Our feature photo this season is of the trumpet vine, blooming at its peak at the end of July. This tough old vine has weathered the summer well and is still producing enough blooms to attract hummingbirds and bees. It has been entertaining to observe them all summer, along with other residents passing through, including the visiting black-tailed buck below, who discovered the bird feeder was easy feed. He seems to have moved on. The photo was taken through the window, and is not very clear, but shows him caught in the act of eating fallen seed.
Summer moved along far more quickly than I have ever known it to do in my life. In early June, Rick drove me to the ER for what I thought might be severe flu or possibly covid, and found out to my surprise I was having a heart attack, an STEMI, sometimes called a “widowmaker”. I remember watching Rick’s face as we were given the news in the ER, his eyes widening like the Sifaka in a video I once saw where a Sifaka youngster, in an effort to free himself, bites the tail of the adult, who has inadvertently pinned the youngster down. The adult did not move at first, but the eyes got very, very wide. Unfortunately, I cannot find the footage, and don’t remember which nature program aired the original segment. I was quickly whisked away by ambulance to a bigger hospital with a catheter lab. The catheter lab team did their job well, saved my life and implanted a stent in my right coronary artery. I spent a few days in the hospital, and came home to recover and get back on my feet. Having survived cancer 12 years ago, I remember thinking that was a life changing experience. I would say that for me, this recent event has exceeded that experience. We all come stamped with an expiration date, not readable by the normal person. Fortunately, mine has not come up, yet, and I continue to wake up on the correct side of the ground. A good friend back east set up a GoFundMe page to help defray medical bills not covered by commercial insurance.
Many things got away from me this season, though I will attempt to present the highlights as they have flown by, mainly in pictures. I have not felt very motivated to write, though I have made daily observations for myself. I feel a need to rest and readjust, much like a field left fallow in an off year between crops. The productivity will be better later on.
May is the most colorful month here, and this year was no exception. A long, cool and wet winter and prolonged cool and wet spring that continued into early June contributed to a slightly late but profuse showing of blooms, and rainbows. Most of my photos for this post were taken in May.
June passed by in a blur for reasons stated earlier. I was pleased to find a pair of leopard slugs (Limax maximus) rendezvousing on the door jamb of the garage. Although they are not native, they are predatory slugs, and can move considerably faster than the other non native slugs that patrol the farm looking for tasty produce to eat. Being from New England where we only had “little grey” slugs, I still find all these giant Pacific Northwest slugs fascinating.
July was another month that passed quickly. I went back to playing music out, sufficiently satisfied with my progress.
At the Albany Farmers’ Market, Ima Bluberry, in support of Oregon Blueberries, was there greeting customers in her blueberry costume. She was kind enough to pose for a photo.
Queen Anne’s Lace provided beautiful umbrels to enjoy, and are still blooming.
August, the hot and very dry month, was not quite as hot as expected, although we have had a number of days in the 90s. There were enough clouds to make some interesting sunrises and sunsets, though nothing quite like spring and fall skies.
We have mainly been spot watering, the good old bucket brigade, using a sprinkler only as needed to keep the gardens and plantings alive and not use too much water, which is becoming a scarcer resource out here in the PNW. I noted the other day that one of the crabapples sported a new cluster of blooms alongside fruit. I also found the same on one of the large apple tree this morning. Both trees bloomed normally in the spring – this was a very limited second blooming – and I am not sure why this has occurred. Click on any photo in this post to enlarge.
Thank you for reading down this far! My music schedule is filling up again, and I am booked into 2023. If you happen to be in the neighborhood of where I am playing, please do drop in and say hello.
I leave readers with an old Irish blessing. Until we meet again.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand