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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

1259. Ipomoea alba, a white blooming, fragile moon destined only to bloom for a single, lovely night. ~Natalie

In whispered song of shadowed pearl,
her lumened face now opened
for night’s cool embrace.
~Edited excerpt
from a poem, by David Mohn

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From out of twining, emerald leaves
what was at first a tight, small
small bud of green, emerges
a twisted spiral of white and green.

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Then wider and wider it
spreads until like a lady’s
handkerchief it opens.

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As the stars pop out one by one
in the heavens above the satiny,
fragrant, night-blooming
morning glory begins its reign
as sovereign monarch throughout
the entirely of night’s realm.

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Round like the moon, it mimics 
 the orb in the utter splendor 
of its fullness before it begins
to crumple in the day’s first light,

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But that it might be
cool enough to embolden it
to linger a little longer.

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The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. ~1 Corinthians 15:41  ✝

**In the last photograph you are looking at a moonflower fully opened after first light because it was cool enough that morning when I took the picture. And I’m looking at it from the back so that you can see one of the small green buds behind it that it was before it began to untwist and open.

1214. Heart-stopping envy is the sincerest form of flattery. ~Anna Godbersen

Life is indeed colorful. We can feel in the pink one day,
with our bank balances comfortably in the black, and
the grass seemingly no greener on the other side of the fence.
And then out of the blue, something invites envy.
~Edited and adapted excerpt
by Alex Morritt

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In the spring when we were actually getting rain, we also had several bouts of hail along with the showers. As a result this summer there have been little armies of roofers tap, tap, tapping their way all around town. Our roof too was recently replaced, and then two weeks later my new neighbor got her new roof put on. Shortly thereafter, Natalie, yes interestingly we share the same name, was out in her front yard when we pulled onto our driveway. When she saw us, she came running over to tell us about something funny that had happened while the workers were up on her roof. It seems that one of them was so taken with my yard and flowers that he was leaning over on his ladder to get a better view. But because his view was blocked by a large tree, he had to lean way over on his ladder to get a good look at it. And then boom, he finally had leaned a tad too far over and tumbling down came he and his ladder. Fortunately, other than his pride, the guy wasn’t hurt so we felt no remorse about having a really good laugh about the incident. Then Natalie went on to tell us another funny story about her mom who is so envious of my yard that she’s been trying to get glimpses of it through the slats in her privacy fence. And it also seems that she’s seen enough to jokingly ask Natalie if she thought I’d notice if she sneaked over and dug up a few things. Of course I was very flattered and pleased that others enjoy my little piece of Eden as much as I do, but I don’t want them falling off ladders or having to peek through fences to see it. So I told Natalie, as I tell everyone, that people are always welcome to open the gate and come on in to look around, and that I’d be happy to share with her and her mom all the seeds that they might want. I also told her that I have chairs spread out around the yard for those who want to linger a while longer. Lastly and with tongue in cheek, I said that she and her mom were more than welcome to come in and dig up all the weeds they wanted.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast; it is not. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. ~1 Corinthians 13:4-5 ✝

**The collage is of some of what’s on my garden’s altars today.

1211. The summer came to life. It burst from gray to fierce blue and gold in the blink of an eye; the air pealed with grasshoppers and lawnmowers… ~Tana French

Grasshopper Green is a comical chap;
he lives on the best of fare.
Bright little trousers, jacket, and cap,
These are his summer wear.
~Excerpt from a poem
by Nancy Dingman Watson

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Gary the Grasshopper sat down in the sun
and sang of the way that his life had begun.
First off as an egg he was laid in the ground
and there he remained with never a sound,
his body unmoving, all pallid and white,
till Spring came around and the weather was right.
He remembers quite clearly the day of his birth
he wriggled and pushed his way up through the earth,
then on reaching the surface he threw off his skin,
he had to do this so his life could begin,
but it wasn’t a problem because underneath
he was wearing another as green as a leaf.
Once born he went looking for something to eat
he really liked salads and seldom ate meat,
and being quite young he thought it was good
to eat just as much as he possibly could.
He grew as he ate, and three times since then
he’s needed to make a new skin once again.
But now he’s full grown and he’s learning to be
an adult grasshopper both handsome and free,
so he sings in the night, and all through the day
till a suitable lady should wander his way,
and when they’re together, and after the rain,
they’ll start the ball rolling all over again.
~Gordon J.L. Ramel

