August is almost here.  It is hard to believe that summer will be drawing to a close before we know it.  The garden is in full bloom!  Lilies galore, orange, red, and yellow in varying shapes and color combinations.  Red and pink roses with different hues dotting the yard. The mallow family is stunning in its quiet presentation.  The hollyhock succeeded in blooming for the second year.  I wondered if it was strong enough to survive the winter.  Four plants made it but only one of the plants is blooming an understated yellow that reminds me of perseverance without noise.  I marvel with it everyday.  The hibiscus likes the spot we have moved it to.  When we started these plants 20 years ago the blooms were as big as dinner plates.  Now the blooms are reminders that no matter what size, there is beauty everywhere. Calendula, rudbeckia , yarrow, purple coneflower, blazing star, yellow coneflower, all join in beckoning the critters to join us on our third of an acre suburban lot.

The robin families love to use every tree, nook and cranny available.  Many of them descendants of earlier nests.  One year a robin would follow my husband around the garden waiting for a tasty grub to be tossed her way, unlike her offspring who swoops us in the garden.  This summer a tenacious mother built her nest right on some low shelves on the front porch.  Watching from our living room window, she sat patiently waiting for her 3 eggs to hatch.  Eventually two hatched, she had discarded one of the eggs.   Feeding, resting, scolding us for getting too close.  One day, though, mother and the two chicks were missing.  A tragic end, yet maybe a tasty breakfast.

The sunflowers are inviting the gold finches to devour their seeds.  The male bird’s bright yellow can be spotted anywhere.  The demure female is not so easy to see. Trying to catch them on “film” has been a challenge, I’ll just have to try to paint them.

The bees, wasps, and hummingbird moths love the fiery red bee balm/ Monarda, along with a hummingbird.  I could spend hours watching the insects and birds in our yard.  Last year I noticed a line of ants walking east across our front yard.  It was fascinating to watch them profile onward.  Where were they going?  I couldn’t determine their destination and became distracted with the task at hand.  Later here they came marching back each carrying an ant egg!  They had raided another ant colony.

I’m sitting outside as I write, listening to the birds call each other.  I hope to recognize each call someday.  Our catbirds have us fooled with their ability to mimic everything!

Mid afternoon, the cicadas are all singing, the cacaohony of sound yells that summer is in full swing.  At night it is quieter with the crickets chirping.   Walking out to the garden at dusk, the sweet heady fragrance of the flowering tobacco plant, the nicotiana, embraces everyone.

We hear the raccoons at night.  The squirrels have relocated since our fruit trees aren’t loaded with fruit.  A few wandering cats seem to frequent our yard, but the coyotes and the foxes have moved on.

Our yard in a nutshell for July …

When I Fly 2013