Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Late August blooms

The weather has been hot and humid for the last few days interrupted by brief episodes of torrential rain.  The rain cools the air dramatically if only briefly.  Blooming in late August.  

 This goldenrod offers a little taste of the wild in my tame garden.  It self seeded here and I allowed it to stay.  Pollinating insects love this plant.  
Autumn Joy beginning to bloom.  I cut this plant back drastically in early July.

You can see the humidity in the air.    

These zinnias have bloomed forever.  Will try saving seeds for next year's garden

 A sunny section of the center garden

Topaz processed daylily photo

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Blooming through the hot, dry days of August.

In spite of the lack of rain in August, the garden has a lot of color

 Next year, lots more zinnias and sweet potato vines.  They perform beautifully in hot, dry weather.
 My favorite daylily.  I've never seen a larger or brighter one. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

 Islands of trees amid a sea of corn. 

So simple, so lovely, yet the dreaded enemy of gardeners and farmers.

The dogs and I walked the length of our lane today.  A lovely day after a month of almost daily rain.  Everything is amazingly green.  Ireland, step aside, nothing is greener than spring time Illinois after a prolonged rainy season.  

This little wren chose the bird house right outside the dining room door.  How can such a tiny bird have such a big voice.  He sings all day long with very brief spells of quiet while he grabs a bug for the family.  

Cedar waxwings,  juvenile robins, and a catbird spent the day stripping the ripe fruit off my  amelanchier. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Below, a photo of the old pasture beside my house.  It's gone now--plowed under.  It used to be the home of hundreds of birds.  Deer spent the daylight hours in the grove of trees across the year round creek.  There were apple and crababble trees, willows and wildflowers.  All gone.  Now it's a furrowed field of corn stubble growing ragweed and garlic mustard.  The year it was plowed and planted was the horrible draught of 2013.  The crops withered and died so the farmer abandoned it.  

The secluded lane to my farm.  Trees are gone now.  The farmer cut them down this spring.  Farmers detest trees.

Came across the poem below and loved it.  

The Golden Years

All I do these drawn-out days
Is sit in my kitchen at Pheasant Ridge,
Where there are no pheasants to be seen,
And last time I looked, no ridge.

I could drive over to Quail Falls
And spend the day there playing bridge,
But lack of a falls and the absence of quail
Would only remind me of Pheasant Ridge.

I know a widow at Fox Run
And another with a condo at Smokey Ledge.
One of them smokes, and neither can run,
So I’ll stick to the pledge I made to Midge.

Who frightened the fox and bulldozed the ledge?
I ask in my kitchen at Pheasant Ridge.

~ Billy Collins - former U S Poet Laureate

(“The Golden Years” hearkens back to a simpler time, when the purity of nature thrived, undisturbed by the destructive tendencies of human expansion. Locations with namesakes paying homage to the animals and geological formations found there are now representing them nominally only.)