September and October are my favorite months. The 'Heavenly Blue' morning glories claim their glory. The basil thrives; the bumblebees visit every tiny blossom. On the porch, the Argiope spiders spin their doilies of lace. The loons move from the inland lakes and ponds and take up life in John's Bay. During the night, I wake to their haunting calls. In the morning, we watch as the male and female, never far apart, dive for fish and nuzzle into the sea, eyes just above the water line.
The hummingbirds left early this year. Normally they leave mid-September, but by the 2nd of September, the group of 4 who fought over the feeder had already left. I still keep the feeder filled with fresh sugar water (4 parts water to one part sugar) to help those hummers migrating south. First they're lured to the porch by the brilliant blooms of morning glories, cypress vines, and Verbena bonariensis. Once they're near they realize that a hummingbird feeder awaits.
This is half of my pitiful, yet incredibly tasty "crop" (I use that word loosely) of tomatoes.
The feeders are a blur of wings, chattering, comings and goings of visitors and migrants.
The goldfinches give me so much joy–their plaintive callings, their lilting songs, the way the young beg, ruffle their feathers, and beg their parents for food. They'll probably leave us this week, and I will so miss them. I wish them safe passage south.
The chickadees are always here. Their eastern call of "feeeeed me, feeeeed, me" and their chittering conversations are a comfort to me.
Oops, well, I'm not a good photographer, but this profile is of the red-breasted nuthatch. I love the nuthatches and the way they travel down the tree branches and search the bark for insects. Their "yank, yank, yank" call is unmistakable. Last week one of the nuthatches would land on the feeder, extract a black oil sunflower seed, then fly to the porch rockers. I watched as he secreted sunflower seeds in the loops of the woven seats and in the cracks of an old basket. He would no sooner tuck away the seeds than the red squirrel would hop onto the chair and steal them.
Jeff's morning chore.
The mourning dove is grateful.
You can barely see the vociferous and demanding family of two adult crows and three babies who keep us in laughter. I talk to them and call them, and they all fly to the red oak, ride the branches, and set up the loudest cacophony. I talk to them; they answer. They love the treats I carry in my pockets. I think they're spoiled.
Another September blessing is my dear pal Lynn Karlin, one of the best photographers I know. Lynn did the books Maine Farm, Gardens Maine Style, and Gardens Maine Style Act ll. They're gorgeous books. This shot was taken in Lynn's tiny (and honest) kitchen in her camp "Three Bears." The camp was built in about 1906 and sits on the edge of a large, quiet, and magical pond.
This is the dock. Can you see the big wheels?? Lynn and Barry roll it out of the water at the end of the season.
Where we shared a fabulous and simple supper of fresh Maine fare.
My favorite place to sit when I am inside Lynn's cabin.
The apples are ripe at Clark Cove Farm. I printed out the apple crisp recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Mennonite Girls Can Cook, and used it twice in the past week. I ran out of oats for this one and topped the crisp with the walnuts, etc., but in place of oats, I used ginger snaps. Just crushed them with a rolling pin and added them to the nut, flour, brown sugar mixture. This was fabulous and enjoyed by all.
Last night some friends from Los Osos, California, came for dinner. Mother Nature decided to put on a show for us. What could be a better September blessing?
Thanks for your visits and wonderful e-mails. I loved learning about the student from Tokyo who took my books home with him. I loved seeing photos of your gardens and photos of children who once attended my faerie festivals and are now all grown up and gorgeous.
Please stop by my newest blog posting at Lowe's Garden Grow Along. It is titled "Can Plants be Happy." One of the photos is of my ever busy potting bench. The two wash tubs beside my bench were purchased at an antique shop in Illinois. Nothing is ever easy. Jeff had to take it all apart to fit it into our already crammed car. When he reassembled it in California, he ran water to both sides of the tubs so I can pot plants, soak them, and work on them with water handy.
Sending love from Maine,
P.S. Jeff and I finished Comfort Found Literary Lodging at 11:15 the night before our first guests checked in. We promise to post photos, but I left my camera at a friend's house, and it is being mailed back to me today. It was a true labor of love, but phew, what happened to summer?????