Christmas in July

Every morning at the Clearing brings a fresh bounty of gifts from Mother Nature. Eric and I are in constant states of rapture over each summer day’s new offerings. The growing season is so short here, hence things grow very quickly. As Eric says, they really have to get after it.

We leave for sunny (and dry) California in four short days. We’ll be there for two months giving our classes, and I have to say, although it will be wonderful to see our family and friends, and even though I have been “filled up” by the beauty of this place, I feel a little gypped out of the surprises yet to come before we return in October. And how I wish we could be here when the snappers hatch!

As far as critter sightings, as you know if you have been following my blog, we have seen snappers (our girl likes to sun on the rock in the pond), a couple of deer, bunnies, bullfrogs, a toad, newts, chipmunks, snakes, pileated woodpeckers, robins, hummingbirds – a mink! But we’ve only seen one  meesily “meese.” Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy we saw a moose (and she wasn’t meesily at all, by the way), but I am finding meese-sightings to be a bit like crack cocaine. One hit, so fleeting, so thrilling – and you just want MORE.

So far no bears, and that’s fine by me.

We did make a couple of trips to the “big city” while here. We drove all the way to beautiful (not) Sandusky, Ohio (12 hours in one day!) for the OWEA (Ohio Water Environment Association) conference, where Eric was giving a talk. I should have taken pictures of the city, simply to show the contrast between heaven and a dirty ashtray, but I had my hands full for the two days, with poodles and rain and rushing about, and whatnot.  Suffice it to say, there is just something wrong with having a water environment conference at a convention center/resort which boasts America’s largest indoor water park. (All the way from Africa? What???)

And the route the Kalahari Resort is on what has to be the longest and most dismal-looking string of shopping centers and strip malls I think I have ever seen, anywhere. Especially in the misty rain. (On second thought, maybe it would have been even worse if it were a sunny day – kind of like focusing a spotlight on a dumpster.*) Someone at the conference asked us if it felt good to get out of the “boonies” for a few days. Ummm…hmmm…well…you fill in the blank.

We also drove seven hours down to Philadelphia (sans doggies this time!) for a family wedding on July 3rd.  It never occurred to us that the Fourth of July weekend in Philly is rivaled maybe only by Mardi Gras in N’Awlins. Holy moly! It was hot and muggy, streets were closed, traffic crawled, the streets crawled with tourists, we crawled, about three miles an hour, to our hotel. It was the first time Eric and I have gotten vaguely grumpy since I can’t remember when. We both said this wedding better be good. Thankfully, it was more than good – it was sweet and touching. Eric and I both got verklempt and hand-squeezy during the ceremony – leaving us all glowing and gushy and lovey-dovey for the evening. Don’t you love that about weddings? And, of course, it was so much fun to dance and be with family. (Those Zumba ladies can cut a rug!) HOWEVER, we vamoosed (Moose! You had to bring up moose! Where’s my methadone??) back to Vermont as fast as our Volvo’s four little tires could roll us, and were home the very the next day by 4pm. Whew. Another trip to the big city survived.

We’ll see how we survive the big city for the next two months…(TBD…)

Meanwhile, here are just a few of the wonders at the Clearing, that seem as if they will never cease:

Black-eyed Soosie-Q

Gorgeous Peonies

Daisies, of course

Anyone know the name of these?

Lily – tiger?


I have no idea what this is, but there is a lot of it, and it’s so pretty!

More lovely lilies


(Even though Kylie, the dear heart, said I could, I cannot take credit for these “portraits of a frog.” Somehow she managed to get real up-close-and-personal with this happy little fellow when she visited last week. Amazing.)

Eric thinks our snapper-girl climbs up on the rock in the middle of the pond to keep vigil over her younguns, still safely buried quite a ways from the pond, in the dirt by the dug-up stump, where she left them.  I am thinking she pretty much forgot about them the moment after she laid them, but Eric obviously has much more a romantic notion about turtles than I do.

Look what my hunter-gatherer brought home for me.


*If anyone from Sandusky happens to be reading this and absolutely LOVES Sandusky, let me be clear that we only saw a very small part of Sandusky. The ugly part. There could easily be pretty areas of Sandusky. (With a name like Sandusky…)

7 thoughts on “Christmas in July

  1. Yes, the four of us. And it will be by air. The poodles first plane flight. Am I nervous? You be the judge. Ohm…ohm…

  2. Oh, the elusive moose…when you least expect they will leap out at your vehicle, hell bent on committing suicide (or is that mooseicide?!). We probably see more than you and even after 20 years in Alaska, we still enjoy seeing them & hollering “MOOSE!” Every time one crosses our path. In fact, on the way to the airport last night, one was wandering through a field & we took the time to admire her! I love moose! Check out Loretta Carestia Cortis Facebook page for some photos of moose babies in her yard a couple nights ago…beyond cute!! Enjoy your trip west, & I hope to connect in October when we come up that way for a visit with my Dad in NH. Keep up the good blogging, I love to read your musings!

  3. Thank you, Marilyn! And I did see Loretta’s photos. So sweet! Hoping some moose will grace us with a sighting or two when we return in early October. And YES come see us when you are in NH! Let us know the dates you will be in the area.

  4. I love your photos…..think the pink spiky flowers are called actaea, and I have the same orangey yellow lilies called “Stella D’Oro” growing in my backyard. You are correct about the tiger lilies. Love my flower gardens!

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