experience harassing geese when we lived in NE Ohio. We’ve been applying the same principles to the deer. We’re out there at dawn and dusk to make sure they don’t come near the house or gardens. After a while, they learn where not to go. That said, all it takes is one who hasn’t learned to decimate a garden. I think, too, that it helps that we have lots of the stuff they like to eat out in the meadow and the lawn. We can’t take credit for that. The plantain and partridge peas were here before us.

      If only we could train people who want to push their “right thinking” on us in the same manner. sigh

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll weigh in on the anger thing Robin as it’s something that I am working with also. There is such a thing as ‘righteous anger’, it rises in me when I witness actions and words that are mean, inhumane, ignorant and stupid. I think my angry response is okay, how I express that mostly isn’t. In the moment I want to blow up the perpetrator! I am learning to step back from the retort, the instinct to wipe the person out as a human being, to dismiss them and all they stand for. All those potential instant responses simply place me in the same arena as the person or event I detest and I poison myself. The other side is desperation, despair, hopelessness and that all leads to depression.

    I will not go where I know I will be made to feel any of those things. I choose to recognise their is a madness in some places and I let it stay there. time will attend to that. I place my attention, my words, my actions where there is hope, where there is potential for good and where change is possible. What I discover is that it is there, it is living in me, in my family, in my friends, in the people I choose to pay attention to. There are more of us than any one knows. We aren’t spoken of or paid much attention to and our greatest enemy is just that. Too many pay attention to the evil in the world. They talk about it, spread it round and magnify it. They watch it, read more of it, talk about it and wonder why they feel unwell.

    We can’t and shouldn’t ignore hatred, ignorance, stupidity, but we can recognise it for what it is and do whatever we can to ameliorate it. Help those affected in whatever way we can. Find the words to express our responses as positively as possible. Do something to counterbalance the evil. You plant a tree, photograph a buck, watch a sunset and love the earth. I smile at a stranger, or better yet, walk with a smile in my heart and watch with interest at how many people smile at us (me and Siddy) as we pass and don’t know why.

    Turning that righteous anger into other forms of affecting the world is a real challenge – some days it seems impossible, other days it is easier. But it’s an ongoing hard slog I feel. Today I am wondering if the Latin motto ‘Primum non nocere’ ‘First do no harm’ is one I should work on consciously applying rigorously in my daily life.

    Them’s my rambling thoughts so far…………..

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Pauline, for your thoughtful response. That’s a very good motto to start with. I’ve been working on a similar theme (ahimsa in Sanskrit — “respect for all living things and avoidance of violence toward others” — which is often translated to mean “non-harming”). I’ve been practicing my smile more, too, with complete strangers. I love the idea of walking with a smile in your heart. Interesting experiment. I’m going to give it a try. ❤

      I do wish people were drawn more towards paying attention to the good rather than what you termed evil. I suppose it is evil, now that I think about it. I think a lot of folks are addicted to the drama of it, and I wonder how much of that has to do with reality television shows. But maybe we humans have been that way all along.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you. You have given me a little oasis of peace tonight. I used to be able to find those all the time but I feel like I’m rushing from thing to thing-and the ugliness playing out across the nation doesn’t help. I love those inviting chairs. I love to know that wildlife is still feasting. I planted a lone echinacea plant in my garden. The bees are visiting often. That makes me happy. It’s an antidote to some of the hate I see playing out in the world. I’m trying instead to focus on the love and find it in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Kristine, and thank you. Bees visiting an echinacea plant would make me happy, too. Love and bees are good things to focus on during these rather trying times. 🙂

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  5. This week’s weather is the summer we want – which means it’s about to end as the next dome of hot, muggy air is nearing. Maybe you are becoming the Dr. Doolittle of Maryland! Thanks for the beautiful pics.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That deer family!! What a magical gift you’ve been given. I think seeing them would help to calm me down. I know when I take walks and see various creatures outside it always makes me feel better, but I don’t get a chance to do that all the time, as there’s a lot going on right now for me. I love the first quotation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 Yes, it is a magical gift. They just walked by a little while ago, and they never fail to make me smile. I am feeling a little guilty about mowing the lawn, though. They were probably eating the tops of the plantain which are gone now that I went around chopping them all off with the mower. On the positive side, we’ve had some rain today (unexpected) and that will make the grass and plantain grow all the faster. They should be chowing down on it again soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great quote. I wish everyone would once again take that Serenity Prayer as their guiding star. (“That and live and let live”, “agree to disagree yet get along and still friends”)
    I watched snippets of the hearing off and on. So much showboating by the “examiners”. So little gained by it all except once again dividing the country, stirring up anger and anxiety. I think one of my friends is right about some people have gotten addicted to adrenaline. It is weir how people can watch the same thing and come out with completely differing ideas of what was said. Bringing in their prior concepts and bias as well as what the police say about crime scenes – each witness’s observations can be polar opposite. Must be a human thing? Reality is based on our past experience and what we interpret at the moment. In any case, most of the public is tired of the antics and drama from all sides and just wish they would stop wasting time when so much needs to be done – oh, here, how about not taking vacation until your work is done, Congress? Sigh.(make them read your quotes 3 times every morning before leaving their rooms)
    Looks like you’ve been accepted into the landscape there. Calm spirit and one seeking positive and good other than negatives draw others like them closer.
    Stay cool! (we’ve also had a few mornings of break from the heat. So appreciated.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think they should be taking a vacation either, PhilosopherMouse. I could be wrong but it certainly looks as though nothing has been accomplished since the last presidential election. Lots of smoke and mirrors and drama, but no real work. As long as the economy is booming along, I suppose nobody cares. So much of the drama might be avoided if those people would actually get together and hash out some agreements on laws to address the issues. sigh

