Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Dog Days of August . . .

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With the month of August's arrival . . . everything seems to slow down  a bit.  The turning wheel of the seasons rolls slowly through this month.   Nobody seems in much of a hurry as the dog days of August fall upon us.   The dairy cows which pasture in the fields next to the housing estate where we live seek the shade of tall, old oaks which abut their pasture, dreamily chewing their cud.  Cats tiptoe along the tops of stone walls at dusk making their way home . . . there is no hurry after all . . . even Mitzie seems to lack her earlier enthusiasm in chasing them, doing so only in a half hearted fashion.  Now is when we will see real growth of the fruit on our pear and apple trees . . .

When I was a child we called these the "Dog Days" of August . . . our days were hot and long . . . the sultry days of summer.The ancient Romans noticed that the hottest days of the year, that is, in late July and early August, coincided with the appearance of Sirius . . .  the Dog Star, in the same part of the sky as the Sun. Sirius is the largest and brightest star in the Canis Major constellation, in fact it is the brightest star in the sky.  The ancients believed that this star contributed to the heat of the day . . .

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Lots of people go on Vacations in August.   That is traditional here in the UK because the kids are now on their summer holidays, most having started them in mid to end July.  I know in America they are getting ready to return to school shortly.   It is funny how things differ from place to place, and yet . . . we live in a much smaller world.

August seems to hold a short hiatus between all the hard work in the garden of mid-summer and the brisk autumn days of getting in the wood for the Winter ahead and harvesting the remaining fruit and veg . . . as I said before . . . there is no hurry.   Even the weeds in the garden seem to slow down a bit.  It seems to be the natural time for man and Mother Nature to relax, a time for dreaming . . . for having a thoughtful look at life . . . and for being a bit lazy in letting some of the chores go by the board . . . after-all . . . what's the worst that could happen?

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Our quiet garden definitely seems to lose a lot of it's oomph in August.  As Todd and I wandering around it last evening (trying to cool off), we noticed that the back garden at least . . . has seen it's best . . . everything is beginning to look a tad tired.   I said to him, were we really knowledgeable about gardens we would know which plants and flowers to put in and where, so that we would have a continuous bloom . . . so that just as one finished, another would spring up to take it's place.   It was like that in the Herbaceous Border at the manor down South.   There was no time of year that it was not a delight to walk through it.

I cannot afford two full time gardeners though . . . there is just Todd and myself, and I am much better at supervising than I am at doing any actual leg work.     I enjoy gardening like I enjoy my sports . . . from the vantage point of the comfort of my chair.   Todd doesn't mind.  Just as I don't like too many hands in the kitchen, he doesn't like too many hands in the garden.  He is content to allow me the luxury of enjoying the fruits of his labours visually rather than tactorily . . . is that a word?   I don't know, but I think you know what I mean.

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This is the month of seaside treasure seeking . . . you never know what you will find.   The empty shell of a crab claw . . . dried seaweed, sea glass . . . cockle shells . . . flat stones polished smooth from being bashed against the shore, time and time again.  If you are lucky you might find one shaped like a heart . . . or even with a hole bored through it.  As a child I had many such treasures . . . I still do . . .

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Treasure seeking is thirsty business . . .

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

*╰╮. ≀ .╭╯ ☽
. ⌣⌢ (ˆ◡ˆ) ⌢⌣ 
. ☾ ╭╯˙≀˙╰╮*

"Your living is determined 
not so much by what life brings to you 
 as by the attitude you bring to life; 
 not so much by what happens to you 
 as by the way your mind looks at 
what happens."
 ~Kahlil Gibran

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Baking in The English Kitchen this morning . . . Cranberry, Ginger and White Chocolate Rock Cakes.
Enjoy your Saturday!

(Note, all the garden pics here today are from one of our trips to Hever Castle when we lived down South.  What a lovely place it was . . . )


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