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Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He(God) sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. ~Isaiah 40:21-22  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collages by Natalie

1192. Water lilies, Monet’s passion written in whispering tears as dragonflies press the air into a whir. ~Edited and adapted excerpts from poems by Beth St. Clair

Lilies perch upon their little islands
To flower on pads of green in the water
Amid the dance of dragonflies by day
And fireflies that grace the dark of night.
~Natalie Scarberry

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If you have forgotten water lilies floating
On a dark lake among mountains in the afternoon shade,
If you have forgotten their wet, sleepy fragrance,
Then you can return and not be afraid.

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But if you remember, then turn away forever
To the plains and the prairies where pools are far apart,
There you will not come at dusk on closing water lilies,
And the shadow of mountains will not fall on your heart.
~Sara Teasdale

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Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. ~Psalm 126:5  ✝

**Image of one of Monet’s water lily paintings and his signature found on the Interent; collage by Natalie

1161. What a lovely thing a rose is! ~Arthur Conan Doyle

The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.
~John Boyle O’Reilly

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Oh!
Whoa! Look
At that amazing beauty!
Wow and wow again, I declare!
Who is that dark and sultry one I see?
She’s the Queen of Hearts they say, and she
Is said to be a dusky and sensually red rose who
Masquerades not as dark and pink magenta red but
One who’s shadowy with smoldering black overtones.
La Dame de Coeur is her real name and verily she’s the
“Ooh la la” hybrid daughter of two other “femme fatales”
Of great acclaim and renown, Peace and Independence.
Not only a stunning and truly red rose is she, but also
Freely does she bear large, double, fragrant flowers
This queen who begins life in hot and fiery hues
And then ages from scarlet to regal crimson
Over leaves which are ever so green.
~Natalie Scarberry

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There is simply the rose; it is perfect
in every moment of its existence.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. ~Psalm 144:12  ✝

**I’ve eyed this rose in the Antique Rose Emporium catalog for years and finally decided to buy one this spring and I’m in love with her. She’s actually an even prettier red than these photos show. Red just never appears to be as pretty in digital photos for some reason.

1102. Fate shall yield to fickle chance, and chaos judge the strife. ~John Milton

Bright and true and tender
can Mother Nature be albeit 
dark, fierce, fickle and disastrous
oft too is she.
~Natalie Scarberry

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It is sad that nature will play
such tricks with us poor mortals,
inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her,
and then, when we are entirely
within her power, tricking us to the heart.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Every year it seems to me
I hear complaints about spring.
It is either “late” or “unusually cold,”
“abnormally dry” or “fantastically wet,”
for no one is ever willing to admit
that there is no such thing as a normal spring.
~Thalassa Crusso

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This year had been shaping up to be the best spring ever in my gardens, and then as so often happens over the Texas prairies this time of year, blustery high winds caused cold air from the north to collide with the existing warm air making Mother Nature more foe than friend as night fell. I must have had some kind of sixth-sense inclination of the impending doom, however, because I took the three photographs above before I called it a day and came inside for good. Sadly what you see in them is gone now. The reason for their demise can be seen in the picture below of the huge amount of pea-size to quarter-size hail that fell with the two-inch downpour of rain. I know that it could have been worse because tornados can and do sometimes accompany such weather events; so I’m grateful this time wasn’t one of them and that no one was hurt or experienced loss of life, limb, or property. But it was still sad, very sad today, to see masses of green “carnage” as well as the remains of flowery life and beauty scattered everywhere. Yet I will always praise the Lord for the rain.

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Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone. ~Zechariah 10:1  ✝