Saturday, August 1, 2020

Mosaic Monday #91: Savoring Summer

Shaking my head in disbelief, I begin to pen this post about July 2020.  How can it already be August 2?  If you’re like me, August rouses memories of back-to-school shopping, and last-minute attempts to collect on all of summer’s unfulfilled promises.  A few days ago, I was weeding along the roadside, and a neighbor paused to chat while walking her dog.  She listed the summer visitors she had been hosting, and then switched gears to describe the fall activities for her kids.  “And then it will be Christmas,” she said.  It might have been the heat and the dazzling sun, but I almost passed out.  Christmas?  Stop the bus, I want to get off!  It feels like summer has just arrived, and it may disappear again with the blink of an eye.  Even Whitefish Mountain Resort joined the conspiracy by sending out an invitation for past employees to re-apply for winter positions.  Really?  So, this post is my deliberate attempt to drag my feet, to savor summer, to deny that fall is around the corner. 

It has been a full month, when I pause to reflect.  Three hikes plus one over-night camping trip.
  Several doctor’s appointments (all is well) and a lengthy visit to the dentist for a crown.  Volunteering at the museum.  Coffee chit-chats and kayaking with my Dear Neighbor Friend.  Ongoing job search support with #1 Son.  And of course, joyful intervals in my beloved garden.  Activity seemingly makes the hands of the clock launch into overdrive.  Occasionally, I long to simply lounge on the deck, gazing out on the beauty right in front of me.  When these feelings occur, I rationalize that the season of “lounging” will come of its own accord, when I can no longer be so active.  And I jump back into the fray!

Non-human animals have it much simpler, and maybe we (you know I mean me) would be wise to take some lessons from them.

First: take a nap in the heat of the day (not my strong suit)

Second: Eat well (A+ on this one thanks to Head Chef)

Third: Avoid predators (in my case, it's mosquitoes and ticks that threaten my health, and dare I mention the c-word?)

On July 21, I was working in the garden and the badger strolled within 5 feet of me.  I was caught by surprise and didn't get him on video.  But wouldn't you know he stuck around most of the afternoon, apparently hunting chipmunks, and for your viewing pleasure, I have two videos below.  Don't worry, no death and carnage in either one.  But if you watch the second one closely, you will see a chipmunk escape the foliage and run under the deck, literally under my feet and then the badger follows.

Fourth: Hang out with buddies (COVID has put a bit of a kibosh on this; I've relished my coffee/kayaking dates with Dear Neighbor Friend, and we invited a couple for dinner on two separate occasions.) 

Our back forty is a popular location with the swallows given the lake and the multitudes of flying insects that congregate there.  A dead aspen has become a gathering spot for the swallows, until something triggers them to all take off at once, as you can see in this video below.

Fifth: stay hydrated (I don't have any animal pix for this one.  And I don't think alcohol and coffee count toward the 90 ounces of liquid I ought to be drinking ... maybe I should move on ....)
Sixth: look after your offspring (this is a joy, not a "task".  We are so excited #1 Son is moving to Montana while he continues his job search, and #1 Daughter and her boyfriend are visiting in August.  The family reunited!)
July is the month when most plants in Montana progress rapidly from leaves to blooms to seeds.  As many times as I have walked our property and the surrounding land, I still make new discoveries.  And I rejoice in seeing old favorites as well.

My garden is also flourishing; you can expect another post on that soon.  For now, I am tickled “yellow” with the success of the yellow penstemon since in previous summers it seemed weak and prone to insect infestations.  Sometimes, gardeners have plants that tend to crowd out others, and we have to actively restrain them.  I am not quite ready to do that with the coreopsis (the yellow plants in the pictures below), but I can see the time is coming.  Just look at how prolific they are and all from three plants at the time the landscaping was installed.

I have managed to tear myself away from the outdoors long enough to draw a birthday card for a close friend in the UK, and for my father-in-law.  Note: if you are planning to send anything overseas, allow plenty of time.  Two weeks passed before my friend received her drawing, and it was three weeks for my father-in-law.  Yikes!  I was also proud and honored to have my Violet Protest square included in a display of Montana-made squares at Honey’s Café in Red Lodge, Montana.  Organized by Maggy Hiltner, the installation features 24 squares that will be forwarded to Phoenix to join squares from all over the U.S. for the main Violet Protest organized by Ann Morton.  My second square is halfway complete and will be ready in time for the November 15, 2020 deadline.  You can still participate!

No summer is complete without a “campfire” and S’Mores.  As faithful readers know, I always take the makings for S’Mores on our camping trips, so this summer “promise” has been partly fulfilled.  But you may be shocked to learn that we had not yet used our firepit this summer!  That was rectified last weekend, and at the end of the night, Spousal Unit said “We need to do this more often.”  In Montana, it’s never too hot in the evening for a fire – as soon as the sun begins to dip, the temperatures drop dramatically and the stars blink on.  You are likely to spot several satellites tracing their way across the sky.  Night sounds are distinct, and identifying them (or letting your imagination run wild) is entertaining.  That evening, we saw a crane fly up from the lake and land at the tippy-top of a pine tree some distance from our house.  So special. 

