Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Solace

On Sunday, E and Z kept asking when the "Summer Solace" would be. I like that term--I get a great deal of solace from summer, don't you?
Despite the actual Summer Solstice being on Monday, we observed it all weekend and did lots of summering.

Saturday morning, C repaired the deck, which had a number of rotten boards, after Z's leg went through one of the larger holes Friday night. While replacing a board, he briefly exposed this nest of five baby phoebes. Their parents like to hang out on our clothesline, dip-dipping their tails.

We spent all afternoon at the lake (no photos--had so much fun didn't even think of taking pictures!) It was super windy, but the water was warm, with big waves. We came home and made pigs in the blanket with local, organic hot dogs I found at the farmer's market and homemade bread dough, along with a pasta salad with fresh peas from the garden. In keeping with my Picnicing summer resolution, we ate outside, the boys at the picnic table I just bought them with money their great grandmother sent for their birthdays.

We spent Sunday at home, basking in the summery-ness of it all. The boys played wiffle ball and had a huge water fight. I refreshed my kitchen window sill for summer (previously it held several vases filled with wilted and gone-to-seed flowers sitting in foul-smelling water):

(the blown glass vase was my Mother's Day present from M)

and the nature table, which had gotten dusty and cluttery:

(Snail from Syrendell; beaver by Grandpoppy).

I finally started a flower garden, having "meant to" for the last nine years. I have a small, extremely weedy shade garden, and some Siberian iris and daylillies just stuck in along the edges of the "yard" along the woods, but I just never have been able to get around to planting a whole garden (I'll blame babies). My neighbor gave me a grocery sack full of iris on Friday and forced the issue.

Once when C and I were camping in the Pawnee National Grasslands in north-eastern Colorado, we saw this interpretive sign that said, "Grass don't grow upside down," which apparently was the Native American commentary on the settlers' attempts to plow the shortgrass prairie to grow crops. I made this garden on the same principle, just turning the clumps of sod over, rather than trying to shake all the dirt out of the roots. I'm hoping "grass don't grow upside down" in Maine, either.

I didn't take a "before" picture, but this is the area one "terrace" below; which is about what my garden looked like. Eventually this will be full of flowers (another neighbor and a co-worker have both offered me all the perennials I can cart away, so I better get busy).

C and M biked to the General Store in the afternoon to load up on junk food, and I spent some time in the hammock, listening to a thunderstorm roll in. For dinner we enjoyed (OK, some of us enjoyed) a Mexican feast cooked in the solar oven, that I'll tell you about later this week.

How did you celebrate the Summer Solace?


  1. Sounds so lovely. We cleaned the house and had the Quakers over or a backyard picnic.

  2. Love "summer solace." Despite the heat, it really is such a solace to be able to tromp outside at any hour without the bundling of fleece and down garments, to take an after-dinner walk at 8pm, to picnic and explore nature. Solace.

    And those phoebe babies! It's such a blessing that a Mama bird sees your property as fit for child-rearing. (we have invasive house sparrow babies on ours - which I'm *trying* and failing, to see as a blessing).

  3. a free flower garden (i mean, minus the manual labor) - yay!!!

  4. Summer Solace--that is so cute. Our summer really does bring solace since we both get such a long break from work. Love the nature table and newly freshened window sill. We need to do that too.

  5. What a great post! Thank you for featuring the Syrendell snail. It looks right at home! :)


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