Blackberries and Butterflies – August’s Blessings to September’s Song

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Addendum, 7th September

The note posted a month ago re. “this blog is under construction” is being belatedly addressed due mostly to the brim-full weeks since my wish to at least post something before the adventure of my Summer got underway this eve of the Leo Solar Eclipse! Placeholders were Mary Oliver’s poem and photo of a recent and beautiful visitor. Mary’s poem remains below. Despite Labor Day’s semi-official end point to the season, sunny and pleasant weather is continuing, for this week at least, though the steadily shortening hours of daylight can no longer be denied…something that always makes me a bit wistful.

It has been a Summer abundant in gorgeous butterflies. And of particular delight was the early appearance of Monarchs starting in mid-July.  That they’ve once again become a common sight raises the hope that just possibly their population is re-stabilizing after what was an unsettling decline in recent years. Earlier this week this friendly one danced around the yard most of the day offering enchanting company. DSCN6255The blackberries in their own August abundance were harvested and juiced before I departed for my New Mexico trip. By the time I got home the elderberries were ready. The gorgeous deep red juice they yielded up makes the perfect complement to the black berries’ passionate purple and six jars of yummy jelly have been tucked into the cupboard for winter eating pleasure. Next up a jam-making session for the plump and juicy Pennsylvania peaches that are awaiting attention in the fridge. Such succulent riches!

Even my wee veggie garden has come into fullness which was somewhat in doubt early in the season after three fairly devastating “incursions” by my determined woodchuck neighbor. Once I managed to get the fence-defense right, my persistent and plucky garden slowly made fresh progress. It’s been gratifying to see it “come on”, and in the last couple weeks I’ve been enjoying kale, Patty Pan squash, Red Swan beans (such beauties!), beets, and cherry tomatoes. Tucked beneath the volunteer tomatoes and jewel weed is a single butternut squash that just may have a hidden companion quietly putting on girth.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

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