Thursday, September 29, 2022

My Cup Runneth Over...


Fall is off to a magnificent start here on the hill, and I am determined that we'll not be allowing a single moment of it to slip away without our being in the midst of it all.  

At day's end, it will be a front row seat for Millie and me to watch the spectacular sunsets being offered now, free for the taking. And what is that front seat, you may ask?  Well, a picture is worth a thousand words they say, so here goes...  

It's the same ole log on which we sat earlier to listen to the whippoorwills' calls, and later on, to the sweet songs of the summer tanager.  Yesterday, a late evening breeze blew across my face and ruffled my hair as we sat watching the spectacle of the setting sun.  My cup truly did runneth over...

  There was a visitor to the garden yesterday, and oh, what a beauty it was.  Even though I have already ripped out and cut back most of summer's flowers, I was happy that it found something satisfactory upon which to dine.  

Thoreau definitely had the right idea when he went to the woods to live "to learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived..."  

I sketched and painted in watercolors this young naturalist, thus adding another entry in the Journal that seems to go on forever.  He seems to be quite young here, but then he would for he died a young man.  He is well-dressed here even though he scorned wearing fine clothing.  Of course, he would not be wearing such a fine suit there at water's edge on Walden Pond.  

Hubby mentioned the other day that he needed to move the old dead log.  I will admit to cringing a bit, but I know it needs doing.  Maybe he will leave a piece of it of just the right height for my sitting.  

I know this old hill is a place I have photographed before...but even now I must do it again and again.  Each picture seems different in one way or another from all the others.  It is a place that I love.  

"The way I'd like to go on living in this world wouldn't hurt anything.  I'd just go on walking uphill and downhill, looking around, and so what if half the time I don't know what for ~"

                             ~Mary Oliver

Friday, September 23, 2022

Autumn Equinox...


Before yesterday, it had been many days since there had been a descent one for getting outside to work in the gardens.  Eighty degrees versus 97 degrees is a mighty big change, and we loved it.  And even more wonderful is that it happened on the Autumn Equinox.  

It was a fabulous, oh-so-much-cooler, walk over the hill.  There was a cow with a new-born calf, a good distance away, and wild turkeys in the path we walk.  I was happy that Millie didn't frighten them away. 

Migration really is in full swing. here. Yesterday, there was a big gathering of Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers on the power lines. I knew something was up, so I Googled them and  read that they fly through Texas to Mexico and Central America, sometimes in great numbers, where they spend the winter.  I am sure our long-tails are somewhere today between here and Texas.  

A few late hummingbird stragglers are still hanging out here ~ perhaps trying to fatten up a bit more before making their long journey.  After having pulled out all the old zinnias, I saw one little hummer hovering over the old patch.  I am sorry little bird!  

Many of my favorite books are children's books.  Along about now every year, I get the notion to reread one of my favorites which has a lot to do with migration.  My fifth graders loved "My Side of the Mountain," by Jean Craighead George.  It's the first book in a trilogy.  The third book, "Frightful's Mountains" really gets into migration.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Navajo Harvest Rug and the Last Bale 2022...


I missed posting my favorite full moon of the year, September's Harvest Moon, but it still seems appropriate here with "The Last Bale."  It was glorious!  (And so was Jupiter!)

And, for the journal there is my own sketched version of a Navajo Harvest Rug done in watercolors.

From the Web, of course.  And, worth every penny of $2500, don't you think?  (But not in my budget!)

Field Notes:

Date: September 20, 2022

Time:  3:19 P.M.

Temperature: 97 degrees F.

Event:  The last bale of the season was successfully rolled and wrapped.  

Significance:  The cattle are assured of ample feed for the winter.

We are thankful!

On another note, there are lots of rolls out there to be hauled to the hay lots, but that's not in my job description.  :~)  

As for me, I am looking forward to some cooler weather so I can get the gardens, both old and new, ready for winter.  And there's the brick paver project that got put on hold last year when I broke my wrist.  I feel ready for it now and have decided to put the pavers down in the Shanty Garden where I want to expand the seating area.  

This week I did some sketching in the journal but haven't had time to do much painting.  One of my sketches that I love so much is of Omar, which I will share soon.  I wrote one of his quotes in the journal. 

"To all of us the thought of heaven is dear~

Why not be sure of it and make it here?

No doubt there is heaven yonder too,

But 'tis so far away~

and you are here.


Until next time...

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Pretties along a freshly mown trail, and more journal pages...


