Saturday, June 19, 2021

Signs of Summer?

 

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:  These are three confused duckies...as you can see, the cover is now off the pool in our back yard, and the water is getting cleared wth chlorine. This time every years, the ducks realize this is becoming a place for humans now. But they always arrive for a few last days, to give us baleful looks and some final quacks.

Goodbye for the year, Flo and Eddy and friends! We will see you next March, as we have for the past more than twenty years. And this is how we humans know nature is turning us to summer. 


How else do we know? We have the tiniest of tomatoes on our plants. And we visit them every day. We never had tomatoes before the pandemic started. Now that it's--on the way out? The tomato plants will stay.


See the tiny tomatoes?

Our weekly farm consortium food shares have started--strawberries, and real asparagus, and lettuce and ...OH,  so fresh! And look at those flowers! I have never seen a lily like that pink one.


And our own roses are going absolutely nuts. Our front yard is full of them!  Here's a very special one.


What are the signs of summer where YOU are?


53 comments:

  1. Summertime! The flower garden is filled with blooms, the vegetables are growing, and the sweet fawns are wandering through the yard . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Definitely the porch furniture back on the screened-in front porch: cushions for the couch, the Adirondack chairs and the small table where we can have lunch with our grandkids!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful, Hank. Here we have fresh farm strawberries! My raised lettuce box is full of salad. The daisies are about to pop into bloom. And yes, baby tomatoes on the plants. A fabulous time of year.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love it! The lily is gorgeous and the roses, yum.

    We're further north than most, but like you, we know warmer weather has arrived when Betty and Barney (mallards) and the hummingbird squads make their first appearance. The buds on the rhododendron plump and the columbine appear soon after. Right now our tomatoes are in the thrusting stage, our lettuce is a week away from ready, and the peonies are in bud but not yet bloom. Oh yes, our wild strawberries are ripe and ready to pick. We had a bear in the back yard yesterday helping himself. A sure sign that spring is giving way to summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A BEAR???? (Where are you again, Kait?)

      Delete
    2. Crown of Maine - Aroostook County - we live on 167 acres all wooded but 23. :)

      Delete
  5. It looks lovely, Hank. Our weeds are taking over. I will set aside a day this week to work on them. In spite of planting tons of native plants, the good insects are few. Have you been seeing bees? Butterflies?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, butterflies! Definitely. Bees. Hmm. Not sure about that, but now ou are inspiring me to check.

      Delete
    2. Oh, Judy, so sorry about the good insects. We've had a bumper crop of honeybees this year. Far more than usual. Butterflies are also massed and landing everywhere. We are 10 miles from the closed Canadian border. Oddly enough, this year we've had tons of Canadian tiger swallowtail butterflies. I'm thinking they're jumping the border...LOL

      Delete
  6. A bear kait! We have a bumper crop of strawberries in our garden. I have eaten them until I finally succumbed to cold sores...The lilacs and the iris have come and gone, and yes the roses are glorious all over! I think they are happy about the receding pandemic too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that idea! They are celebrating...

      Delete
    2. I had to go buy a box today - of strawberries, not bears. They are heavenly, Same thing happens to me when I get too enthusiastic!

      Delete
  7. I’m currently in an 8th floor apartment in Yonkers, so no porch or balcony. But on my walks I see lovely flowers in people’s yards. There is fresh local produce in the market. And for the first time in years I will go to family week in VT, that is summer for me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The daffodils started things off, thick clumps of yellow and white perfection. Iris, knock-out roses, hydrangeas, blooming their blue/pink/mauve heads off, and glorious peach daylilies. Next up: daisies, followed by monarda, coneflowers, and brown-eyed Susans.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Judy, we have loads of pollinators this year, but not yet many butterflies. I've counted six kinds of bees on my native plants, though.

    Hank, such beauty in your yard! Love that delicately colored rose.

