Monday, August 23, 2021

Hopeful Signs

Our hot and HUMID weather has me looking for hopeful signs of cooler weather to come.  Notice I didn't say fall.  For I know that this is the time of year where many don't want to think of the summer coming to an end.  Truthfully I'm not trying to rush things along.  It's just that I have had it with our current weather situation.
Over the weekend I noticed these orange berries growing alongside the restaurant where we went for dinner.  
Hopeful Sign #1

After dinner we stopped into the garden center to look for something.  While Brett was paying for our purchases, I searched for a spot of shade in which to wait.  These mums looked totally out of place in this heat.  I can't imagine planting them this early as they will be done blooming when fall weather arrives.  Either way I am counting them as . . .

Hopeful Sign #2

Right next to the mums were these white coneflowers.
I have the more traditional purple coneflowers (echinacea purpurea).
They perform well here and the butterflies and goldfinches are drawn to them.  Many of mine have gone to seed which I will leave on the plant through fall as the finches are already daily visitors.  When it comes to birdseed I don't think you can't get much fresher than that.  So, flowers that feed the birds through fall.  You guessed it. . .

Hopeful Sign #3

Not far from those white coneflowers I found a few in orange and red tones and look what the tag says Fall is for Planting.  
So, it may not be fall and it definitely doesn't feel like fall, but perhaps a few new flowers in fallish colors will fool me into thinking the temperatures are cool and crisp.
Ha! Ha! Ha!  Very doubtful.
However, unlike the mums, these should do well now and right up until frost hits.  Sounds like another hopeful sign to me.

Hopeful Sign #4

Three new coneflowers have found their way into my garden.
Right after planting the visitors began to arrive.
Beautiful butterflies fluttering among the flowers . . .

Always A Hopeful Sign.


Thursday, August 19, 2021

On The Water

After several stormy days we were rewarded with a bright, beautiful  day.  That blue sky filled with big white fluffy clouds reminded me of summer days as a kid when the possibilities seemed endless.

When we sold our house three years ago, the boat was sold along with it.  We had a lot of fun over the years on that boat, but it was time to move on.  
One of the benefits of our new community is membership in a boat club.  Now, if we want to get out on the water, we can rent a boat for the day.

Yesterday we picked out a nice pontoon with a slide and headed out for a day on the water.

With over 500 miles of shoreline, Lake Norman offers plenty of room for exploration.  

Due to it being a weekday, the motor boat traffic was fairly light.
Perhaps that's why the sailboats were enjoying the moment.

Something very summery about a line-up of sailboats.

One of my favorite things about boating has been checking out the lakefront homes.  A few of them even had their own helicopters.

While floating in the water it was hard to resist looking for pictures among the clouds.  This one reminded me of something I'd seen previously . . .

Not the clearest picture, but hopefully you get the idea.

After our time cruising the lake, swimming (and going down that slide) it was time to head back to the marina.  I turned to look behind us and saw the sun setting over the water.  One lone cloud seemed to be heading towards the sun or perhaps it was about to plummet into the depths of the water.  I took three quick photos with my phone.  This one had that little round hole in the cloud which I thought was kind of neat.  Does anything come to mind when you see this cloud formation?

How are you enjoying these late summer days?

Monday, August 9, 2021

Summer Garden Notes


Before summer comes to an end, it seems a good time to take a few garden notes.  
Last fall we relocated the Annabelle hydrangea.  It's original home was too sunny which caused poor performance.  It now receives morning sun only and is expressing it's new location happiness in the form of profuse blooms.

When selecting it's new location, I thought placing it outside my office/laundry room window might be nice.  I am happy to report that it has made for a pleasurable work day to see the flowers along with the bees and butterflies that come to visit.  The Japanese Beetles were frequent visitors too.  Thankfully they are long gone now.

When I set up this grouping on the kitchen counter I envisioned the day I could fill the Ball jars with hydrangeas.  It doesn't take many to make a sizable bouquet.

A few more paired with Black-Eyed Susans made a cheerful centerpiece for the dining table.

The potatoes that were planted in pots here did very well.
We harvested them in June and they were delicious.
Our favorite way to prepare them was boiled until tender.  A bit of butter and plenty of fresh chopped chives sprinkled on top.
As for that squash...
When we purchased our two tomato plants in the spring I noticed a little vine coming out of one of them.  I figured it was either a cucumber or some type of squash.  It's been fun to wait and see what little surprise was in store.  So far we've harvested 5 yellow crookneck squash.  

The bees have been enjoying the purple coneflowers all summer.
Now the goldfinches are beginning to enjoy the seedheads.
For that reason I won't be clipping them off.

You can't beat the return on your investment with a pack of zinnia seeds.  One packet provided two bigs pots of colorful cheer on the patio.  They have provided countless little bouquets around the house and the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are frequent visitors.
At this point the foliage is looking a bit rough.  The hummers aren't bothered by that so, as long as they continue to visit, I will keep watering them.

A few in a vase along with a snip of coleus.
Another way to brighten the workday ; ).


This is the time of year when some people are hanging onto summer for all it's worth while others can't wait for autumn's arrival.

Do you have any thoughts on the matter??

Have a wonderful week.