Hummingbird and Thistle

moon phase Week of 07/20/2008 Good days for planting melons, cucumbers, pumpkins and other vine crops. Set strawberry plants.

This was the week I've waited for all year—the week when the yard and gardens come alive with the beautiful colors of summer. Reds, yellows and blues that are the furthest of memories in winter. I can't step outside these days without being instantly drawn to the large, lush red beds of Bee balm and the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds who feed from them.

Hummingbird and Thistle

It's hard to walk by the many blossoms in the yard without sticking my nose into them for a sniff of the sweet smells of summer. My nose is getting a good workout this week, and I rarely pass up the chance to sample all the different fragrances. I get a chance to finally reacquaint my memories of summers past, with all the different aromas that I only get to sample but one time of the year.

Picture your kitchen table with the most beautiful summer bouquet of mixed flowers placed in the center. There's nothing like the smell of fresh-cut flowers in the house. They are a wonderful way to adjust the start of your day, as the flowers greet you the first thing each morning. If you live alone, like I do, a pretty bouquet of flowers is the next best thing to come home to.

Any old vase will do, but it's extra nice to use a colorful one, or be creative and put the flowers in a pretty pitcher or coffee pot.

The dark blue glass vase on my table today was filled with a showy variety of different flowers which included Yellow coneflowers, Black-eyed Susans, Coreopsis, Lemon daylilies, Wood lilies, Bluebell flowers, chicory, red Bee balm, and pink Queen of the Prairie. So many different colors, yet they always complement each other as pretty flowers always do.

I'm thrilled to discover several black, white and yellow striped Monarch caterpillars dining on the leaves of some Milkweed plants. I miss those warm summer days when large Monarch butterflies seemed to be everywhere. Never again will I take them for granted.

The hummingbirds seem to know when my flowers are in bloom, and they come from every direction. These little mighty-mites sure add a sense of movement to an already busy yard and gardens.

Hummingbirds here and hummingbirds there. These little feathered jewels seem to be everywhere. On wings that hum, they zip around and make a tiny "tweetering" sound. Their endless display of humming power, they stop to hover and taste a flower, then zoom he's off to a lofty perch on a little dead branch in a tall, white Birch. Then stretching out a tiny leg, he rouses his feathers and shakes them in place, preening. I sigh again as he takes wing, since I know I have seen the prettiest thing. I love you, hummingbirds.

Each day, my life is filled with beautiful new things, and each day I wonder what summer will bring—a flashy new dragonfly, a slithering snake, or a stillwater muskrat creating a wake? New grosbeaks and cardinals are taking first wing, and noisily beg before they can sing. Dusk ends the day with the Whip-poor-will's song, and a chorus of crickets will all sing along.

These are the days that we should be living our lives to enjoy.

Naturally yours,

Dan

All art ©2013 Organic Valley

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