Tag Archive 'summertime'

Aug 11 2022

Profile Image of Walt

The Shock of Late Summer

Filed under Blog Post

Yesterday I noticed the white wood asters in bloom in my back yard and felt the shock of late summer. Is it really that time of year already? I have just gotten used to running around barefoot, in a t-shirt and shorts. It seems like the warm season idle just began.

Judy and I sat in Taylor Park yesterday, listening to a concert as the sun sank slowly in the west. The air temperature was a perfect 70 degrees and flowers bloomed in the small garden before us while children scurried about. A few hours before that I had lounged in the shade on my patio, feeding a resident chipmunk and watching hummingbirds at the feeders while I read a book. At the start of each day, I open up the house, allowing a gentle summer breeze to waft through our living room. And every day is a good day – even when temps shoot into the 90s, even when it rains. Summertime is a prolonged dream.

Strawberries, a long hike through the shady forest, a dip in a mountain stream, corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes, birdsongs all day long, cotton ball clouds in a blue sky, wildflowers and a leafy green everywhere –– the simple joys of this season just keep coming. Then suddenly there are wood asters, goldenrod, and the shelves of stores are stocked with back-to-school supplies.

Yes, I have noticed the subtle shortening of daylight hours but have chosen to ignore it. Yes, I’m well aware that autumn has its own delights, but I’m not ready to let go of summer just yet. I am still in a summertime frame of mind. And the remaining month of it always feels more precious than the previous two.

The days slip by, the months, the years… I’m at that point in my life where life itself feels precious. I am shocked by the passage of time. Was the last summer camp with our grandkids really five years ago? Has it actually been over a decade since my hike through the 100-Mile Wilderness? Have 40 years gone by since my arrival in Vermont? This all comes as a surprise to me.

Even the long days of summer aren’t long enough. Life is short. There’s no time to lose.

No responses yet

Jul 09 2020

Profile Image of Walt

Judy’s Hummingbirds

Filed under Blog Post

With the pandemic raging, Judy and I have been spending a lot of time in our backyard lately. Oh sure, I’ve been getting into the woods some. Earlier this week I hiked into the Breadloaf Wilderness to find a camping spot that I intend to use in a week or so, and I’ve done a little trout fishing to boot. But with hummingbirds visiting on a regular basis, our backyard seems like the place to be.

For years Judy and I have tried to attract hummingbirds, but only this year have we succeeded. Judy brought home a couple large hanging plants with red, tubular flowers. We hung them from wrought iron shepherd’s hooks not far from our patio, along with a couple feeders. We displayed all this early in the season, and Judy has been diligent about keeping the sugar water in the feeders fresh since then. Lo and behold, the hummingbirds came! First they came once or twice a day, then all day long.

Living a few miles outside of town, with our home backed up against some woods, we’ve had plenty of other visitors as well. Barred owls hoot in the evening and have flown across our yard a couple times. A flock of turkeys passes through daily, taking whatever grubs they can extract from our grass. Woodpeckers and various songbirds visited our feeders in early spring. Deer, skunks, raccoons, garter snakes, dragonflies, toads, field mice – we have plenty of visitors. But the hummingbirds are something else.

What is it about these little creatures that make them so attractive? Is it the sheer beauty of their iridescent feathers, the way they hover in mid-air, or the sheer speed in which they come and go? Whatever it is, hummingbirds captivate us – not just Judy and me but a good number of people. Go to any hardware store and you’ll find a wide variety of hummingbird feeders there.

I have every intention of getting in the woods again very soon, midsummer heat or no. But I won’t expect to see as many creatures up close and personal as I do in my backyard. The hummingbirds now feed while Judy and I are sitting on the patio only a few feet away. And that feels pretty special.

Comments Off on Judy’s Hummingbirds