Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Summer Days

My photo today is yet another plant that has multiple names. I think the correct common name is purple ironweed, but in this area it’s more usually called purple butterfly weed. The kind of butterfly weed you’re most likely to see in a garden is orange or sometimes red. The flowers of those are densely packed, and butterflies love them. The purple ironweed or butterfly weed is also a big favorite with butterflies, though the flowers aren’t nearly as dense.

Summer is settling in at Roundtop. The weather is now regularly turning hazy, hot and humid. So far, the evenings have cooled off well enough. I don’t have air conditioning, though the tree canopy protects me from much of the hottest weather. The temperature drops 3-4 degrees as soon as I am out of the city, and drops another 3-4 degrees, at least, as soon as I enter the cover of the woods. I have all the cabin windows open, and even the slightest breeze is welcome. Last night a hawk moth of some species fluttered against my bedroom window, attracted by my reading light. These are lovely, large moths, not quite as large as a luna moth, but not much smaller either. I couldn’t make a specific identification of this one as I only saw its underside from inside the cabin. So far, I haven’t been able to get a photo, but I’m working on it.

The first of the wild black raspberries are just about ready to pick. In fact, if it doesn’t storm this evening, (and it well might) I will likely pick a few to use on my oatmeal tomorrow morning. Some years I harvest them by the boxful, but other years they are scarce. Last year they were scarce. I think this year will be better but I’m not expecting to get boxes of them.

Mama raccoon has finally brought out her baby and invited him or her onto my front deck, much to the outrage of Baby Dog. I knew as soon as I heard mama’s soft whistle that junior was in tow. The sound is one I’ve only heard a mama raccoon make when the babies are along. So I peeked out the front door and saw the young one, who wasn’t brave enough to come fully onto the deck, but settled instead on the top step while mama checked the deck for bits of food.

Summer is a lovely, slow time on the mountain. Most activity is restricted to the cooler hours of early morning and near sunset. None of the animals or birds seem in much of a rush to do anything. The pace is slower and at least appears relaxed. I try to mimic that pace and that feeling, though I am not as successful as the creatures around me.

No comments: