Life as I know It

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

Friday, September 10, 2010

September Blessings

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?????


Pondside said...

I don't know what happened to summer, but I know that I (and you, by the sound of it) packed a lot into it!
The beautiful view from your friend's window and the thought of hearing loons make me nostalgic for the east.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Sharon ~ What a lovely post, with great pictures. How wonderful to live on the lake like you do, so peaceful. I loved the picture of your screen door looking out onto the water.

Now you've got me wanting to make apple crisp. It's been awhile and it sounds great. Maybe it will help autumn come early to our parts. One can dream.

How great to have a rainbow blessed sky while your friends were visiting.

Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hello dear Flower Lady. Nope, I live on the ocean and my pal Lynn lives on a pond. The view out the screen door is from my living room out to the sea. The view inside Lynn's cabin is of the pond.



The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I´m more of a Spring person myself. Now most of the bumblebees and butterflies are dead and we have already had frost here several nights. But I love walking around in the forest seeing all´leafs turning colors from green to read and yellow.

All the smells in the autumn forest is also something I like, well except the smell from the corpse mushrooms, that is awful :-) :-)

Have a great day now!

I have big troubles commenting here today. I think it´+s the fith time I get "Error 505" now.

Anonymous said...

It makes me so happy to know that someone else loves the birds as much as I do! It has been so HOT in Georgia this summer. We have nothing fancy for our birds... we just have a plastic clay colored bottom of a planter (Made in the USA, which apparently isn't made anymore!) which we fill with water and the birds LOVE it! They have been drinking and bathing all summer long.. it has given us so much pleasure to see them. I must tell you I fell in love with your screen door with the cut out of the sailboat. I think I love Maine even though I've never been there... Kay Guest

Vee said...

You describe your corner so beautifully... Loved reading every word. Course Lynn's cottage made me long for my own, even if it is further north in New Brunswick.

You'll have to stay longer for the opportunity to rest after a summer of working on the lodging. (That link was great, btw.)

Unknown said...

Thank you Sharon for sharing your little slice of heaven with us! Not only are you surrounded by the beauty of nature but such talented friends too! September Blessings indeed...

Lydia said...

Blessings back to you. I'm going to run outside and refill the finch feeders in case some of yours head this way.

Marigold Jam said...

How I'd love a cabin like that with a view like that too! It is always so interesting to read about lives lived in a totally different sort of countryside to ours and to learn more about bloggers in other countries isn't it?


jaz@octoberfarm said...

if any of the neighbors put their places up for sale let me know. just kidding sort of. it's a long drive with teddy but i SO love maine!!!

Brenda Pruitt said...

I can't believe your view! What a wonderful place you live in. The birds are something I so look forward to, season to season. I love to listen to their chirps and calls. The endless buzz of nature moving along.

Lori ann said...

Dear Sharon,

sigh. I love it all, September, the birds, the views, your spirit. Thank you for sharing (i always think this) such an uplifting, lovely post.

enjoy your days,

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon, First congrats on passing the 200 mark for followers! And to think you just wrote to little ole me.

About that, I have a sedum too, that came from my grandmother at least 27 years ago, [the age of my son]. I wonder if it's the same one you mentioned. It looks like 'Angelina' only silvery blue. It has yellow flowers in mid-summer. Frankly it's such a permanent fixture in my garden, the thought of photographing it didn't even cross my mind. :)

I love the photos of the lake. What a wonderful place! How funny the title of the cookbook. Mennonite Girls Can Cook. LOL I need to show this blog to my daughters who like their mother are not so fabulous in the kitchen.

Kudos to Jeff for taking care of your feathered friends.

Anonymous said...

Would love to know how the baffel is attached to the bird feeder on the pole - Jeff's morning chore. Inspired to put out feed again, economy or what be damned....

Jeff Prostovich said...

Hello Mimi,

The copper pole has a threaded nipple that slips onto the pipe and screws into the bottom of the bird feeder. The baffle is sandwiched between the nipple and the feeder. The nipples are readily available in the plumbing section of a hardware store. Ask for copper pipe fittings. Good luck.


Rue said...

That very same rainbow was above my head here in British Columbia last night above Skaha Lake. Beautiful!

The pie looks divine and the cabin living looks perfect!

How fortunate that you get to witness a crow family - I've never seen them nesting or hatching babies.

Erin | Bygone Living said...

What GORGEOUS views both of you have! I can't imagine how wonderful that must be to wake up to every day! ♥

rebecca sweet said...

I'm far away from home here in Dallas (GWA) but am taking a much needed break to read your post.. taking me away from this humid, stifling heat to your beautiful lake house. I can almost smell your apple crisp in this tiny hotel room. And when I read about your friends visiting from Los Osos, my heart jumped a little as I lived there for 5 years before returning to the Bay Area. Ahhh....such sweet dreams I'll have tonight! Thank You!

Beth said...

Hi, Sharon! I loved reading about the birds around your house today and all the signs of coming autumn. We have seen loons for the first time ever in the salty bay where we have a little cottage, and I can't believe my eyes. I always thought they liked quiet, pure Maine and Vermont ponds.
I'm sorry I haven't been leaving comments for a while. I was busy making memories with my 8 year old all summer, and now he is back in school. It is wonderful to be back in the studio, to start making new things, and to visit you here and thank you for all of your wonderful encouraging words this summer! love, Beth

Rebecca said...

