Nearing the summer solstice

A house wren has decided to build a nest on our front porch. I was sitting there this morning with my second cup of coffee, taking a break after two hours of serious weeding, and one of the wrens flew up with a quite large twig in its beak. It landed on the porch railing, over-balanced, dropped the twig, sang loudly and flew off. I couldn’t tell if I had surprised it, or if the twig was too heavy, or what. Funny.

morning view from the front porch, photo June 14

The daylilies are just starting, and the peonies are almost gone.

Last of the peonies with morning dew

Weeds are sprouting happily everywhere. June is the weeding month, and everything just gets greener and greener. In the evenings, fireflies make an amazing display–this year they are notably more active than the last few years. We wonder if the disease that wiped out bats has had an impact on the firefly population. From earliest light to dusk, something is happening everywhere I look. Birds fledging, nesting, singing. Butterflies, bugs of all kinds, crawly things. I love the buzz and hustle.

bug on a lamb’s quarters’ leaf with morning dew

I am not only weeding, but also building a few walls and putting down barnyard dirt and mulch. When an area gets weeded and mulched, it’s a great feeling–I know the plants and soil are improved and protected, plus it looks nice and I won’t have to weed there for awhile.

mulched garden and bench under the apple tree

Here is the slowly evolving backyard wall:

back yard wall

Here is the backyard house wren:

house wren on the telephone cable

Larkspur, evening primrose, roses, mock orange, comfrey, white clematis, lonicera, penstemon, and campanula are all in full bloom.

evening primrose

bumblebee in a rose blossom

pink larkspur

Just on the edge of blooming are the daylilies, shasta daisies, sweet peas, false sunflowers, and echinacea.

southside walkway in morning sun

Lately I’ve been making lists and wrestling with my calendar, juggling too many things. This morning I gardened for two solid hours–a gorgeous day–the whole time feeling guilty that I was not at the barn riding or inside practicing the flute. I’m thinking of putting very small, unobtrusive signs around the garden, instead of plant labels. Things like “be here now”, “guilt-free zone” and so on. Last night I said to my husband (or, maybe to myself–I think he might have been already asleep!) “Wouldn’t it be nice if all of our shoulds and obligations, and all of our self-definitions like ‘good daughter’, ‘flower gardener’, ‘teacher’ etc. could be like a suit of clothes and we could shrug it off sometimes and just go walking along free of it? No name, no identity, no obligations. Just a live body on the live planet, breathing and being.”

Bumble bee, approaching a rose


2 thoughts on “Nearing the summer solstice

  1. Exactly–why all the shoulds? It might be a habit of our times. So let’s break the cycle and enjoy what we are doing when we are doing it without thinking of what we should be doing instead. My friend calls it being present–if fact, there is a great book called Fully Present. (I was going to say, you should get it and read it, but no more “should” in our vocabulary!) Only if you want to! 🙂
    Wonderful picture of the bumble bee headed for the rose, by the way. How did you get that? And I am happy to report our house wren is happily singing away at our house, too. In the evening, we have a wood thrush out back that sings its lovely song. I am beginning to learn some bird songs! The back yard wall looks great, too. I love rock walls!!

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