      Hope it’s not getting too hot down your way and that the tropics continue to stay quiet. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Robin, another post with such thoughtful quotes and photos that take us to the place where nature reminds us who we really are. I watched bits and pieces of the hearing and found the commentary by the news media to be very judgmental and out of touch. They talk and listen so fast, they miss the nuances and don’t quite know how to be observers. For a reluctant witness who said ahead of time he would stick to the report, I thought he did a stellar job as the nastiness and anger continued to be thrown at him. Why do we expect something different when we’ve been told, or shown ahead of time, what is or what is to be. The times we are in are extremely challenging and we have chosen to be here now. May we endeavor to maintain our center, speak our truth with compassion and keep our power by not losing ourselves to the vitriol. I look forward to reading what you’ve written on elderhood. I can only imagine its awesome…like all of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Carrie. I agree. With everything you wrote. I especially like your blessing. I think the reason people see/expect something different might be related to the reality television show we’re currently living in. But then I think that maybe it’s been this way forever with we humans. We like to judge and create drama, and there is nothing new in that. Maybe we’re stuck, failing to evolve. I hope that changes. Soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your photos always pop so beautifully, Robin. Just being able to walk around what looks like an endless oasis to me, would be relaxing. How lucky to have the deer family hang out with you 🙂
    I think it is required to be the sloth during a heatwave. I know I sure as heck did. I was off yesterday and could have spent it by the pool but have been so tired, I basically was one with the sofa in the air-conditioned house. Today, however, will be different!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “Sick storytellers can make nations sick.” This really resonated with me. Great quote that is so very applicable to our current status – a sick storyteller is what I believe we have in “charge”. I have decided it is the differences in my attitude from the others in my neighborhood that causes me to more or less keep myself isolated – for which they are probably grateful. We ladies of the neighborhood went out to breakfast yesterday – the first time in a long time – and we did well, until someone (not me) brought up immigration. I cannot keep quiet and that released all of the stuff that I’ve been carrying pretty much silently in my brain. My premise is that we need to fix our systems, then it won’t be such a problem. Another of the ladies feels if you want to live here, you should want to be a citizen. Well, okay – except I disagree with the “should” – but maybe if our systems were fixed and manpower was beefed up, those illegal aliens could become citizens – or get permanent residency visas. I feel apart – and it’s of my own doing.
    But I love your deer and your sights. Thank you for those.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Carol, and thank you for your input. I feel that way, too, with some of my friends and with a lot of the folks that live here on the Eastern Shore. I once remarked in an online yoga class that I live in T**mp country, and the teacher laughed, replying, “We all do!” She’s right. Even if we don’t live in rural areas or neighborhoods where the majority voted for him, this whole country has been caught up in responding to him. I’d like to see that stop. I am reminded of my early days of blogging and the advice: “Don’t feed the trolls. It makes them grow.” We’re feeding the biggest troll of them all, the media most of all.
      I agree with you about needing to fix the systems. I don’t think that will happen as long as everything continues to be a reaction to, or (sometimes silent) defense of, the troll. Some are hiding behind him to dismantle the system in ways that appear to be designed for cruelty (or to keep the country white).
      I sometimes feel a little lonesome, being the odd woman out among some friends, family, and neighbors. But I also know there are many like me. As others have pointed out, we’re not as loud. I’m thinking that maybe we should be. Need to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I go back and forth about being loud or keeping quiet. I have had many (too many) Facebook conversations with Trump supporters, and even though I know full well nothing I say is going to change their minds, I keep jumping in. Result: think I need a Facebook break. We all decide what we’re going to believe as truth, and we’re not very flexible. Watched the debates – Marianne had some interesting things to say, but I don’t believe in this society at this time she could be elected. Love is, indeed, what we need, but that isn’t what people want. Not yet anyway.

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  11. Maybe the creatures in the garden have been slowing down and just enjoying the summer heat and that’s why they don’t seem so flighty, or maybe they just sense now that you’re a benign presence 🙂 It’s hard to practice serenity sometimes, but as you said early on, we need contrasts, so a little anger isn’t a bad thing when balanced with joy and compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe a combination of the two, Andrea. 🙂 I agree with you about balance and contrasts. I think we need them. I sometimes think it would be nice if life operated on an even keel all the time, but I suspect I’d find that boring after a while.

      Liked by 1 person

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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