Life as I know It

My photo
San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dancing In the Rain (ADDENDUM BELOW)

Thought for the day

"The man who does not know nature, who does not walk under the leaves as his own roof, is partial and wounded."

Winter Hours
Mary Oliver

From my perch in the studio, I look out onto the tiny potager where rain is steadily falling. Borders of alpine strawberries, scraggly a month ago, are now fulsome with new leaves and their first white flowers. No early morning nightgown stroll in the garden for me today, just a hasty run to the hummingbird feeder, back to the kitchen to scrub and fill it, and back to hang it in place. Two Anna's hummers awaited, and they weren't about to share with each other. Their clashing needle-bills look deadly, but I've never seen one hurt another.

Took this photo through my bedroom window (sorry about the screen)

I had to stop midstream and run back out to the goldfinch feeder where a few dozen American and Lesser goldfinches were setting up a hue and cry which translated to "more nyjer seeds!" and there was no mention of "PLEASE" in their conversation. I filled the tube feeder to the top, dodged the worst of the off-the-roof waterfalls, and hung it back on its hook under the arbor. I love whistling to these little visitors, who faithfully call back to me as they leave their perches on the leafless Brown turkey fig and flock to the swaying feeder.

I am so happy to have this rain soaking everything. I imagine the tiny seeds swelling below me, slowly opening, then poking their first tentative leaves into the light. In anticipation of the recent storms, I broadcast a pound of California wildflower seeds along the pathway leading to our doorway. What could be a better welcome mat for friends? The first to emerge were the dime-sized silver-blue doilies of native poppies. Next came the pinked leaves of baby-blue-eyes, clarkia, and a host of younglings, small as pins and impossible to identify for another week or so. I will watch their progress daily, but for now, I am just grateful for the blessing of rains.

The pathway to my front door. Wildflower seeds are sprouting along the way. My herb and potting shed is on the left

Terrace where I do my potting

My potting bench and supplies-to the right are my wash-tubs, which we discovered in Illinois on our trip east to Maine. I fill the right side with potting soil.

P.S. My Grandmother used to sing this little song to me on rainy days when we went outdoors to search the sidewalks for worms.

When fishes set umbrellas up
and when the raindrops come,
Lizards will want parasols
To shade them from the sun.

Okay, I'm Sharon's biggest fan and proud husband. Sharon wouldn't post this, but I will.

We just received notice that Sharon's newest book Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars received an Media Award for 2010. is part of Disney Online’s network of family-focused web sites devoted to the entire family lifecycle. iParenting Media Awards is committed to helping businesses by promoting winning titles to consumers, retailers, the media and to the editors of Disney Online properties including Disney,,,, and

Guess who's buying whom dinner tonight?


Morwenna Hill said...

Dearest Sharon
Thank you so much for sharing these lovely photos, especially the one of the hummingbird, that is truly wonderful.

Thank you for stopping by my blog again and telling me about Much ado books,I shall look them up

Love Morwenna xo

Marcie said...

I love the dappled light on your terrace. Thank you for letting me linger there for a while with you!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

OMG Sharon,
YEs!! I need to be there right now, Maine can wait until summer! It's just so gorgeous, your plants look outstanding! That pretty path, another Storybook Cottage! Sigh. I love it! Cindy

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Hello Sharon,

Those finches know the minute the nyjer seeds are gone at our place. Reading and enjoying a book you may have heard of, Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars. It's just wonderful! Also love your hummer photo. xxoo Nancy

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

What lovely, peaceful grounds. It looks very restful. I could be happy just living in the potting shed! :)

Zuzana said...

Beautiful, beautiful post! I am an avid gardener and I can so relate to everything you say. Oh, I can not wait till spring arrives again.

MYstory of HIStory said...

Such pretty pics. I plan to come back today to read more of the text here ... I have a busy morning ahead - but wanted to stop in & encourage you to indeed try that crock-pot cake!! ... and thanks to your commment, I gotta try bbq cake!! :) Whooda thunk it?! And individual cakes in mugs?? How fun! I imagine that being the gardner you are, you could even bake them in flower pots too?? hmmm....I wonder.... ;)

millhill said...

It must be the day for me to find bird stories...just read at Red Pine Mtn. about a chickadee rescue and now I get to see hummingbirds! Lovely pics of your potting area too.
Pam @ New England's Narrow Road
but I might not be allowed to sign in under that - I have difficutlty sometimes and show up as seashellsbymillhill.

Mary said...

Thanks for sharing your bird story with us. You have such a beautiful garden and walkway area. Oh, how I long for warm days (It is bitter cold in Michigan today)!

I also loved the photo of your old books...nothing like the feel and visuals of a well-loved book.

Mary :o)

Dawn said...

Your property is so beautiful have your own nursery going on there! :)
It's always such a pleasure to see your pictures and read your words...
Love, Dawn

Sharon Lovejoy said...

My dear Dawn, this is the quiet time in "the nursery," but it really gets crammed in the spring.

I live in a tiny house in a good neighborhood, but we live in the worst location possible. Right alongside a highway that only quiets during the night. But my Jeff said, "You're always preaching about planting and making your own Paradise so do it!"

Think about it. Margaret Wyse Brown lived in "Little House" on Manhattan Island. Just surrounded by huge, huge, buildings.


sarah-jane down the lane said...

Wow Sharon, what a heavenly oasis this is! I have popped in for a cup of tea to take out into the garden and am delighted a paused at the computer to discover you!

Everything here looks wonderful so I am going to have a lovely read of you this evening! Really looking forward to it!

Sarah x

jenclair said...

I want to visit your garden! What a delightful place!

jenclair said...

I just ordered a copy of Toad Cottages from Amazon!

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Loved visiting your home. Made me think of Spring and the new gardens I will be planting. I would love to have some washstands like yours. Congratulations on your new book.

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Congrats Sharon! I am savoring my copy, reading a couple of pages a day! Love all your darling illustrations!

Storybook Woods said...

Congratulations Sharon, somehow I missed your new book is already out (probably because I am so busy editing photos). I can not wait to get it. Living in WA it is rain, rain, rain right now. So I love seeing your beautiful garden. I also liked seeing your books. I collect old children's nature books, you have some beautiful ones. Clarice

maryrae said...

MR here, iParenting award! Hooray, hallelujah, three times round amen! Couldn't be more excited.

Lori ann said...

Congratulations on this so well deserved award(s)! this book is on my wish list, perhaps it will be at the book signing on february 20th? hopefully i can get it then.
♥ lori