Aug. 26, 2021: Blooms and Bugs

photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Third Quarter Waning Moon in Aries

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Hazel

Sunny, hot, humid

I thought I had nothing to post today, but it turns out that I do!

The photo at the top is one of our, well, I’m not sure if it’s a Christmas Cactus or a Thanksgiving Cactus. Blooming in August. The years we were on Cape, they’d bloom several times a year, which is fun.

This other photo is of the red geranium. Any idea what that weird bug is? I’m not sure if it’s a good one, or one I should be worried about. It kind of looks like a goth moth or butterfly, with the lacy wings, but also reminds me of the black hornets who come in on the front porch.

It’s hot and humid, which means I’m grumpy. I’m looking forward to autumn.

How’s your last week of August?

Aug. 19, 2021: Hurricane Season

Photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Second Quarter Waxing Moon in Capricorn

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Hazel

Rainy and humid

We’re in hurricane season, and it will be a very different experience here in the mountains than it was at the coast. I worry about the river flooding, because of so many years of the brook flooding in Rye, but no one else around here seems too worried.

The photo above is from The Spruces, a local community park just over the town line into Williamstown. The Spruces was a planned senior community of trailers, begun in the 1950’s, that was destroyed in floods in either 2011 or 2012. The town bought the property and turned it into a community park.

It’s overrun with wildflowers and is just beautiful. We took a bit of a walk in it over last weekend, in the good weather. Hopefully, I can spend more time there before winter sets in.

I think today’s rain is from Hurricane (Tropical Storm?) Fred. The weather people are more worried about how Hurricane Henri will hit the coast at the other end of the state this weekend (although we’ll get some rain and wind).

Batten down the hatches, get out the candles, get in more wine, I guess?

Aug. 12, 2021: Making Friends With My New Area’s Nature

photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Waxing Moon First Quarter in Libra

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Hazel

Heat wave: hot, humid, hazy

It’s been a few months since I posted. The photo above is the enchanted garden we’ve set up on the back balcony at the new home in the Berkshires.

We also have a screened in front porch, where we have our Adirondack chairs, the blue wicker chair, more plants (especially herbs, because of the Southern exposure), and more of our outdoor décor.

It was painful to say goodbye to Che Guevara Chipmunk, the murder of crows, the Gemini Oaks in the front lawn, the lovely Maple in the back. The covered back deck.

We couldn’t take many of our large potted plants with us, such as the Roses of Sharon, various lilacs, forsythia, etc. We gave them to neighbors who love to garden, and will either plant them in their own garden, or find them good homes. We gave away a lot of pots, and a lot of garden tools, including rakes, hoes, spades, the lot.

For a decade, we’ve loved that third of an acre, even when things like the mowing were difficult. We had a close relationship with the plants and wildlife. I’d done a lot of rooting work, psychologically, and it was difficult to disengage.

We’ve moved from the ocean – where, due to the increased tourism and the local attitude that ONLY tourists matter, not residents, so the pollution increases as habitat is destroyed – to the mountains.

Technically, we live in a city. Yet there are so many trees all around us. And grass. And plants. We are tucked into the Berkshire mountains, with mountain views out the front and the back. The buildings here have porches or balconies, up and down. Most residents create their little patches of garden enchantment.

It’s very different than on Cape, and each region is beautiful in its own way.

The air is quite different, lacking the salt from the ocean. Also, even though we’re in a city rather than a village, there’s less pollution. The oily residue that’s taken over the air, the dirt, and even the fog on Cape isn’t in everything here.

The soil quality is different. While Cape Cod is known for mounds of gorgeous blue hydrangeas, the hydrangeas here tend to be white or pink and white. Black-eyed Susans (one of my favorite flowers) are popular here, as are sunflowers, and mounds and mounds of petunias, spilling out of baskets on porches and along public streets.

I have to learn the native plants, and figure out what we can grow next year. This year was too late to start much; we bought some pots of herbs, and some flowers, but next year, I will try to start more from seed.

I’ve visited the nearby lake, and I’m looking forward to visiting the Botanical Garden, and some private gardens, and the community gardens that are so popular here, and learning about the gardens and plants that thrive here in the mountains.

While I miss the space and the variety in my Cape garden, even though so much was in containers, I don’t miss the mowing, or the constant pressure for the property to look more landscaped and not be a habitat for the local wildlife.

Our back balcony is habitat – we have two birdhouses and a nest that were already occupied when we moved in (the landlord takes delight in them, too). They are bratty little birds, but an awful lot of fun to watch.

A pair of crows has found me, and visit every morning, when I write on the front porch. They’ve started to stop by and tell me the news. I enjoy my time with them.

I’m excited to see the beauties of autumn, winter, and spring here.