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.
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.
The busyness of the bees.
They are thick this morning, so busy they pay no attention as I lean over them.
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.
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.
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 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?
First roses of 2018.
I am always in awe of the beauty of roses. Here is a sampling from this morning.
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.
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.
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.
Such a beautiful, quietly celebratory post. I loved every bit of it! The hummingbird picture is wonderful but I have to admit, I’m partial to the spider taking her morning exercise. Whimsy and nature. Great post!
Thanks, Molly. Have you read the picture book “Sophie’s Masterpiece”? Sophie is a spider. I love it. It was on my mind when I saw the spider on the rose.
It seems that you and I have similar thoughts for today’s posting. Our yards are bursting with sights, sounds, and smells. How wonderful!
Loved your post about your yard… especially the lilacs and lilies of the valley. Thanks, Bob.
The noticings of spring seem to be today’s theme. This is the third post I’ve read about nature and the changes spring brings. Will this become (or has it already?) a poem for the Ditty Challenge? Happy spring! We have embarked on summer so I am opting for inside. Today’s high is 96!
There were a number of spring noticings in the slices today. Hmm.. I haven’t taken up the Ditty Challenge. I shall see. I must confess, I do love our cooler temps in the Pacific Northwest. And I love being able to have our windows open and just the screen door closed on the back door.
Alice, your photos and words are divine this morning! Thanks for lighting up the screen in my pre-dawn quiet time.
Thank you, Chris. I’m so glad you came by and enjoyed them.
Beautiful 🙂 These simple joys make life more precious. Every morning I get up at 5, and listen to the birds calling out to each other. It is a wonderful start to the day. Thank you for the photos 🙂
Ah! There isn’t much better than the early morning songs of the birds, unless it is the night songs of frogs. I agree about the early morning hours; I usually rise at 5, sometimes earlier.
I love walks like that — out the back door and then, really noticing and paying attention to that which escapes our eyes.
Thanks for reading, Kevin. I think “noticing walks” are very therapeutic.
What a peaceful tour of your yard. You can tell a lot from someone’s yard. Thank you for sharing
Thank you, Susan. My yard is a bit extended as my kids bought homes beside ours and the backyards connect. The picnic tables are in one back yard, the play area and walnut in another… but the flowers I shared are in mine.
Alice, your “noticings” are so deep and sensory, in every way. I can feel the sunlight, smell the peppermint, hear the whir of the hummingbird’s wings. For a moment, I felt I was really there. I can appreciate your own appreciation of the unexpected (“strange visitor”) – this is often the stuff of life that we miss, if we’re not mindful of moments. I also enjoy how you close with a sense of anticipation of family coming to visit, and your preparation for them. Deeply, vividly captured.
Thank you, Fran. Family arrived and there’s been a lot of hugging this evening… and cousins checking to see who is the tallest now.