    The biggest indication that it's summer here is that we had a brief tornado warning last night, and now a torrential downpour, which was really needed. I picked our first tomato yesterday, too, but I cheated this year and bought plants grown under lights by Mennonite farmers--they already had fruit on them. And I picked the first few blueberries yesterday, too. It's almost blackberry time, too.

    Kait, the deer are bad enough here. I can't imagine worrying about bears marauding in the garden!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the bee news, Karen. I confess, I am so worried about bees and butterflies.

      Delete
    2. I know, I am SO happy when it rains. ANd six kinds of bees, that's great. SIX kinds?

      Delete
    3. Hank, astonishingly, there are 4,400 kinds of native bees in North America! The honey bee is not native to this part of the world, believe it or not. We have a solitary bee house on the front porch, near the flowerbeds, and lots of activity there, too. The bee house has tubes made of bamboo that get used for their eggs. Here's a link to the bee species in the US: https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/animals/bees.shtml

      When I was in Austria five years ago I visited the Alpenzoo in Innsbruck, and was fascinated to see an entire "bee village" of housing for solitary bees.

      Delete
    4. We've deer and moose and bears. The bears are the least frequent visitors.

      Delete
  10. Leaves now shade the SW side of my house, a wonderful feature of the lot my realtor selected for my eco-home. That, plus the change in the sun's position, means I have to walk just a bit to see the sunset colors, and the walking is a good thing. Geese have left for northern shores, but the turtles and frogs are enjoying the heat.
    You've reminded me of the delicious bounty of the CSA shares, but that farm family now concentrates efforts closer to home, and I'm happy for them. The produce stand will suffice, and their extra efforts during COVID isolation has earned them much loyalty. The linden tree was covered with flowers, and happy bees, and the hickory tree is already making nuts. Life goes on. <3

    ReplyDelete
  11. ** Maybe you need to add a wading pool for the wayward ducks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know you are kidding, but you actually made me think about that...

      Delete
  12. Summer soltice on the tundra arrives this weekend. We don't have fancy roses, all old-fashioned multiflora/floribunda. They were supposed to be "carpet roses" when planted twenty years ago, but they didn't get the memo. So they've grown into huge bushes that we machete to death every fall, only to see them burgeon in the spring. And never better than this year. Last summer, perhaps in honor of the pandemic, the hydrangeas didn't bloom -- not just ours but all over the city. This year, perhaps in honor of our high vaccination rate, they are getting ready to burst into a rainbow of colors, well, without the yellow or oranges. These give the best bang for the buck. They will bloom from now until the first hard frost.

    Unlike much of the rest of the country, our weather is perfect, 50s to 70s, enough rain so we don't have to water, enough sun to store up for the long winter, and a riot of color wherever I look. We have a healthy crop of milkweed for the monarch butterflies, and lots of nectar for the bees. The tomatoes are blooming and starting to set fruit.

    All that is missing is a box of Schitt's Creek pencils. I'm particularly drawn to Roland Schitt Brown.

    Happy Juneteenth!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SO interesting, the colors! Ours started out pale pink. Then, at some point, some of them trued white, and others red. Is thus a Punnett square thing?

      Delete
  13. As Ann said, we're having wonderful weather here in western New York which certainly has helped my perennials, both flowers and herbs. Fresh oregano, anyone? I have an abundance. But the real sign of summer here has been babies. Throngs of juvenile house sparrows and starlings, both of which are incredibly noisy. I've also enjoyed watching baby robins, downy woodpeckers and flickers chase their parents around begging for food. I hope that the steady stream of Baltimore orioles I had at the jelly feeder means I'll be seeing their fledglings soon. The mother groundhog and her two babies that took up residence under my deck weren't quite as welcome but they seem to have moved on (I hope!). And then there are the chipmunks...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The baby starlings! Hilarious. They just YELL until their moms bring food. It is SO entertaining!

