My favorite farm stand received a remodel since last year. Metal roof and siding now protect the exterior; panels mounted on the sides shelter the selection of produce from the rays of the sun. A new sign featuring a strawberry and sunflower was mounted on the side of the building.
The little spot is a cheerful site as I pass on my commute each morning and evening. I can’t resist stopping occasionally to purchase a crisp green pepper, bright yellow summer squash, or a few deep green zucchini, if I can find some slender young ones.
My only complaint about warm season squash is that most gardeners in this area feel bigger is better, but actually small squash, short of maturity, are so much more delicately flavored and tender.
When they become overgrown,zucchini squash are much better when grated for zucchini bread than when sliced and fried or mixed with pasta and lemon, my favorite ways to enjoy squash in the hot months.
But whatever is on the table, stopping at this cute little farmstand is always a pleasure. The imitation vintage linens covering the display surfaces are especially delightful.
I impulsively snapped this photo of a subject some would consider odd. But I loved the play of light and shadow on this window, the blue and green wine bottles on the sill, shaded by the reflections of breeze-swayed trees.
My mom spoke of a smoke bush she knew of as a child. I never saw one till I was well into adulthood. Now there are a few I look for every summer, on lawns of my home town.
I discovered a collection of them this year at a horticultural research facility. It was a lovely day and I was in need of a walk to stretch my muscles and de-stress my mind.
I was grateful for the refreshing summer breezes on the moderately hot day and the billowy blooms of these unique shrubs. The rounded pink, puffy clumps seemed appropriate to the spirit of the weather and of my mood as I strolled the paths of the well planned, nature focused gardens.
My brief scan of information about them tells me they are related to the sumacs. Now that I know, I can recognize the relationship, but I likely wouldn’t have guessed.
Glancing up from the gas pump, I was intrigued by the sight of these retreating storm clouds, artistically arranged, just for my enjoyment, or so it seemed.
Always a weather buff, I used to be quite fond of storms, though sometimes today, they scare me. At different life stages, the same prompts trigger varying emotions, depending, I suppose upon how vulnerable we are feeling.
If they aren’t damaging, I’ve always thought thunderstorms quite fascinating.
They don’t make hay like they used to, and that’s a good thing I suppose. Less labor, but more expense, perhaps, with the need for a more expensive baler and a tractor attachment to lift the cylinders and move them.
Plus, you can’t build forts and horses, and all manner of creations with them, as kids used to on rainy days playing inside the barn. Here’s another view that includes the house and outbuildings.
So sad that family farms are disappearing, consolidating into mega-businesses without a sense of pride and connection the land, plants, livestock, the people who purchase their products.
Watching robins hop across the lawn seems mundane to some, but for me it conjures the peace I experienced when I was a child, with nothing more pressing to do than study the details of nature playing out in the front yard.
Wherever I am, when I see the robins, a timeless species which doesn’t unnecessarily change its habits, in my mind I observe them from the window of a home that hasn’t been mine for some time.
My parents are there, my pets from that era. Cares were few back then, except for the responsibilities I invented so I would have something to attend to over summer vacation.
Some days life seems exceedingly difficult. But moments with the robins refresh my spirit. I take a deep breath of the summer scented air, and go on living, with a bit more optimism