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, what remains on your wish list for the summer?  I am dreaming about swimming, attending an outdoor concert, and a picnic at the lake.  Oh, and definitely more ice cream!

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time). 
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog. 
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back. 
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by. 
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully. 
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 

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  1. ...and I'm longing to see more butterflies, I'm basically a simple guy!

  2. Such a fun post! It was nice to see all of those critters and that badger moves pretty quick. Of course the food looks terrific. Have a fun August!

  3. Hi, in the first row of your flowers, is it Linnea Borealis? I love that flower, so small an delicate. This summer I could not find any. :( I was sad, since childhood I was soo proud that a gorgeous little flower had my name. Linnea is my second name. :)
    Wishing you a great week :)

  4. Summer days are all too short. I'm not ready to begin thinking about autumn quite yet, but it's coming soon. Your photos are beautiful and what great videos of the critters that live around you.
    We're going camping this week and I'm looking forward to some hikes.

  5. Love seeing that badger. So cool and scary. Those critters around you are entertainment for sure. Haha about your hydration choice. Looks good to me. If anyone will you will get all you can out of summer. My mother would give your resident chef an A+. Happy August to you!

  6. Stopp the bus I often think, Angie. At last I read in another comment: the year is over! What a sentence? We have a hot summer, blooms and fruits around ... of course we have Corona. But it's August, there are holidays and we can (!) enjoy this - if we like. My dear husband and myself enjoy this moments together so much without a thought, what will be next.

    Stay healthy and well.

    Happy MosaicMonday

  7. Beautiful summer in your “neck of the woods.” I have always hated that back to school ads try to turn August into an Autumn month. Everywhere we’ve ever lived, it is the height of summer . Why rush through any season, especially summer? ....Much of the rest of your post seems as if you are writing from a different planet than the one I live on. The (new) “c”word is still a huge consideration for us here and we socialize with nobody but family. ...( oh but of course the love of eating well and the love of family are the same on both our planets!). It will be lovely to have your whole family together for a while! A perfect August, no matter what season it is! Thank you for hosting.

  8. We are just trying to remain happy and healthy this summer, Angie. A lot of our neighbors are acting like a pandemic isn't happening and Colorado's covid numbers are sadly rising as a result. My post is much like yours--what's been happening at our home after as very quick June and July--and a different kind of wildlife visiting our area. Your home looks beautiful with it's wildflower meadow surrounding it! Enjoy August and stay safe and healthy!

  9. A lovely reflective post, Angie! You are surrounded by beautiful scenery and the camp-fire looks so inviting.

  10. Hello,
    It is hard to believe it is August, where id June and July go? I would love to see a Badger, just not in my garden. Your flowers are beautiful, what a lovely sight. Eating S'Mores while sitting around the firepit sounds great to me. Love the swallow video, they should take care of some mosquitoes. Thanks for hosting, take care and stay safe! Enjoy your day, have a happy new week!

  11. I like your list of lessons from the critters! I think I'll write these down! I could learn something from nature...for sure! And your home is so beautiful in the summer months with flowers and grasses so pretty. I'm amazed when people talk about the things they've done this summer. I'm glad we've had our hikes close to home...they've kept me sane! Happy August! Thanks for the party.

  12. What a wonderful post this is, Angie. It definitely cheered me up as we are entering into Stage 4 (Disaster State!) restrictions here in Melbourne's lockdown. Thank goodness for our garden and the Parklands within walking distance where we are allowed to exercise for an hour each day!

  13. PS: Thank you for hosting, Angie, and for your kind comments on my posts, week after week. Much appreciated.

  14. Top of the morning Angie! I'm with you, dragging my feet, HOW can it be August??? With the lockdown I still feel like I'm waiting for Spring and all that it entails. Not moving forward into dare we say it, Fall. My gosh! But I did love your post and the 'taking clues" from nature. Oh if only I could nap like my kitties. Happy day, the family together again! Blessings and health to you and Spousal unit.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

  15. Angie, I am so glad you were up high when the badger go close! I guess sharing your yard with critters goes with out saying. Lovely post! Sylvia d.

  16. Love to catch up with all your daily life activities when you post your monthly roundup, we keep debating whether or not to buy a freestanding fire pit, it's definitely on the cards soon I think, so cosy and it means we'd be able to enjoy being outdoors for longer when it gets chilly.
    Happy MM and thanks again for being a super host.

