Monday, June 26, 2006


Another of the brightest summer flowers blooming now is the daylily. It is so cheerful and colorful, how could anyone help but love it? Like old fashioned flowers often do, it reminds me of my childhood. My first memories were of living in an unpainted house down a country lane(John Grisham is not the only Arkansan to live in one of these). It had a porch across the front and at one end a pink rose bush that smelled heavenly like a rose bush should. A hogwire fence separated the yard from the cotton patch and planted along that fence were Rose of Sharon trees, some of which provided the occasional switch needed to straighten out little girls. In the back yard was a big walnut tree and in the corner was a patch of flags or daylilies. Every summer when they bloomed they looked like little orange flags waving in the breeze. They were simple blooms and could be seen in just about every country yard and garden. They are still blooming and waving their bright faces in northeastern Arkansas, in fence rows, side ditches, along railroad tracks and anywhere else they are allowed to remain. Now they are blooming in my Louisiana country yard as well.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunflower Trail

"Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock". (Henry W. Beecher)

This afternoon, Dear Husband and I took a drive in the country along the Sunflower Trail. The villages of Dixie, Belcher and Gilliam are host to the most beautiful fields of sunflowers each year. The Planters along the river provide the bright, golden yellow faced flowers along the road and in the right of ways. There are acres of these beautiful summer flowers with a spot for cutting your own bouquet to take home. There is a festival that provides arts, crafts and of course, good country food. It is something I look forward to each year, and this year did not disappoint.This plain, honest flower" is one of the most beautiful and one of my favorites.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Feathered Friend

Our pair of little yellow birds are back, working on another family. This time they definitely set up housekeeping in the gourd under the porch. Why they changed address I haven't a clue. Maybe because it is a cooler spot, out of the sun since it is much hotter now than when they started the first family.
Here is a picture, although not a great one, but if you enlarge (click) you can get a better view.
The baby hawks are hunting like old timers now. We have seen and heard them out in the front acre, looking for a tasty morsel to nibble on. We finally had some rain, about an inch and a half, and everything has been refreshed from birds to people. Unfortunately, along with the rain came the heat and humidity. Gotta love the liquid air of the south in summertime!
Summertime also brings garden veggies. We have had fresh pinto beans, tomatoes, squash, and sweet corn on the cob this week thanks to the generosity of those who have gardens and share. This takes me back to my childhood on the farm. Mother always had a large garden and something was always ready to pick, shell, wash or peel. And if that wasn't enough to keep us busy, the job I hated the most, the washing of the fruit jars in a galvanized wash tub!
It's funny that something that was such a chore then is such a treat now. Maybe that is why we consider them the "good ole days". It takes getting older to appreciate them.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Hot Time in the Old Town

Even though it is only the middle of June, here on Cypress Knee Swamp, it is summertime. The projected high is 98 degrees and if that isn't summer, I don't know what is. I am glad the grass is already cut this week, I would hate to be out doing that today. Reminds me of the old song "Summertime and the livin' is easy". When the temperature heats up, I tend to slow down and take it easy!
The yard is still looking really good, flowers blooming and grass green, but if these temps continue without rain, things will start to fade out pretty quickly.
The swamp is still alive with nature sounds. Early this morning, while drinking coffee by the gazebo, I heard seemingly hundreds of bird calls. I can't identify the different sounds, but I could tell there were lots of baby or young birds calling. I guess most have hatched by now. Yesterday, as I was watering the yard, a baby blue jay came up to the magnolia to take a bath in the sprinkler. He was just too cute, he still had fluffy down feathers in some places. The yellow warblers have set up housekeeping again, this time in the gourd under the porch. We're watching for more little babys.
Other than that, things are mostly quiet on the swamp. We still have the raccoons coming at night to feed on corn and the turtles have been laying eggs everywhere. Most are dug up and eaten before they get a chance to hatch, however, there seems to be no shortage of turtles, so there's bound to be some surviving. Mother Nature at work is always fascinating.
Live easy!
Aunt C