On the Last Day of Summer

IMG_0145Farewell to shadows of bluebells on white chicken coop walls…IMG_9119Farewell to pleasant afternoons hanging laundry on the line in the company of friendly toads…IMG_0150Farewell to grasshoppers, and white trumpet vines, and all other such elegant pairings…IMG_9486IMG_0042-1.jpgIMG_9596Farewell to barefoot days at the edge of the lake……IMG_0433-1.jpgFarewell to the haunting serenade of loons…IMG_9160 IMG_1023-1Farewell to daisy bouquets made by small hands, and smoky sunsets, gifts from forests burning far away…IMG_0883Farewell to cumulonimbus, those splendid, tall ships sailing by in the sea of the sky…IMG_0467Farewell to restless, flitting warblers in green, green meadows…IMG_0445IMG_0439IMG_0443Farewell to lush gardens decked in the thousand diamonds of sudden morning showers…IMG_0319Farewell to the brief, warm nights, sparkling with celestial beauty and fireflies, humming with mosquitoes…IMG_9864Farewell to all the sun-ripened berries hiding under the leaves…IMG_9806Farewell to picturesque encounters on whimsical summer evening drives…IMG_9688Farewell to all the babies, now raised and grown…IMG_9426Farewell to dancing swallowtails in ballrooms of flowers…IMG_9611Farewell, sweet summer; welcome, glorious autumn!

On the Eighth Day of Summer…

IMG_9870.JPG…my camera brought to me,

Eight buds a-bursting.

Anticipation.  My yard is full of it in the form of these hopeful swelling buds.  Each one is a neat and tidy little package, a ticking time bomb hiding the splendid explosion that’s about to happen.  I await the event eagerly, sometimes checking twice a day on my favorites.  And then I savor the miracles that come.

These are the fulfillments of my gardening hopes and dreams, the reward for all the dirt under my fingernails, for all the times my back ached from bending over to pull weeds and my neck got burned by the sun.IMG_9636.JPGIMG_9872.JPGIMG_9078-1.jpgAnticipation and its reward are very sweet.

“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8)

 

In case you missed them, here are the first day, second day, third day, fourth day, fifth day, sixth day and seventh day!

 

The Colors of Summer

IMG_4098-1.jpgWhether the calendar says so or not, the last day of August always seems like the last day of summer to me—and seeing that always makes me kind of sad.  Nothing against fall or even the coming winter, mind you.  I truly love the changing seasons.  It’s just that summer in Minnesota is somehow just a little briefer than the other seasons, and I never quite manage to get in all the swimming and fresh peaches on ice cream that I want to before it’s time to pull out the sweaters and hot cocoa again.

As sort of a solace for this, I decided to look back over my photos from the summer months to remind myself of what we did do—and in the process, I found a rainbow.  See if you can see it, too!IMG_2193.JPGIMG_3463.JPGIMG_1792.JPGRed is for ripe wild strawberries discovered along fence rows, sweet and warm with sunshine…

and roses outside of bakeries that smell of gingerbread

and poppies along the chicken coop.

IMG_4030.JPG img_2209.jpgIMG_3892Orange is for a monarch butterfly, minutes old, clinging trustingly to my wide-eyed daughter’s finger…

and the one weed in my yard that I don’t mind…

and flower arrangements in my mother-in-law’s bathroom.

IMG_1811.JPGIMG_3920.JPGimg_9624.jpgYellow is for the elegant beards of irises…

and the freckled faces of the lilies along the porch…

and the not-quite-so showy roadside weeds that nevertheless delight the avid, amateur flower-pickers in my family.IMG_2944-1IMG_2226IMG_4721.JPGGreen is for sun-dappled woodland ferns…

and black-eyed Susans not quite open…

and water droplets on nasturtium leaves.IMG_1629.JPGIMG_4065-1IMG_2420.JPGBlue is for swan families floating on riffles of water…

and plump round berries the color of the sky going plink-plunk in pails…

and bobolinks singing on telephone wires against the morning sky.IMG_4096IMG_2882IMG_2300.JPGPurple is for brilliant masses of fireweed…

and stormy skies at sunset…

and blue flags along the creek.

“You [O Lord] have established all the boundaries of the earth;  You have made summer and winter.” (Psalm 74:17)

Wild Calla Lilies

wild calla lily / rejoicing hillsI was never overly fond of calla lilies—until the summer we moved to our current home and I found them growing wild in the swamp down the road.  They quickly became my favorite new flower.  They are much more diminutive version of the cultivated versions, little white points of petals peeking out from amidst the brilliant green of arrow-shaped leaves, growing up all along the watery edges of still brackish pools.  They bloom just as the lilacs are beginning to fade, so it’s become my tradition to walk down and pick a handful of these when it comes time to replace the wilting lilac bouquet on our table.  There are so many of them in this spot, I call it the Calla Lily Pools—it’s so lovely!

“Why take you thought for raiment?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.  They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all His glory was not arrayed like one of these.”  (Matthew 6:28-29)