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

1266. Man is never out of range of surprises! ~Mehmet Murat ildan

Life is so full of unpredictable
beauty and strange surprises.
~Mark Oliver Everett

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I’m not a professional photographer, but over the years I have and still do take some pretty good photos. However, when I go out on a photo shoot, I’m so focused on the object I’m trying to capture that things often appear in the background that I didn’t see or anticipate. Most of the time it means I have to toss those photos out because something has marred their beauty, but every now and again the unexpected surprise does create a thing of beauty. Such is what happened this morning while I was trying to capture morning glory images. It was very early and a few times my flash popped up, and I don’t really like to take close-up photos in nature with a flash because I find that it distorts the color and in others, the background remains too dark. Then when I edit them and try to lighten the dark background up, bad effects occur on the object(s) in the foreground. But this one above, I really liked because the flash picked up the adjacent neighbor’s pool slide and other objects around his pool that together with the two morning glories created what I think is a nicely colorful vignette.

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This second one was taken several years ago at an indoor rodeo. The barrel racer I was trying to capture was riding extremely fast of course and alongside a railing decorated with American flags which in the camera’s eye created wavy bands of red, white, and blue along with yellow bands from the artificial lighting as well as double visions of her. My daughter and I loved this one so much that as a gift to her I’ve had it blown up and created into what looks like a painting. Surprises like what’s in these 2 photos and other ones I’ve taken are the reasons I’m so passionate about taking photographs and gardening. And I’m fairly sure that I am not the only one surprised and intrigued by strange and unexpected sights.

So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” ~Exodus 3:3  ✝

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

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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.

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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.

1198. When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive-to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. ~Marcus Aurelius

Every morning, when we wake up,
we have twenty-four brand new hours to live.
What a precious gift!
We have the capacity to live in a way
that these twenty-four hours will bring
peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even,
the miserable and the crotchety –
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
~Mary Oliver

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. ~Proverbs 4:18  ✝

**Morning glory in my yard

1068. Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. ~Lindley Karstens

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A garden is a grand teacher.
It teaches patience and careful watchfulness;
it teaches industry and thrift;
above all it teaches entire trust.
~Gertrude Jekyll

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Garden Magic

This is the garden’s magic,
That through the sunny hours
The gardener who tends it,
Himself outgrows his flowers.

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He grows by gift of patience,
Since he who sows must know
That only in the Lord’s good time
Does any seedling grow.

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He learns from buds unfolding,
From each tight leaf unfurled,
That his own heart, expanding,
Is one with all the world.

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He bares his head to sunshine,
His bending back a sign
Of grace, and ev’ry shower becomes
His sacramental wine.

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Bring forth the very stuff
And substance of all beauty
This is reward enough.
~Marie Nettleton Carroll

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The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. ~Genesis 1:15  ✝

**All images via my garden in 2015

830. Morning glory is the best name, it always refreshes me to see it. ~Henry David Thoreau 

In the morning, everything is new.
The day’s blank slate lies before me, ready for my writing.
So I welcome this new day.
It is a gift to me, a new creation, a promise of resurrection.
I am thankful for being alive this morning.
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May I not miss beauty.
May I not miss joy.
May I not miss wonder.
May I make the world a better place this day.
~Both passages are excerpts
from Ceisiwr Serith
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Oh how I love vines; I love the way they climb; I love the way they twine around things, and so I’m thrilled as up, up, and up they go, these beautiful morning glories of mine! One of their best features is that the hotter it gets, the higher and faster they climb, and the higher they climb the more blooms they produce. Also morning glories come in a variety of colors, and the best part is that they all easily reseed themselves. That means I seldom have to start any new ones because Mother Nature does it for me. I do, however, occasionally try new varieties like the striped ones and the curlicue one you see. Although right now, because of the intense heat, my morning glories are only blooming in the mornings, as their name suggests, they will start staying open most of the day when it finally cools off sometime in September or October. Regardless of when they bloom or how long they stay, morning glories bless my day and among other things make me thankful for the gift of a new day. Thoreau may have been speaking of the glory of the morning in general, but these beauties can’t help but make the glory of the morning more spectacular.
**Give thanks in all circumstances, for this God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ~1 Thessalonians 5:18  ✝

502. The morrow was a bright September morn; the earth was beautiful as if newborn; 
there was nameless splendor everywhere, that wild exhilaration in the air… ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Did you hear them? Of maybe see them?! Did you? I didn’t either, but I know autumn fairies played upon the lawn last night; dew from their pixie dust was shining like diamonds upon the grass this morning. They must have worn themselves out in their playfulness, however, and vanished with the dawn because now where once they romped all I see are avian wings crisscrossing the yard.

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Fall has come but her red leaf and her gold have not. And so though the year is growing long in the tooth, the sparkle of life’s spark continues to pulse audibly to the beat of Yahweh’s heart. His Eden is still very much alive; spring and summer’s glory have not been vanquished. I know because I can hear it and see it bursting forth in the red of rosy faces, the yellow that sits atop the Maximillian sunflowers, the white that calls out from the Angel’s trumpets, the pink that plays on in phloxy mounds, the blue that paints the sky and the morning glories, the orange that echoes from the echinacea, the purple that mounts the ruella, and the green that continues to flesh out in grass and fern.

Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His dwelling place. ~1 Chronicles 16:27   ✝

Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of this amazing day as well as the power and strength that fills this aging, ailing body with enough oomph to praise you and rejoice in another day!

** Image via Pinterest