Saturday, June 2, 2018

A Summer Morning

This morning, I was out watering my chickens. As I stood next to the water. Listening to the water burble and chuckle while the chickens drank that lovely cool water. I noticed in the background, the quiet hum of bees. As I looked into the blossoms of this Chinese Lantern tree, it was full of bees. As I watched them, I saw the tiniest bee I have ever seen in my life. It was maybe the size of the end of a pin. It was blue green and sparkled like a mix between amethyst  and emerald. We will begin June with perfect weather. We will touch 100-105 on Sunday and Monday then it will return to 90s. Its time for all of those wonderful things I love about living in California.

 We need those warm days so we can use this again. I don't know why I complain about the weather when I have so many nice things around me to keep me nice and cool.

I thought since I was walking around with my camera, it was time to give you a look at all that I see when I am here walking around looking at things.

This Hydrangea blossom is as high as my head. I was taking pictures this reminded me of my grandmother. One of my earliest memories is her taking care of her huge hydrangea bushes. She was still living in her house in town so I couldn't have been more than two. She let me drive nails all around her plants with a hammer. I was so proud of myself getting to do an important job like that while she carefully explained to me how the nails would help the flowers turn blue. All of the things that come to my mind as I walk around with my camera.

The Mullein is going to town. I am always so glad when I see it growing and I am reminded of how important it is to have medicinal herbs growing around your house. To me this was one of the most important ones with small children. When they would get colds, we would brew mullein and make a tea and give it to the kids with honey. It always broke up the cough. Its too warm now but I still have nettles growing in shady places and that is the best plant for Nettle tea when you are low on iron.

 I wanted to share with you the new pomegranates. They are so pretty in among the new leaves. I don't know if they still do this today, but when I was in grade school they would line us all up in lines and the principal would go up and down the lines looking at our hands to see if they were clean and would use a tongue depressor to look at kids heads for lice. I hated that so much because then they would make a big deal of taking kids with dirty hands and lice out of line and every single kid knew who those kids were. My grandmother had this huge pomegranate tree, and every time I would take one and break it open with rock I would get my hands stained. The next day at school would be that check day. I still can't stand to get juice on my hands.  I also still shudder thinking about how the kids who were called out of line would be ostracized until the next time we had to stand in line for that check.

 This year, the shade in the front yard is so deep. The grass is so green that I find myself setting on the porch, watching it. I know I have taken this picture so many times but I find I am still drawn by it.
Maybe because its the first year, there will be no little legs in among its branches. I find that the echos of voices and laughter seem to come at me every time I walk around now. The ghosts who live among us. Children of the past.

I cheated today and left Mr. Nosy chicken scratch so I could get his picture. He was scolding me when he thought I was going to pick his berries. I put some scratch out and then sat in my chair and waited. It didn't take too long. Mrs. Blue Jay was much more cautious. She stayed in among the branches and watched and waited for me to leave.

The outside living room
My berries not the blue jays.
How it looks when I am sitting in my outside living room.
I was trying to get a picture of the little ants stealing sugar from this sunflower. They were really tiny and very busy. So many memories today. The first time I saw sunflowers growing by the side of the road, when our road out front was just a country road with very few cars as well as asphalt, mostly dirt road. Sunflowers would grow in the summer. I wanted to pick a bouquet for my Mom. I wasn't supposed to go past my Great Grandmother's house, but I really wanted those flowers. So when the coast was clear, I ran as fast as I could to the clump of sunflowers. What I learned that day was, first of all you don't just pick sunflowers, you need something to cut them with as they are so tough, and the second thing I learned is they are filled with those tiny ants gathering sugar. My hands were full of ants. I dropped those flowers like they were hot potatoes and ran back home brushing off the ants. I never did pick them again. Now when I bring them in the house, I always soak them in a little bit of Dawn dish washing soap and warm water, and it works like a charm. I use my Black Eyed Susan's more for flower arranging, because the sunflowers are for the finches, the parrots and the bees.

 I will stop for now. My fitbit reminded me I have been sitting for too long. Once I jump up and go take 250 steps for the hour, my mind starts moving on to someplace else. Like real life and taking Ron to get tires on his car.
Thank you for stopping by today. My kids keep asking for memories so I am trying to do what they ask. For a little while.
I hope your day is as pretty as ours is today. With the sounds of the wind-chimes and the wind gently stirring the leaves and the smell of toasty warm grass and the birds singing in the distance.

“A person never forgets the landscape of their childhood'.”
― Kate Morton, The Lake House


GretchenJoanna said...

Well, I can tell you haven't been driving nails in around your own hydrangeas :-)

I bet those sunflowers along the roadsides of your childhood summers are the same ones that I have in my front yard, Delta Sunflowers. They are amazing, the way they can get by with no water in that Central Valley heat. The ones that dropped into my neighbor's yard last fall from mine are already blooming.

The Chinese Lantern has such pretty flowers! They remind me of tiny columbine blooms. Your outdoor living room is nostalgic for me. I can just imagine what the air feels like out there in the evenings, because that is what I grew up with - but rarely experience these days!

Gumbo Lily said...

What memories you have, Kim. I enjoyed the photos of the flowers and birds and the story of the sunflowers. I'm a fan of sunflowers too. It's looking like summertime around your place!

Pom Pom said...

Oh, summer! So nice and warm around your patch!
The pool looks scrumptious.
I think the buzzing of bees is peaceful.

Kessie said...

Such nice, peaceful green! The kids are finally feeling better, so I feel like I'm leaving panic mode. I think they got e. Coli from the pool last weekend. They have all the symptoms. Nothing you can do for it but drink lots of fluids, ugh.

annie said...

Such a nice visit today!
I so enjoyed your post and your photos!

Julia said...

Your summer morning sounds just delightful and that pool looks so inviting.
I love your childhood memories. I have similar memories of having the kids hand and head checking. How time has changed.
Enjoy your week.
Hugs, Julia

Rugs and Pugs said...

LOVE all your pictures. Thanks for sharing ❤️

Debbie said...

hehehehe "This morning, I was out watering my chickens" - i thought this sentence would end with the word "flowers". see, you never know, especially with you kim!!!

my hydrangeas are just starting to flower, little buds that are still green, but soon i will have flowers!!

the blue jays are feisty but beautiful!!!

GretchenJoanna said...

Two days after my first comment, I saw in my files that I had taken a picture of a Chinese Lantern a couple of years ago at my friend the Exotic Gardener's He didn't know the name of it at the time, so I just now told him!!

Debbie said...

with reference to my post...the festival was 1 hour, 20 minutes from home and it was a really gorgeous night. this was one of the best festivals i have ever attended. and i really hate that i can no longer reply to comments! through email!!!

Debbie said...

miss you kim!! we have always had a swimming pool but we have not opened it in years. we had the entire thing revamped and it's open for the summer - we are enjoying it!!!

Angela said...

Hi Kim, Just checking you are Ok. You have been quiet longer than usual. Hugs.