1280. October inherits summer’s hand-me-downs… ~Rachel Peden

I know the year is slowly dying…
Ah, ‘tis then I love to wander,
Wander idly and alone,
Listening to the solemn music
Of sweet nature’s undertone…
~Excerpted lines from a poem by
Mortimer Crane Brown

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.55.37 PM.png

Though October grows long in the tooth
a measure of summer’s steamy heat lingers on
and so the dance of sweet glories of the morn waltzes on

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.54.59 PM.png

The full, harvest moon has come and gone
but the sultry high humidity of August yet remains
thus dance on still the satiny, white glories of the evening

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 8.37.44 PM.png

Morning’s are cooler, some even quite crisp
but afternoons revive September’s persistent misery
keeping at bay the last dance of all the glories in the garden fair

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.56.13 PM.png

The grass is showing patches not quite as green
though it’s not dead enough to slow the hum of mowers
near arbors and trellises where scramble high the twining vines

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.54.34 PM.png

The promise of autumn rain has not been fulfilled so far
which keeps the gardener’s feet scuffling along the dusty paths
but it has yet to halt the dance of the morning glories and moonflowers

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 8.36.12 PM.png

The sun’s trek from east to west across the yard continues
and days grow shorter and more golden as November draws nigh
but still the flowering vines dance perkily along the chain-link fence lines

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.56.49 PM.png

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. ~James 5:7  ✝

**All the photos taken by me in my yard today

1263. Then summer fades and passes and October comes. ~Excerpt from lines by Thomas Wolfe

Autumn begins with a subtle change
in the light, with skies a deeper blue, and
nights that 
become suddenly clear and chilled.
~Glenn Wolff and Jerry Dennis

Screen Shot 2016-09-24 at 4.22.05 PM.png

At long last August passed into nothingness for the year, and I welcomed September, hopeful, despite knowing better from past experience, that it would indeed be sweet and bring on autumn’s amazingly lovely, cool, crisp days. Though disappointed by it’s initial lack of sweetness, I clung to the hope that the equinox would remedy what September had  so far failed to do, a hope fried by the 102 degrees last Monday, the 101 degrees last Tuesday, and the high 90’s the remainder of the week. But maybe, just maybe, as September passes into October this week, summer may actually begin somewhat of a fall into autumn’s golden glory, that is if the weather guys are right about their predictions. But then I know only too well that they might not be because I’ve spent too many years here enduring the heat as far as into December at times. So shhhhhh, let’s not allow my words and doubt frighten the chance away should it ring true. In the meantime, as usual I’ll cling to the memory of autumn that remains always in my heart.

Screen Shot 2016-09-24 at 5.51.34 PM.png

In every month, yet in aught begun,
Read over that month, what avails to be done;
So neither this travail shall seem to be lost,
Nor thou to repent of this trifling cost.

Screen Shot 2016-09-24 at 4.02.14 PM.png

…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. ~Excerpt from Romans 5:3-5 ✝

**Images via Pinterest and Yahoo weather; collages created by Natalie

1244. August breathes its final, burning breath today and so tomorrow we welcome long-awaited September’s arrival. ~Natalie Scarberry

Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning.
Ladies bathed before noon after their three o’clock naps.
And by nightfall were like soft teacakes
with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum.
The day was twenty-four hours long,
but it seemed longer.
~Excerpted lines from
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
by Harper Lee

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 8.16.28 PM.png

I used to teach TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, and it was and is one of my favorite pieces of American literature. I especially loved this passage above as it described the older women of my childhood. Now that spring flowers have gone I’m like those ladies Harper Lee describes in her novel because by day’s end I am frosted with sweat and talc.

Spring flowers are long since gone.
Summer’s bloom hangs limp on every terrace.
The gardener’s feet drag a bit on the dusty
path and the hinge in his back is full of creaks.
~Louise Seymour Jones

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 8.17.58 PM.png

Much of summer’s bloom hangs not just limp but some of it is fried to a crisp. As for my feet, they are dragging more than a bit on my dusty paths and “the hinge in his back is” definitely “full of creaks” so much so that it’s begging me daily to stop the torturous activity.

The summer days are fading, as they must
From endless hours to short and fleeting light
The bird’s once bright, immortal tune,
now cries A melancholy aura to the dusk.
~Shannon Georgia Schaubroeck

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 8.21.05 PM.png

As night falls, the birds’ tunes are as melancholy as I feel, but my melancholy has nothing to do with lamenting the fading of summer. It has more to do with being weary from the long trek through the burning cathedral with a high pressure dome for a ceiling that is the reality of July and August in Texas. But I can’t say I wouldn’t do it all over again, for the garden feeds my soul and in it I find so many reasons to praise the Lord over and over again.