  17. Yummy food and breezy, summer photos. I love the first butterfly shot. So pretty.

  18. So many good things! That fire pit photo is really cool. I'm still waiting to go out for ice cream with freshly made waffle cones. I'm hoping maybe tomorrow!

  19. Wonderful to see the wildlife around you and in the garden. Enjoy your summer and the nights by the fire pit. Lovely to see the plants flourishing and flowering.

  20. Good morning Angie - I am savouring your post and your 'lasts'of summer. I feel like summer has completely passed me by being stuck in Asia due to the c-word.
    Without any reference to the European summer, nor an Aussie winter, I have enjoyed your garden instead. The videos are a lovely peek into your world - what a driveway and garden! I domiss nature as well as summer! Oh to have a firepit and be a tad chilly.
    Don't get me wrong I am very blessed with my Thai life, now like your swallows, I'm flying off! Byeeeee :)
    Have a lovely week and thank you for hosting.
    Wren x

  21. I don;t know what happened to my comment yesterday. It looks like you have had a busy week. Your garden looks so beautiful, and your cabin set in that scenery is wonderful. Do you ever tire of the views? I don't think I would. The doe and fawn are so delightful. A bit like having kangaroos come into my son's property. We can't have a campfire in summer though, do to fire bans, but we love to have a campfire, when we can, when we go camping. Stay safe, have a good week, and thank you again for the link up.

  22. I love your place. If I didn't live in a float cabin I would love to live in a home like yours. July was busy in a quiet sort of way for us. After four and a half months of self isolation in Bellingham we opted for two weeks of strict quarantine (with federal and provincial officials checking up on us) to return to Canada and our home. It was worth it, though. I almost forgot how wonderful life at the cabin was, but not quite. My garden is a mess after almost a year of no attention. I've made a dent in it, but only work on cool days or in evenings after the sun goes behind the hill. - Margy

  23. I love your meadow, Angie. The badger may have found home among your wildflowers. I don't blame him. It looks so comfy-cozy, a place to wiggle my toes and snooze. Zzzzzzz.
    How exciting to have your square displayed. Whooo-hoooo! I looked up the Violet Project. It sounds very interesting. I might do it.
    It's a bit hot at the moment, I shall take your cue and get some ice cream. Cheers, Angie!

  24. I'm jealous. Most of the things I wanted to do this summer were cancelled or just too risky. Of course, it could be worse, and I get out to parks when they aren't too crowded (ie, not on a Saturday). Have a good week.

  25. Dear Angie - Fall comes in your mountain earlier than my place. I can’t think fall is around the corner, but wait, when top summer comes, then fall is not far behind? I'm not a summer person but summer is not all that bad even if it’s too hot and humid like tropical. This summer I’ll stay home as COVID-19 situation is worsening in my country. Enjoy your summer which looks to be eventful. Last but not least, thanks for hosting. I’m happy to be part of Mosaic Monday. See you.


  26. Good afternoon, how are you? I am Brazilian, from Rio de Janeiro and looking for new followers for my blog. And I will follow yours with pleasure. New friends are also welcome, no matter the distance.

  27. A badger on the drive, fantastic, love it. Beautiful pictures Angie.

  28. Oh your post and photos of summer are wonderful and glad you are enjoying each moment so well ~ ^_^

    Live with love each moment ~

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  29. Well Angie. It might be more accurate to say “Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun”?

    You have a very busy schedule and a full life. Just reading your blog makes me wonder how you find time for all of that stuff you do.
    I agree with most of tour recommendations apart from avoid predators as the nearest we have is the common Wasp.

    Most of all I agree with eating well and varied, in fact if I had a fire pit I would be cooking our chicken and chorizo sticks on it tonight. Instead it’s the jolly old grill pan. Wish me luck.

  30. A wonderful post Angie. Where did all the time go this year, he months are flying by. I enjoyed seeing that badger, something you don't see everyday at least not here. Great photos and thanks for sharing.

  31. Well you certainly have a lot going on alright!! That badger is wonderful. I've seen them in the wild in Idaho while fishing, a long time ago. Fascinating critters.
    My summer is not near as exciting. We are getting ready to take the kid back to college late next week.

  32. Good night. Congratulations on your blog. The nature photos you have uploaded are beautiful and impressive, arousing the desire to know. Thank you for visiting my blog and I would like to have the privilege of you being my follower, in case you are obliged for the affection and attention.

  33. Great post, so many good things to see.
    That last photograph is just beautiful and peaceful.

    All the best Jan

  34. It takes a while to get through one of these posts, Angie, and take it all in! Lotta good stuff in here.

  35. Oh yes, if only the world could tear out a few pages from a dog's or kitty's book. They do know how to chill and be still, don't they. =) Your summery place, your gorgeous home and garden is a delight to the eyes. How sad that summer will soon be leaving you. will be replaced with glorious autumnal hues...and the snow that you love so much. Love that fire pit of yours!!


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