Now 151 walks

Butterfly Weed

Passion Flower

I loved Hannah Hauxwell's story so much ~ imagine that she showed up here in watercolor.  I have a long waiting list for those who want to be here.  :~)  Ha Ha!

Hannah's book is one that  I am keeping on my shelves ~ Hannah Hauxwell with Barry Cockcroft.  Also included in my copy are Seasons of My Life and Daughter of the Dales.  

"It's my favorite place, here...down the new road through the iron gate.  I stand here and watch the seasons come and go.  At night the moonlight plays on Hunder Beck...and the waters sing a song to me...

I know this place will always be loyal to me.  If I have nothing in my pocket I will always have this.  They cannot take it away from me.  It's mine, mine for the taking, and always will be...even when I'm no longer here.  Of course, I suppose I shall have to leave here...sooner rather than later I imagine.  It will not be an easy thing to do.

But in years to come if you see a ghost walking here you can be sure it will be me."

                                                                              ~Hannah Hauxwell

For those of you who wondered, Millie's ear does not always flop forward.  Both ears tend to be up more in colder weather, so I was surprised to see this happening already.  I  think she may be wanting a new profile picture with both ears up.  I love her ears both ways, and she doesn't seem to mind if I wear one or two side ponies.  :~)

A dog is so often the answer - 

when you're lonely and need company,

or when you're tired of company and need lonely.

~Robert Brault

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

...the equal of any brush trembling with fever and emotion.


"Make your studio a sanctuary for inspiration." ~Agnes Martin.

 So, I brought the old canvas decoys from the Garden Shanty.  I like them here.  I sketched them, of course.  However, this little room is no studio.  It is a mere 10 x 11 sewing cubby.  It is close to the kitchen so I can go running when needs be.  (And, when Hubby comes in as though I have been laboring all morning over a hot, steaming cookstove. ;~)

"Do the best you can until you know better.
Then when you know better, do better."

~Maya Angelou

These little Jude Hill inspired nine-patch blocks keep popping up.  My needle is threaded.  The "trickster" here in the sewing cubby needs a place to hide.

"...period imperfection, before the days of everything being standardized and mechanized and automated, everything's done by humans by human hands, nothing is perfect and imperfection is part of history."  ~Bernadette Banner

If my count is correct there are now eighty-three finished (or almost finished) pages in the new little journal.  This little book is already not wanting to close properly because of the slightly ruffled pages caused by water coloring many of them.  (Yes, I know I should have used proper paper for this, but I wanted to use this little book because it was a gift from my granddaughter) so I have been thinking that perhaps I shall have to write more and draw less which might also be equally inspiring.  Beautiful expression with words is one of the finest forms of art, for which the great painter Vincent Van Gogh would readily agree.  He once wrote on this subject in letters to his brother.

"To put it no higher, my God how beautiful that is.  Shakespeare - who is as mysterious as he? - his language and his way of doing things are surely the equal of any brush trembling with fever and emotion."   

And, with that I decided to try recreating Van Gogh's Self Portrait here in my journal.  If I had known the sketch would turn out so well, I would have moved it farther out onto the page, so his entire hat was visible.  I was so excited about him that my brush almost trembled with fever and emotion.  :~)

August ~ almost out the door.  It has been a month of beautiful sunsets, for sure.  And we'll not be forgetting here on the hill that this month brought us much needed rain, for which we are so thankful.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Late into August...


One must be careful about stepping out to the garden for just a quick look around.  In today's case, I had wandered off leaving a cake baking in the oven.  Thankfully, I did make it back before the cake was burned, but only by a hair's breadth.

Surely, we all remember the Gilligan's Island episode in which a famed butterfly collector comes to the island in search of the rare "Pussycat Swallowtail," and the castaways try to help him find it so he will shoot his flare gun and rescue them.

Well, it wasn't the Pussycat Swallowtail that detained me in the zinnia patch just now, but close... It was a very large yellow swallowtail, and a gorgeous black one too that appeared just as large as the yellow one.  I have pictures...  

Never mind that the zinnias have taken over the garden which is not going to work.  They need a room of their own, for sure.   I, and the other plants, need space too, so there is much planning and work to be done before the summer tanager returns next spring to sing another song.  

It was coincidental that the subject of yesterday's journal post was the Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly.

The out-of-control zinnia patch...

It has been sheer craziness at the hummingbird feeders the past few days.  I have pictures, but it is hard to capture such chaos.  I focused on only three of the feeders, but there are eight more, so one can imagine.