This time of year (and life) you have to look a little deeper for fleeting natural beauty and harmony. Just like the lizards, hummers, and goldfinches, if you move or blink, they’re gone.
My son and older granddaughter honored us with a visit on their way to shopping today. It was her first time here, so she got the “grand tour”. She exclaimed, “You have an actual house!” We all had an enjoyable time rehydrating, talking, and catching up. I like being strategically located.
Meanwhile, here are familiar resident flowers hanging out. I wish I could capture in photos all the goldfinches and hummingbirds perching and chirping all around me. Yes, hummers perch and chirp, who knew!
We may be old retired people, but we still have to get out there and mow the lower forty, as we call it. E has the relatively easy part, riding around on “the Pony” for an hour and a half, while I lug the small push mower up and down hills and around trees. We almost need a hay baler, the grasses get so tall and thick. I see why goats are popular here in TN.
Here are some flower scenes, and last night’s beautiful sunset.
My grandkids and I have discovered the wonders of private kid chats on FB. It’s addictive! I’ve been at it most of the day, exchanging silly emojis, stickers, and conversation of sorts. It’s fun to see them learning their way around communicating via texting. It’s almost like learning a foreign language or code, for both parties. It’s not quite like being there, but it helps to feel connected.
Meanwhile, my son is learning to deal with a childless house and a routine that’s now blown wide open. He has to learn to reestablish a whole new, balanced lifestyle and discipline, minus the limitations and constraints of a full household of clamoring demands. It’s just as challenging, in a different, unfamiliar sense.
I barely made it outside today, what with all the chatter, but here are a few sample sightings. If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was early autumn.
Yesterday evening we had one of those crazy pop-up t-storms, which means drinks on the rain porch.
This makes me happy–my son hanging out, working from here, and sharing our erev meal. Plus taking some flower photos together (though his are much better quality). (Yes, one is a little red mushroom.) I hope this becomes a habit! It feels more like a home.
Part of the challenge of photography, especially with a lame excuse for a camera, is to find the hidden gems right in front of you during seasonal off-times and limited subject matter.
Just as in the dead of winter, when there are always stark, dramatic contrasts and subtle tones to be found, there are times in summer in a boring startup garden when you have to dig deeper for new angles and textures. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. (Plus the clever use of the few editing tweaks I have available!)
Not to drag out this hackneyed nature metaphor for finding the potential in bleak emotional spells, here are some attempts at finding aesthetic interest in common, mundane scenes, with limited tools.
A typical weather day in TN? There is no typical.
One minute it’s a sunny humid 90 degrees. Suddenly, there’s rolling thunder, and a solid sheet of rain is coming at you from the west–you can see it move across the field like a shower curtain. In just a few minutes, the temp drops twenty degrees, to 70. It’s windy, pouring, rivers, thunder and lightning.
Next thing you know, it’s as if it never happened. That’s a typical day in E. TN.
A perfect day for sitting on the porch with a beer.
Our friendly neighborhood cat often pays us a visit. Here he is, luxuriating in the coolness under the bench on a hot evening, playing with action figures, after enjoying a supersized water. What a simple life. We could take lessons from him.
Lots of pollination is going on. There’s a baby pumpkin hanging on the fence. Birds, mammals, and lizards are procreating right outside the house. One day recently we watched a huge raptor devouring a small mammal in a tree. It’s a wild time out there.
I find the natural world so much more balanced and well-adjusted than the devolving human one these days. And yet we’re rushing to destroy the environment we depend on for life. Fortunately (or not), nature always fights back to ensure its survival.
We have a nice new front step, courtesy of E’s carpentry skills. It’s practically a mini-deck! Always a work in progress, down here at the hacienda.
Check out all the flowers taking over the fences, attracting more wild bird species every day. Once the birds get more used to me, I’ll be able to photograph them.