Posts Tagged 'summer'

Quiet time with cats

I’m still here, slowing down to take time to walk around the neighborhood, observing how the neighbors’ flowers are growing. I’ve been enjoying observing the figs as they slowly ripen on the branches – a wonderful change from last year. And, like many people, I’ve taken up bird watching because I’m curious about which bird is making noises (mostly blue jays this season). On a road trip, I saw a blue heron and an egret flying. Marvelous!

I did get to see some family after over a year of waiting. But mostly, I’m enjoying quiet time with cats.

And loud times with cats:

  • A bird is outside: outrage! Cue angry paws against the window pane.
  • The food has not arrived yet: oh woe! Oh woe for me, your starving baby….
  • The other cat is using the box. Cue soft thumps of bodies throughout the house.
  • You startled me. Explosion of cats in different directions.

It’s entertaining, if distracting.

The day job is busy (thank goodness). Slow progress is being made on the vest and the cross-stitch, when I’m not fishing for cats with the feather on a string.

It’s mostly cats here. And worry about the world, which is a bit overwhelming. But it’s mostly cats, who would love fresh tuna (not on their diet) or a real mouse (please no).

I haven’t been on Rav for a long time, because it’s fractious on my computer. But I may have to go on to check on some of the knitters whose blogs have gone into the aether. I’m going to be sporadic in posting because (gestures at the world). I’m sure you understand (nods in 2021, and hope everyone is staying safe).


I live in the city now, where street lights,
House lights, glowing red then green then amber lights
Block the stars from the world.
Even though I knew there was too much light noise
I walked into the yard to squint with hands up
To block security’s glare from the next house, and wondered

Was that one?

Was that?

And doubted my own eyes…

Memory conjured up cool meadows by forests
Where we used to camp….When woken by parents, I
Struggled out of my cocooned sleep,
Eyes not quite awake,
To look at the sky. I sat and watched stars dash across my limits
Until I reluctantly looked away, and walked back from a dream.

Clouds crossed the skies on Friday, but still I waited,
Knowing if I turned away, a meteor would streak the sky
Like a fingernail thru frost.

— rjn, 13 August 2016

Countdown to a blue moon

Step outside at sunset on July 31st, and this will finally be a full, blue moon [NASA explanation here].


But right now we’re just counting down (and maybe humming along to the Nancy Griffith song, Just Once in a Very Blue Moon, although that might just be me (possibly better sound here)).  And admiring the daisies in the neighbor’s lawn, as well as black-eyed susans by garden gates. Hopefully, if you are dealing with summer’s hot weather and grass allergies, you have beautiful flowers to enjoy in the early evening.



One of my favorite museums in the Midwest had their Misommar festival this weekend. And I’m stuck in hot, uncomfortable Maryland. Although I did get to perform in church, and do some knitting today — so gently festive.

I need to plan these things better. Maybe next year, I should try to organize a family trip over to Sweden itself…. Or at least manage to get up to Philadelphia for August’s crayfish festival? I’d take a day off from work for that. So how are you planning your summertime?

Happy longest day of the year.

First lightning bugs sighted at the corner of Church and Graveyard

6 days ago, on our evening walk, we saw lightning bugs. The other night I saw a bat out of the corner of my eye.

The official start of summer hasn’t happened yet, but summer seems to be sneaking in with heat, humidity, and shore traffic. And my thoughts skitter off to remember the delights:

  • Sitting on gnarled rhododendron branches that stretched over the edge of the lake at Girl Scout camp.
  • Or lazing in a hammock on the wrap around porch at my great aunt’s house, reading an Agatha Christie novel.
  • Walking to get popsicles with my father near the lake.
  • Fish boils at family reunions.

(And now because of my search, I’ve started watching a very gentle public tv show about Northern Door County… yes, it shows fall weather, but beautiful shots of the lake).

So, anyone else have summer vacation memory triggers?

What I did for my summer vacation 2013

North Carolina coastline, August 2013, (c) R

(C) rjn, August 2013

There was time to play with my watercolors while staring at the North Carolina coastline. And time to gawk at other peoples’ work. More later.

Morning sunrise in July

Morning sunrise in July by rjknits
Morning sunrise in July, a photo by rjknits on Flickr.

Sunrises have been beautiful this week — mostly because of unseasonably cool mornings. Via Flickr:The sun traverses a path along the front street in summer

Lightning bugs

The lightning bugs have returned to the corner of Church and Graveyard, just as the mulberry trees are dropping their fruit. They drowse on screen doors, blinking their signals on then off, or rise like slow-motion fireworks up from the grass in the graveyard.

Every lightning bug (or firefly) group seems to have different light patterns, and I assume an entomologist has studies why, exactly. I’m also pretty sure someone has written up a regional map of where people say “lightning bug” and where they say “firefly” (which I hadn’t realized was the same bug — just thought it was a British bug with similar habits, but what do I know?).

There are some nice pictures from the Web world to look at:

Fireflies in Asheville, NC

How to take photos of fireflies, per Jim Richardson writing for National Geographic.

More science than you might want about fireflies at “HowStuffWorks”, with a lovely photo closeup of a firefly/lightning bug on a soybean plant.

So, do you have lightning bugs near you, or are you in one of the regions where they aren’t “showing off”?

Open air markets

We went to the open air market/farmers market under the bridge. They have a lovely selection of fruit, including sweet cherries that are tarter than bing cherries.  There’s also more rhubarb in the refrigerator, and we almost came home with some beautifully translucent red currants.

No pictures. It was too overcast today, and we’re too busy eating. 🙂

I haven’t taken any photos of the soap I bought either.

Sailboat docked at Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Midsummer. the moon is full tonight, and we had a Midwestern kind of dessert feast — rhubarb custard pie and Willm Gewurztraminer. Afterwards we strolled in the moonshine, and at 9 PM the sky was the color of the dock in this picture. Lovely.