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Slice of Life.

I couldn’t resist. No matter how much I had on my desk, I just couldn’t resist. The morning was so beautiful, I had to go outside. So I took a noticing walk around my back yard.

Hushed beauty under the warmth of filtered sunlight.
The light fell across the picnic tables where there had been much chatter and laughter yesterday evening as everyone gathered to wish the “moms” in our family a happy Mother’s Day.

early morning sunlight falls across picnic tables


The brilliant beauty of lavender.
This bunch was a tiny starter plant two springs ago–a gift from my youngest son. I leaned it and breathed deeply, feasting on it’s rich color and fragrance.

lavender and daisies

The busyness of the bees.
They are thick this morning, so busy they pay no attention as I lean over them.

bees in the lavender


The aroma of peppermint.
These were such little plants last year when we put them out in this narrow strip between the fence and walk. I really didn’t think they would survive this winter. They were a Mother’s Day gift from my daughter who also loves peppermint. You can tell it is early morning by the shadow of the chain-link fence.

ahhh… mint!


The spittlebug nymph secretes a bubbly liquid from its back end. So it isn’t spittle; it just looks like spittle. The spittlebug uses its hind legs to cover itself with the spittle which protects it from predators and temperature extremes. It also helps keep it from dehydrating.

foam of the spittlebugs

So what do you do if you have spittlebugs? Well, there is an organic concoction you can make.
Here’s the recipe.

Organic Spittlebug Killer
1/2 cup hot peppers, diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups water
2 teaspoons liquid soap (without bleach)
Puree peppers, garlic and water together. Let sit for 24 hours.
Strain and mix in the liquid soap.
Wipe the plant foam off the plant and spray all parts of the plant.

I’ve never used this recipe because it seems like a bit of work. And last year when the spittlebugs first showed up, I read that you could rinse them off with the force of water. And if you kept after them, you’d win. It worked last year, so I’m using the same method this year. Each day there are fewer spittle wads. I just put water in my watering can, the one with a long spout that I use for watering flower arrangements and planters. With the long, narrow spout, I can get into the lavender and aim a forceful stream of water directly on the wad of spittle where the bug is.


The clickety whirl of a hummingbird.
I was poised to take a picture of our weigela bush. It is just past its blooming prime. That’s when I heard him. The clickety whirl of his wings. It just happened that as I snapped the picture of the bush, he hovered in line with my camera and stuck his beak into a blossom. Then as quickly as he came, he was off — to the top of the bush and over the fence and into the air — gone, somewhere beyond the neighbor’s yard.

a hummingbird


A spider doing her morning stretches.
Perched on one of my yellow roses, legs folded underneath, the spider raised herself and stretched her legs as the sun’s rays fell on the rose. She crawled around to the shaded side and folded her legs under herself again. I wondered if she was taking a morning nap. What had she done to make her tired? Was she sleepy after eating a big breakfast of bugs?

morning stretches


First roses of 2018.
I am always in awe of the beauty of roses. Here is a sampling from this morning.

This bush grows above the eaves of our single story print shop. The blossoms are variegated and change colors. Just before their petals fall, they turn pink.


These are on a low bush that spreads its branches. It has about 2 dozen blooms right now and probably 50 buds.


My yellow rose bush blooms all summer and into the fall. But spring is its time of real glory. I counted it’s buds today and stopped at 75. In another week, it will be a magnificent sight.




The old walnut tree.
I stood beneath our old walnut tree — actually it is in my daughter’s yard. Every year we wonder if it is okay because it looks so dead when everything else is showing boisterous signs of new life. It is the last thing to leaf out. On a July or August day, I like to pluck a leaf and crush it between my hands and then breathe in the walnut fragrance from the oils released from the broken leaf.

I mark the coming and going of the seasons with the old walnut tree.


A strange visitor.

a strange visitor

EN wanted some cheddar cheese with his lunch. EM just came along. When I asked to take their picture, the sun was so bright that EN squinted his face and protested. EM just pulled her animal hood (on the sweatshirt she was wearing as a super cape) down over her face. I’m so glad our backyards run together!


The relatives are coming.
I took a second noticing walk during lunch. By then, the grass had been mowed, the picnic tables arranged, and the shade umbrella put in place. Weather permitting, there will be much eating, talking, laughing and playing games at these tables during the next three weeks.

a gathering space

Even as I finish this post, AA flight 902 has departed Guayaquil, the second leg of four in the 24-hour journey my son and his family are making to come home for this year’s visit.

*All photos taken with iPhone on May 14, 2018.


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