Oh, to be waterside with you (and Lynn)! I love your favorite place to sit at Lynn's...

I think I hear the loons with you. I even believe I can smell autumn as it moves into your neck of the woods.

Happy to hear the Lodge is finished and hosting its first guests. I look forward to seeing pictures of the finished product. How thankful you must be that the project is complete! I know there will be many, many happy "campers" who will enjoy its rooms.

Zuzana said...

Visiting your blog dear Sharon is like getting a taste of heaven. You descibed September so eloquently in images and words. You have a way of creating a wonderfully tranquil and unforgettable atmosphere, with your sensitive and harmonious relationship with nature.
Have a lovely weekend dear friend,

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

Another wonderful post. I love your world and feel as though I have been visiting you. Would love to live on the water. So many things I have not done that I would like to. You work hard but you live a dream life. You are very talented and a blessing to so many. Continue sharing and spreading your joy. The images bring a smile to my face.

decareis said...

Afternoon Share
As always, it is a pleasure to see your blog.
I confess that I have not been as frequently as you like.
But whenever I come, it's delicious!
Excuse the errors, but translators are not good!
I loved the hummingbird, and the idea of putting food for other birds, I follow your idea.

Pom Pom said...

I just LOVE Hollyhock Days. The UPS man brought it yesterday evening. It made me want to go out and photograph the hollyhocks AND the sunflowers. The illustrations are so delicate. Next, Sunflower Houses.

Storybook Woods said...

It just looks like every day is heaven. Like a permanent vacation, ahhh. xoxox Clarice

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

You make me want to visit Maine the next time I visit my daughter!

We still had hummingbirds last week but there is a definite nip in the air at night now. I expect we'll see more birds taking off for warmer climates (and by February, hubby and I wonder why we didn't fly away).

I love Sept. and Oct., too. As lovely as spring can be, it can bring lots of rain here. Autumn is magical.

By the way, my cauliflower plants have all been eaten, they look like lace! Good thing I don't depend on my garden for my food (still going through a learning curve).

From the Kitchen said...

Sharon: September and October are my favorite months as well. Autumn was such a glorious time growing up in the Shenandoah Valley. I love the crispness in the air, long shadows, colorful trees and the scent of smoldering leaves--and the thought of the holidays that follow. I return to the valley every October. I'm also looking forward to a fall in New England soon since my son and daughter-in-law are living in Massachusetts. Your new inn sounds wonderful. I must explore it further.


Claus said...

Isn't feeding the birds a wonderful thing? My mom and I enjoy having water and seeds on our back patio for the doves and different types of local birds. They come by every morning, and every evening, as they know we are ready for them :-) I love to watch them from the chair outside, or through our living room window.
Is there some orange on the trees on the other side of the lake? It must be wonderful to have such a view on Autumn!! What a wonderful place your friend has!! it must inspire her so much.
have a lovely day ahead!!

Betty said...

What a beautiful post! Your words paint such beautiful pictures, I almost feel I am there. I love your photographs too. Your island is so different from my home and it's like going on a little holiday when I read your posts. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

A lovely ode to September! YEs I agree, your words do paint beautfiful images...we do get lost in it! And true..September and Octobre are two months of lovely tender nostaglia?
Ronelle xx

Wendy said...

boy is Maine gorgeous. I could definitely identify it as a beautiful New England home right away.

Lovely photos - and your "crop" is great - I bet those perfect tomatoes tasted delicious!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Sharon,
I love seeing all these great pics of beautiful Maine! I think our hummingbirds have hit the road too, I did see one on Sat. when it was around 80 degrees.
We are really moving into Fall now and your pics really reminded me of that.
Hugs Friend,

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

Thought of you a lot last weekend when I was in sweltering Dallas. Congratulations on winning at GWA. I met Rebecca Sweet in person, and she told me how much you'd influenced her when she was a newish gardener. It gave me such a smile.~~Dee

Kristina said...

I love the month of September! Here in Nebraska, everything (except Memorial Stadium and the Sea of Red -- Go Huskers!) turns gold. The leaves, the grasses, goldenrod, sunflowers that fill the ditches and pastures, fields of corn, even the air shimmers in a golden haze. I love autumn! This was a lovely post, Sharon! Happy fall!

Carol said...

What a lovely post Sharon! Your blooms are so robust and I do not wonder the hummers are attracted to your porch. Quite the view! Your friends cabin is so quaint and perfect... I can imagine delicious and fun candlelit meals on that deck! What a paradise you both have. Magical looking out on the water from Lynn's cabin. I love ocean filled sailboat in your screen door! Water is an element I so long for. ;>)

Donna said...

Sharon, if I haven't said it before I will say it now... You truly live on a little piece of "heaven on earth." I loved hearing about all your feathered friends. Spectacular photo of the rainbow across the water!... Donna

Beth said...

Hi, Where did you get the sailboat screen door?

Jeff Prostovich said...

We got our screen doors from Wooden Screen Door Company ( in Waldoboro, Maine.

They are 20 years old this year and sill look great.