Joan’s (mostly) perennial garden is in full bloom in the front yard.  At least the plants are supposed to come back each year, although it seems she adds enough all the time to question the basic idea.  It is lovely, and unusual, and like all forms of gardening gives a great deal of satisfaction and contentment laced with worry and aggravation.  She is obviously partial to purple, everything else is set in a supporting role.

My function is purely supportive.  I need to do a lot of the weeding, digging holes, and dragging topsoil or mulch.  She does handle most of the watering.  It’s a fair division of labor for a nice final effect, although I often tell her I think the whole thing could be done a lot more elegantly and easily with equivalent plastic flowers.  But the birds and bees would not be happy.

Wild grapes seem to grow just about everywhere, and hardly ever manage to get ripe since the birds get to them quickly.  These never get very large anyway.  I think the original inhabitants of the continent never managed to harvest, ferment, and store them.  That is unusual only because it seems every culture everywhere has discovered some way to make alcohol out of something _ coconuts, apples, cactus, honey, whatever happens to be lying around.  Of course, the native Americans did discover a lot of narcotic pharmacology, which is also a standard human ability.

As all the crops ripen and overwhelm in August and September it is easy to believe in a benevolent divine providence, filling our days with easily acquired bounty.  Being human, we easily forget the hard work of saving seeds, preparing soil, planting and weeding all spring, praying for rain all summer.  Besides, the hard work remains of somehow saving all this stuff for the cold and desperate days to come.  Well, anyway, that used to be the rhythm.  With supermarkets and whatnot, in these corrupt modern times few think much about it any more.


Edible ripe berries not yet harvested by the birds and raccoons.  Hard to say if that indicates laziness or satiety on their part, or if the numbers of relevant species have been so decimated that not enough remain to clear them.  It’s unusual to find so many in the open like this, but they do add a fine dash of color to the landscape.

For almost the first time this year, the temperature is near summer normal around here.  That’s odd only because the world is heating up, incontrovertibly, and yet in this chunk of the continent we are having the coolest seasons in decades.  Such anomalies are seized on by the stupid to prove climate change is not happening.  I shouldn’t complain; the weather has been “pleasantly mild”; but I tend to not feel I have had a real July or August unless at least on a few days I’ve built up a good soaking sweat.

Entropy rules the universe, and docks weather away pretty easily over the seasons.  Once the frenzy of preparing and launching boats is complete in the late spring, and before the rush to winterize them and pull them onto dry land in late fall, there is a space for idle marine workers to repair the supporting infrastructure.  On sunny, warm days it looks like the best kind of job anyone could ever have.

Office work is welcome in the winter _ nobody wants to be out fishing or fixing piers in ice and sub-zero temperatures and howling north winds.  It’s too bad we can’t all cycle work with the earth’s orbit,  hibernating and performing financial and other tedious operations in the colder months, doing physical outside chores as nature beckons.  But our tight machine-based culture dare not allow such flexibility.  Except of those of us who are older and useless and have happily stepped off the treadmill.

I think this is called sea lavender, although the colors are fairly subtle and hard to catch.  More a light purple mist than actual blossoms.  But, in the interest of something a little different, here it is, with the obligatory water scene. 

Cool temperatures and shortening days are advancing the plant calendars rapidly now.  Any moment there will be a great deal of goldenrod,  every day masses of former high summer bloom go to brown seed.  Trees are heavy with seeds in various colors and shapes, ready to cascade down in any storm.  As dry weather continues, leaves show signs of discoloration, burning, and insect damage.  The world becomes, bit by bit, a bit more ragged in appearance, a bit more ready for coming weather internally.  If you are not careful, in the midst of a paradise of plenty, it is quite possible to turn melancholy over everything that is inevitably slipping away.

Perfect little nook on a perfect summer day with all the ingredients that make being here special.  Unfortunately, I can not include a shot of the perfect summer night clambake the neighborhood held later on the beach with torches and bonfire and near fifty neighbors barely squeezing onto remaining dry sand at waxing moon high tide.

For all the problems in the world _ there are many, probably unsolvable, and they have always been there throughout history _ there are wonderful moments for most of us.  Which we should cherish, if for no other reason than as homage to whatever has allowed us to experience them and, even more than that, appreciate the experience.  Sometimes I think that might be one of our main purposes in life itself.

I don’t know if the flags mean anything, even if they could be read, or if they are just subsidiary territory markers to old glory (e.g. state of New York, county of Suffolk, town of Huntington, Wyncoma Yacht Club.)  Anyway, at least one guy seems in a purposeful hurry under crystal blue skies with temperature threatening to climb near the nineties.

Always amazing is that these extremely expensive craft, clustered and paying incredible fees for docking rights and yearly maintenance, are stacked up nearly full.  Why own something like that if you are not going to use it?  And yet, that is typical, most days they all remain forever in port, only one or two lonely pioneers willing to venture into the rugged (that’s irony) waters of Huntington Bay.






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