1246. If we were but conscious of our own utter littleness, we would not dare look with contempt on the smallest atom in the world. ~Charles Lanman

Clouds of insects danced and buzzed in the sunlight,
and the air was full of the piping of the song-birds.
Long glinting dragon-flies shot across the path, or hung
tremulous with gauzy wings and gleaming bodies.
~Edited excerpt from Arthur Conan Doyle

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Did you know that there’s always a party going on in a backyard. Yes, indeed there is, and the guests frolic on their flooring, the ground, and under the “coffered ceiling” of the sky. Some even “boogie down” underground; thus a lawn, not just the grass, is alive. And the world out there is filled with beasties that buzz, tweet, squawk, flutter, scurry, build, dance, burrow, hoot, chase, pounce, and soar among other things. Not only that but the party goes on 24/7. If you don’t believe me, just step outside sometime, take a look around, and listen.

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Depending upon the season and time of day or night, you might hear a chorus of amphibians, insects a buzzin’, and birds a callin’ or a singin’ or a drummin’. And those noisy birds, for example, just might be a gatherin’ nesting materials, or a feedin’ on berries or insects, or a splashin’ around in a birdbath. Whilst the birds are doing their things, the butterflies and bees might be a fluttterin’ about and a sippin’ on the nectars in flowers. If not that, then you might find a “hophopper” a chowin’ down on a tasty leaf or a dragonfly a skimmin’ across a surface of water. Or you might even find something exotic like my friend in the photos above a lookin’ back at you and gettin’ perturbed because you’re too close to its perch, so close in fact that it raises an arm of warning to scold you. When I find a praying mantis like this one, they are often on a rose bush which is where I found this one. Well actually it was on the trellis where the rose was, but I think he’d made his way from the rose over to it in hopes he could scare off dusk’s unwanted interloper.

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For who scorns the day of small things. ~Excerpt from Zechariah 4:10 ✝

*The collage of praying mantis images at the top created by Natalie from photos via Pinterest

1223. Color is joy. One does not think joy. One is carried by it. ~Ernst Hass

Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud–
We in ourselves rejoice!
And thence flows all that charms our ear or sight,
All melodies, the echoes of that voice
All colors a suffusion from that light.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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From my hate-the-heat perspective the garden being adorned with crown jewels like these in the collage is one of the few saving graces of a Texas summer. If these flowers had voices instead of brilliant colors, I think that even as buds whose colors had not yet been revealed they would start the day off with soft, murmuring melodies. Then as the day’s flames licked up higher and higher and they burst into bloom, their songs would play on but in loud and bold arias so that the bees, the butterflies, and other pollinators would harken to their lusty, changeling voices. And all the while as the harmonies played on, the insect benefactors would suckle on the tasty fare despite the sizzling sultriness. And I, I would remain the envious onlooker because it is only they and not I who are small enough to crawl down into the gloriously-filled caverns of sweet nectars. Then at day’s end in weariness from performing their noisy choruses and from enduring the onslaught of mugginess their songs would give way to those of the white and silver flowery voices that mingle in with the enlarging and marvelous music of the night. As for me, though saddened by their silence and passing, I would have agree with Barbara Kingsolver who said that “in the places that call me out, I know I’ll recover my wordless childhood trust in the largeness of life and its willingness to take me in” again, another day. Another writer once said that in the isolation and silence of winter one can savor belonging to him or herself. And who knows, perhaps summer allows one to do the same but in a different way, especially when that individual is falling short of being thankful for God’s gifts by fussing about the way they are wrapped.

You(God) turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy… ~Psalm 30:11  ✝

**All images taken by me in my yard; not all were taken on the same days

1213. May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with the fairies and talk to the moon. ~Morgan Bergeron

THERE are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
It’s not so very, very far away;
You pass the gardner’s shed and you just keep straight ahead —
I do so hope they’ve really come to stay.
There’s a little wood, with moss in it and beetles,
And a little stream that quietly runs through;
You wouldn’t think they’d dare to come merrymaking there–
Well, they do.

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There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
They often have a dance on summer nights;
The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,
And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.
Did you know that they could sit upon the moonbeams
And pick a little star to make a fan,
And dance away up there in the middle of the air?
Well, they can.
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Rose Fyleman

And if ever there were a place on a summer night such as this to look for the fairies at the bottom of the garden, I’d start by peering up into this enchanting, blue clematis bloom.