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear His voice… ~Psalm 95:6-7  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collage at top created by Natalie

1236. The garden invites us to awaken our senses and refresh our souls as the sun warms its colors and fragrances. ~Author Unknown

So come with me on a tour of my garden
and see what August delights I find:

Belinda’s nodding
her head and dreaming sweet dreams
until dawn wakes her

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 4.07.26 PM.png

Stars shine bright on the
autumn clematis deep in
the heart of Texas

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 5.11.21 PM.png

The sun rises in
the east but a sunflower
bears stars in her heart

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 4.35.25 PM.png

Magenta shares her
glory with a time worn piece
of white picket fence

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 4.57.02 PM.png

Green candles rise near
the back fence heralding the
coming of angels

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 4.36.31 PM.png

Last night’s white angel
trumpets yet in day’s early
hours of dim light

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 5.24.43 PM.png

Tickled pink I find
a purple morning glory
and passionflower

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 4.49.06 PM.png

And last but not least
a pink rain lily sports her
bold yellow stamen

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 4.37.35 PM.pngSatisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. ~Psalm 90:14  ✝

**All images taken by me in my yard

1231. We are in midsummer; the sun is in full power, and at noon all nature is silent under his spell… ~Excerpt from Eliza Cook’s Journal

Summer is the time when one sheds
one’s tensions with one’s clothes,
and the right kind of day is
jeweled balm for the battered spirit.
A few of those days and you
can become drunk with the belief
that all’s right with the world.
~Ada Louise Huxtable

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 7.11.23 PM.png

Yay! Hooray! Woo Hoo! We’ve been having some of those jeweled balm days! I can’t exactly say that summer’s coming to an end because at times it can last well into late September or even October where we live. However, there’s a smattering of things at the moment that are foreshadowing Autumn’s coming. Not only that but we’ve gotten some much needed rain lately, and that has brought with it somewhat lower temperatures. And although I know these anomalies will end soon, it has been a welcome and rejuvenating respite from the dastardly dog days of Texas in July and August. One of the forerunners I’ve seen is a few blooming spikes on my physostegia virginiana, a plant commonly called False Dragonhead because of the flower’s resemblance to snapdragons. And it is their pinkish lavender blooms that are adding beauty to the bedraggled remains in the garden. They also bring hope that summer’s siege will in fact come to an end a some point in time, something that some of us begin to doubt after weeks and weeks of triple-digit or near triple-digit temperatures.

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

**Large image in background via Pinterest; the side by side images on top of it were taken in my yard today.

1216. Heat cannot be separated from fire, or beauty from The Eternal. ~Dante Alighieri

The first thing about Texas
that you can’t get away from is the heat.
You’ve got no idea how hot it is in that place.
It’s over 100 degrees Fahrenheit daily,
and with that and the high humidity,
it’s just absolutely ridiculous.
~Edited and adapted quote by Chris Vance

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 11.03.42 AM.png

Hot, hot-hot, hot, hot-hot-hot! Yum, yum-yum, yum, yum-yum-yum! Yeppers, chocolate it turning out to be, at least temporarily, a good balm for the heat weary! What you see in the photo above is no joke. It is our weather forecast for the next seven days, and it is not even fully accurate. For example today it was supposed to hit only 101, but on my thermometer it has already gone up to 103 so far today. And unfortunately, forecasters say there is no end in sight for such misery as this. Why oh why did I even go check it out first thing this morning? Maybe it was because I’d read a few of your blog posts about rainfall in your area and thought on the off chance that soon we might get some too. But that was purely delusional! I know better! I’ve lived here long enough to know August only too well and that rain seldom is ever in the forecast during this wretched month! So I started the day grumbling about the heat. But then we went to lunch and guess what the dessert of the day was? Oh yes, yes, yes, it was chocolaty–beautiful, luscious, homemade, freshly baked, and still warm Chocolate Meringue Pie! Thus once more something rich and chocolaty was served up just in the nick time to abort an emotional, elderly “melt down!”

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 4.52.17 PM.png

I(God) cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of the burning heat. ~Hosea 13:5  ✝

**The upper image was created from the NOAA forecast for our area; the lower pie images are via Pinterest

1207. “Heat, ma’am! it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones.” ~Sydney Smith

The summer flower blooms and dies
because the sunny glow which brings it forth,
soon slays it with parching power.
~Edited line by Dante Alighieri

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 2.53.39 PM.png

As August draws near and the fiery, dog days, the hottest and most uncomfortable days of summer, begin to drag tediously on, time seems to slow down as if it were moving through sticky, thick molasses. And sweat oozes from the pores of one’s skin and drips down like the rain everybody’s wanting to fill the ever-widening cracks in the soil. The only daylight hours one can enjoy the garden are the early ones before the blazing rays of the sun burn or melt what beauty yet remains. Amazing as it is, ‘tis then that they, the flowering vines, bloom and climb higher and higher on wispy tendrils that cling to whatever they touch. So I can’t help but wonder as the morning glories, coral vines, hyacinth bean vines, and passionflowers grow up and up and up if they aren’t attempting to rise high enough to escape the inferno here below and reach the cooler, heavenly climes above. Besides the early hours, if one should survive the day, the night also proffers a climbing delight that ascends as if to draw closer to its mimicked paramour, the moon. And so it is that the pure white moonflower reigns as queen of the night’s shadowy darknesses.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.39.45 PM.png

I(God) cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of the burning heat. ~Hosea 12:5 ✝

**Most images of flowering vines taken by me in my yard.