Sunday, August 31, 2008

Summer's still here

Yesterday's excitement was a hummingbird's extended visit to our butterfly bush. I think she might be nesting nearby. The last caterpillar disappeared on Friday. I am hoping that they all went off to pupate safely and will emerge later this month as 5 lovely butterflies.

Meanwhile, the yellow squash (Early Prolific Straightneck) keeps producing. The one plant is about right for our squash-eating pace.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer in the backyard

I've neglected this blog, but I've been inspired to revisit it as part of a convergence of interests: knitting and ordinary nature. By "ordinary" I mean what's here next to us wherever we are, visible every day if only we look.
So where does the knitting come in? Well, I've started reading Michele Rose Orne's book Inspired to Knit. Her designs are a bit frou-frou for me, but her process intrigues me enough that I've joined the related knitalong. The idea is to create our own seasonal "mood boards", starting with summer, with a view to using them as inspiration for our own knitting designs . She suggests collages of things torn from magazines, found objects, etc. I just took my coffee out to the back step and sat a while.
Here's what I've noticed so far:
  • Summer here is hot. The strong sunlight calls for strong colors--zinnia shades, not sweet pastels.

  • At this point in the summer everything is overgrown.
  • There are beautifully striped black swallowtail caterpillars on the bronze fennel, and all sorts of bees on the mint blossoms.

  • Butterflies in flight include Eastern swallowtail, Cabbage white, Buckeye, various skippers.

  • Flocks of goldfinches (more black and yellow!) visit the zinnias for the seeds.