Praise Him(God), sun and moon; praise Him, all you shining stars. ~Psalm 148:3  ✝

**Image of blue clematis taken in my garden by me

1154. The blousy, splendiferous hydrangeas are abloom and flourishing with life. ~Natalie Scarberry

Like the oak leaf hydrangea bud in May,
like squirrels that invade backyard  bird feeders
and like train whistles that echo in the hollow
rolling through white pines and serviceberry branches,
her trust, in the shape of soft smiles and morning kisses,
permeates his every breath.
~Edited lines in a poem written
by William A. Poppen

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Harmony followed Spring’s appearance
In the eternal bond of its adherence
Also came the birds and their choirs
And they too were dressed in spring’s attire
Bees covered the flowers, jasmine, the air
When fair was time and time was fair
Blissful daffodils, they bloomed in threes
Over by the hydrangea trees
In the tire swing, my feet brushed through clovers
For the Seraph’s peaceful weather had taken over
I danced in it; I loved the sweet jubilee
That made bloom the little hydrangea trees
The dandelions floated on the bottom of the sky
On days when ground squirrels forgot to be shy
And even butterflies came to enjoy the breeze
Fluttering beside the hydrangea trees
Their pink, blue, and purple blooms
Never appeared a minute to soon
They made life simple; they made life sweet
And so it is I’ve always admired the hydrangea trees
~Excerpted and edited lines from
a poem by Whitney Albright

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. ~Romans 12:16  ✝

**One image via Pinterest; others via Pixabay; collage created by Natalie

1151. Cherish sunsets, wild creatures and wild places. Have a love affair with the wonder and beauty of the earth. ~Stewart Udall

Life has loveliness to sell,
all beautiful and splendid things,
blue waves whitened on a cliff,
soaring fire that sways and sings,
and children’s faces looking up,
holding wonder like a cup.
~Sara Teasdale

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Wowed! When was the last time you were wowed, really, really wowed? I love being wowed! I’ve always loved being wowed! And for awhile after becoming a grown up, I spent some hard years when I wasn’t wowed by much of anything! I was frequently overwhelmed but not wowed! Then I started a garden and now seldom does a day go by that I’m not wowed by something. And I know I’m an easy mark because I adore flowers and birds and butterflies and bees and sunsets and rain and oceans and such. Nevertheless, easy mark or not, I still maintain that the Lord has made incredible things and that they are meant to wow us! So don’t just look at my flowers; notice the colors, look at the shapes, and the amazing details like the pistils and the anthers.

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Beauty is nature’s brag, and must be shown
in courts, 
at feasts, and high solemnities,
where most 
may wonder at the workmanship.
~John Milton

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He who can no longer pause to wonder
and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead;
his eyes are closed.
~Albert Einstein

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The point is that when I see a sunset
or a waterfall or something,
for a split second it’s so great,
because for a little bit I’m out of my brain,
and it’s got nothing to do with me.
I’m not trying to figure it out,
you know what I mean?
And I wonder if I can somehow find
a way to maintain that mind stillness.
~Chris Evans

Only those who look with the eyes of children
can lose themselves in the object of their wonder.
~Eberhard Arnold

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He(God) performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. ~Job 5:9  ✝

**All images taken recently by me in my yard.

1129. Butterflies dot springtime with flitting airy kisses. ~Terri Guillemets

The butterfly long loved the beautiful rose,
And flirted around all day;
While round him in turn with her golden caress,
Soft fluttered the sun’s warm ray…
~Excerpt from a poem by
Heinrich Heine

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Butterfly, butterfly, where are you going?
Do you dine today with the regal rose
Or nectar sip with the lilies blowing
In the golden noontide’s sweet repose?
Away, away, on silken pinions,
Gay guest of Flora’s proudest minions.

Or will you pause midst the fragrant clover
And their humbler viands not despise,
While the proud tuberoses wait their lover
And the pansies smile from their velvet eyes?
Away, away, on dainty pinions
Gay guest in Flora’s fair dominions.
~Excerpted verses from a poem by
Martha Lavinia Hoffman

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Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. ~Song of Songs 2:12  ✝

**Top image found on Pinterest; edited bottom image found on the Internet

1125. Flowers heal me. Clematis make me happy. I keep myself surrounded by it… ~Edited excerpt by Rebecca Wells

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Natalie, Natalie, oh so merry
How does your garden grow?
With a vine here, and another one there,
Of pretty clematis climbing on high.

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Clematis vine boasts vibrant hue,
now seeks acclaim for ocean’s blue,
and strives to catch the morning dew.
~Cona Adams

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If I had grown up in that house
I couldn’t have loved it more,
couldn’t have been more familiar with
the creak of the swing, or the pattern of the clematis
vines on the trellis, or the velvety swell of land
as it faded to gray on the horizon…The very
colors of the place had seeped into my blood.
~Donna Tartt

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On the warm stone walls, climbing roses
were just coming into bloom and
great twisted branches of honeysuckle and
clematis wrestled each other as they
tumbled up and over the top of the wall.
~Meg Rosoff

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Happiness is remembering my wild and lovely garden,
Arbors of white roses and purple clematis;
Pretty yellow daylilies and daffodils beside a rail fence,
Placing carefully flowers, I create a soul-soothing retreat.
In my beautiful garden all my old favorites grow,
No color does not have its place to welcome birds and butterflies;
Even wild flowers and vines, and kittens grow,
Seeding themselves the purple larkspur and rosy phlox;
Such beauty, O such beauty, had rested beneath the snow.
~Edited acrostic by Broken Wings

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Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4  ✝