Views from lying in the hammock on Saturday with Dean. ♥ It was calm and sunny and warm—in the 60s. The trees are so bare now! Only the red oaks are clad. But it’s pretty, and you can see so much in all the new spaces between.
I had such a nice burying ground adventure today, in Ellington. It started off as an absolutely beautiful New Englandy fall day. A little chilly (50s), but I dressed for it, with two warm sweaters and my graveyard gloves. Lots of sun! Gorgeous blue sky with fluffy clouds! White tall-spired colonial church, yellow maples, atmospheric red barn, and lichen-y green stone walls! Just right.
Then the clouds started spreading and spreading, and swallowed up the sun, which ruined my lighting, but I didn’t really mind. I was just feeling so relaxed and alert and peaceful and good. I’ve been sort of sick recently, and my throat still hurts, but I felt really good this afternoon regardless. Not tired. Just, very present and balanced. Enjoying details. Enjoying music in the car. Enjoying the sky and the different kinds of rocks and all the quirky things I saw along the road driving to Ellington. Enjoying hanging out with Ebenezer Drake’s pleased vampires and Gershom Bartlett’s weird weird cute cute early sandstones and Ezra Stebbins, even though I mostly didn’t get to the Stebbins stones until I lost the sun. And it was good to be among Manning stones. And Lathrop, and Haskins, and the Upswept-Wing Carver. I was missing my northern friends, I think. Those shoreline burying grounds I went to with my parents when they were visiting had interesting stuff (which I still need to post about), but they aren’t where it’s at for me.
Yesterday autumn was saying: “I’ve waited long enough. Now it’s time to show my teeth!” Autumn’s teeth are made of wind.
I stayed inside.
Today, it showed me some mercy. Chilly yard walk, but calm and clear and glorious.
Tulip, the tulip poplar sapling, only has four leaves left.
The witch hazels are blooming like crazy! And some of their exploding seed pods are exploded. But they won’t do it front of me.
Our herb bed is full of leaves, but the herbs are still all very happy. No frost so far.
Everything in our feast tonight was amazing: crispy grilled purple cauliflower with olive oil and lots and lots of fresh herbs (English thyme, lemon thyme, striped sage, fennel leaf), crisp sweet corn ears from Draghi with butter and smoked black sea salt, and grilled sweet red Italian peppers (stuffed with olive oil, breadcrumbs, grated Romano cheese, and tofu chunks). The corn seemed like the best ever. Everything did, really; we both agreed it was perfection. I wonder if it will be our last grill session of the year? If so, it was a very worthy one.
I stopped, arrested in my tracks, when I saw this leaf. The position, colors, textures and contrasts just seemed perfect.
I can’t really get a good picture that shows outside and inside at the same time, but my sedum are starting to blossom and it’s most agreeably distracting while lounging in my window seat reading The Picture of Dorian Gray: An Annotated, Uncensored Edition footnotes.
Here’s that same leaf at the top of the trail, one week later. Both pictures were taken with with my iPhone, and not enhanced. (I think it was sunnier when I took this week’s, though.)
Autumn doesn’t start until September 22nd, by the way. September does not automatically = autumn. (I am not specifically talking to you, JMT. This is just what people seem to think.) And I think LATE SUMMER is a pretty great time of year and should be given its chance to wind down, without being rushed in on by premature excitement about autumn. This early-brilliant leaf is LATE SUMMER’s beauty, if you live in New England. Yep. I’ve decided that I’m going to enjoy LATE SUMMER as much as I can, and just ignore all references to autumn until it’s actually autumn. If people want to talk about looking forward to autumn, I guess that’s okay. But acting like it is autumn will be ignored by me since I know what they are actually enjoying is the glory of LATE SUMMER. On September 22nd, I will welcome autumn. Or try to, at least. I will do my best. That’s my plan.
My portulacas look so pretty today, all bright and fluffy and varietal. I love them, and I love how I can see their cheerful colors from really far away, even though I only have a tiny patch that barely puts a dent in huge Succulent Hill. Note to Future Self: always plant portulacas, even though they’re annuals! (Adding more and more rocks to Succulent Hill is helping a lot with its hugeness and emptiness, as you can see. The large one just to the right of the portulacas is the one I couldn’t move by myself from the trail. It was 1,000,000,000 times easier with Dean’s help, and I added the two other large rocks as pals for a new grouping.)
BTW, my native Hawaiian portulaca villosa that I grew from the seeds Philip from Maui sent me are still alive and healthy looking, but they have been growing insaaaaaaaaaaaaanely slowly all summer and still aren’t big enough to flower. I planted them in mid-May, but even the tallest ones are less than three inches high. I suspect there is something about New England that isn’t compatible with them growing to maturity. Alas.
[Edit: Wow, my portulaca expert correspondent in Australia says my portulaca villosa are doing extremely well and are very healthy! He’s been reading up on Hawaiian portulaca and it seems they are generally all very slow compared to most. In fact it can take some species 2-3 years before they flower, esp. P. molokiniensis, so the other species may have a similarly slow growth rate. He even said I have a green thumb! Ha! I don’t know about that, but I’m pleased that the little guys look good. I don’t know if I can keep them alive through the winter, though…]