Thursday, August 03, 2017


A gray, stormy buggy muggy day. Yes, I do understand: it cannot be a daily bill of blue skies and cool summer breezes. Still, I almost decide not to clean the garden. I have a "what for..." attitude!

Then I remember that tomorrow I most likely will not have time to clean the garden and the weekend looks rather mad as well, so out come the mosquito pants, the jacket, the hood and bucket in hand, I tell myself -- oh, just a few... Which always leads to a complete job because once you start, why stop?

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Besides, the spent lily count is once again going down (364 today) which means that the wilted blooms are more visible if you let them dangle, but on the upside -- it takes less time to snip them off.

Let me put up a quad of closeups, just to give August colors some prominence here:

(red-faced, with beads of rain on their pretty petals!)

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(blushing a more delicate pink -- a rare modesty for an August garden)

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(I think of these as screamy mimis!)

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(tall and sophisticated)

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Alright, I am so glad I did my work! A view over the Great Bed:

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A view toward a corner of the porch:

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And finally breakfast with Ed and no, he is not surly, even though he surely looks like the guy who doesn't like his granola today.

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Let's cheer him up with a view from the porch onto the gardens!

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But you know who is really in a superb mood? Snowdrop. Despite the fact that we cannot do any of her favorites -- pool? forget it... it's threatening to thunder; playground? we'll have to see... -- she comes out with a zest for the day that is disarming!

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But in fact, as we set out toward the coffee shop, I see the dark clouds pushing their way in. I hurry. No lingering today, Snowdrop! Let's pick up our peach and strawberry scone and run like crazy back to the car!

She loves it. When I pause to catch my breath, she prods me -- Gaga! Run like crazy! And then laughs with all her heart at the ridiculousness of it all.

(Passing the cranes, Snowdrop always greets them and, in my best crane voice, I greet her right back on their behalf!)

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At the farmhouse, I change her in preparation for an outing she has later in the day with her mommy. She is impish and full of fun, darting away from me, finally allowing her self to be caught but only because Ed is ready with the polka music.

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And she tells me  -- look, gaga! I'm dancing without a sweater!

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Indeed, little one! You surely are in control here! And today, you are full of play! (Ahah goes after her with a wolf puppet...)

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Finally, a bit of quiet play...

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... followed by a nap.

After, well, you don't imagine the little one has forgotten about her babies, do you?
Ed wonders why it is that I encourage her "girlie play." I do laugh at that: with Snowdrop, as perhaps with many kids, you can encourage a lot of things, but a child will always have her favorites and honestly, I do not know what really fuels that love. Neither of my girls loved baby dolls. Snowdrop adores hers.

Character play (inventing stories with tiny figures) was big in their lives -- it is in Snowdrop's life as well. The girl likes to build -- but with a purpose, not for its own sake. She has infinite patience in trying to make things work and loves (more than my girls did) watching someone (Ed comes to mind) fix things. Snowdrop thinks the idea of camping is the coolest thing on the planet. My girls were never sold on that. So... what pushes a child to love one thing over the next? Sure, there's the parental (perhaps sometimes grandparental) hand, but there is something more that guides them in any given direction.

Here she is, after her nap, tending to her three babies, just in the twenty minutes or so before her mommy comes to pick her up:

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Later, much later, Ed and I motorbike over to our local farmers market. I'll not show you pics of produce, even though in this low key market, you can get many images without spectator interference. It's never crowded.

But I will return to the sandhills that we pass on out way out. (Snapped from the backseat of the motorbike.)

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These birds, in my view, are beyond beautiful. Cranes evoke for me and for many others something that is quite spiritual. Perhaps it's in the birds' movement. Or the way the bird reacts to your presence: with a touch of fear, but ultimately -- with grace.

To me, it is beyond sad that there is a proposal to introduce a crane hunt in Wisconsin. These great birds have a long life span, but they produce few offspring. The argument is that they do some damage in spring to the emergent corn crop, but hey, they also control insect populations and scientists claim that that it isn't that hard keeping them out of the fields in the fragile season.

I'm not a scientist. I can't speak knowledgeably about ways to protect this most graceful bird and the farmer's corn crop. But I do know that the crane stirs Snowdrop too: both of us regard spotting these birds in the field as a highlight of our afternoon.

Storms rumble through. Rains, thunder -- all of it. Let's end on an upnote though.  Perhaps the cranes will keep returning here. Without threat from the likes of us humans. Perhaps the bugs will recede and the rains will subside.


I mean, one has to trust that a rainbow does grace our skies every now and then and the world is a kind and hospitable place for us all.

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