Saturday, August 30, 2008

End of Summer

My daughter on her adult-sized trike bringing the berries home. As another languid summer comes to an end, I am grateful for yet another year with my family. It is all gift. We are owed nothing.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Random Moment of Beauty: Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne, Queen Anne has washed her lace
(She chose a summer's day)
And hung it in a grassy place
To whiten, if it may.

Queen Anne, Queen Anne has left it there,
And slept the dewy night;
Then waked, to find the sunshine fair,
And all the meadows white.

Queen Anne, Queen Anne is dead and gone
(She died a summer's day)
But left her lace to whiten in
Each weed-entangled way!

by Mary Leslie Newton

For more interesting facts about this lovely flower, click here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blackberry Picking

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.
-- Seamus Heaney

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer Abundance

Fruit and flowers, free gifts of the summer days... alas, coming to an end too, too soon.... This August we kept a battered basket in our entryway and made nightly strolls to collect new home decorations and fresh desserts. Even now, my children are still finding the last of the black-hued berries, and the flowers continue their riotous color in the fields.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Delightful Distraction

Forgive my lapse in posting... we have been picking blackberries. The season has now almost ended, but it was our pasttime for the past weeks of languid summer evenings....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

China Cabinet: Summer display

As blog readers know, I delight in colored glass containers. This is one case in which my photography skills limp pitifully behind the image I wanted to share with you. Next to my desk is an old gun case we converted to a china cabinet/bookshelf. I normally use it for displaying my silver. This summer I thought I would mix in my collection of blue glass mason jars, pink depression glass, a set of green-glass goblets my mother bought me, and my assortment of glass jars and flower vases. I really wish I had glass shelves to set off the colored glass to full advantage, or at least a better flash on my camera. :( However, it looks wonderful in real life, particularly as a mental subsitute for the sumptuous Ventetian glass chandelier I will never own.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's lace makes a wonderful embellishment to a girl's hair. Even a weed has a
moment of grace.