      Delete
  14. We have had summer with a vengeance as triple digits struck this week. 100 degrees in a house with no air conditioning is not fun. We’ve never needed it until recently as we get the ocean breeze every afternoon. But I guess climate change is making us rethink. The garden is full of baby fawns who are small enough to slip between the slats and eat my flowers on the patio. And I have a cold so I can’t say I’m enjoying summer yet

    ReplyDelete
  15. AZ here! Summer means it’s hella hot and we become nocturnal, grocery shopping at night and never seeing daylight if we can avoid it! Bring on fall…please!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Two handfuls of black raspberries yesterday! Ran to the store to get vanilla ice cream--now summer can begin!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Summer started very early this year in the southern end of the Bay Area in Central California. We had our first weather over 100 starting on March 31st of this year. We are on the third day of extremely high temperatures, over 110 the last two days. Over 100 cat for a day isn’t that unusual, but these extremes are unprecedented. We have been picking tomatoes for a few weeks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I have been seeing those weather maps--and it is really shocking. Scary. And our tomatoes are still tiny and green.

      Delete
    2. I’m only about seventy miles south of Rhys, but our climate is a lot hotter. Growing seasons are so different. We can sometimes grow another crop starting in October, depends on the lows in November and December.

      Delete
  18. Signs of our summer: 90+ degree heat. High humidity. Mosquitoes. Keeping an eye on disturbances in the Gulf.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh, mosquitoes. I forgot. Getting citronella--thank you!

      Delete
  19. Do black flies? A definite sign of early summer here! Loved seeing your pictures, Hank. Last evening a pair of turkeys walked across my driveway but I wasn't quick enough with the camera. And a few days ago I found fresh bear scat in my driveway, but I've yet to see a bear!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not the black flies! SO annoying. But not as annoying as a BEAR? What's with all the bears???

      Delete
  20. Shalom Reds and Fans,
    Here in Doylestown, PA, we have geese and mallards. Not so many as when I first moved here. There used to be a large pond behind our hospital with lots of ducks and some geese, but the hospital has built a lot of new buildings and I think they deliberately chased the fowl away. One of my favorite picture books as a child was Make Way for Ducklings.

    Yesterday, while sitting outside, I heard a remembrance of my childhood, the Mister Softie jingle. I’d never heard it here in Pennsylvania before, mostly I think because in the borough, there are not so many children. Most of the children, live in the developments on the outskirts of town. We did just lose our Friendly’s, a while back, and also our Dairy Queen, which was hurting because of the pandemic.

    In the summer, the town is quieter on the weekends. Many folks, particularly those with kids, go “down the shore”; most go to “LBI” (Long Beach Island). Some are lucky enough to own a summer home; many just rent houses for a weekend or for a week. A friend of mine, who owned a “fifth wheel”, would deposit his wife and two kids, there and would leave them there while he returned to work weekdays and visited them on the weekends.

    One hallmark of summer, certainly, is the bloom of summer flowers. Two of my neighbors, friends of mine, grew from seed, some Dahlia plants. Two of them are in bloom right now, with 2 large flowers, one red and one pink.

    And of course, the heat. I like it cooler; my roommate likes just to run the fan while I am always turning the air conditioner to cool. Ice cream is cool, but I eat it all year.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Mr. Softee jingle! SO great..wait, is that really the Scott Joplin The Entertainer?

      Delete
    2. No. They are different. But as ubiquitous. My first encounter with Scott Joplin was Marvin Hamlish's arrangements for the Paul Newman and Robert Redford movie "The Sting." There are lyrics to the Mr. Softie jingle, but I don't know if I even knew them except "the neighborhood, his name is Mr. Softie."

      Delete
  21. Mosquitoes. Rabbits (many). Leavened by song sparrows and cardinals singing their little guts out. And yes, weeds everywhere. Does citronella really keep mosquitoes from biting?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ::I was planning to have that be my next chat..DIBS::

      Delete
  22. Hank, this is a great post! To me, when I see Dry Farmed Tomatoes and summer fruits at the Farmer's Market, they are signs of the summer to me. Longer daylight is another sign of the summer.

    Diana

    ReplyDelete