Garden & Sky

Archive for the tag “clouds”

The days are getting shorter…

August 29, 2017 – The days are getting shorter. This is especially noticeable as the rhythms and patterns of the Earth shift compared to the unchanging patterns of the human day. I sit on my couch in the early morning as I write this, looking out the sunroom windows to the east and notice the differences in the light now–both in quantity and quality–compared to a few weeks ago. Now, 6:00 AM is all dim, misty, pale dawn with crickets still softly chirping and the neighbor’s backyard light still on. Just a few weeks ago, bright rays of sun would have already been poking through the trees, and the morning would have been bright, sharp, and noisy. Birds would have been chattering and swooping, going about their morning business. This time of year, even when the morning is well under way, the light never seems to have that hot, intense sharpness; it’s more warm, radiant, and golden.

This morning’s sky is clear–peaceful and serene, but not as dramatic as a partly cloudy sky. Light needs a companion–a towering cumulonimbus, a high mountain peak, a hillside carpeted with autumn trees–to create drama and awe.

Without the light, there are no amazing landscape or skyscape views. And without land and sky objects, the light just continues on its journey, uninterrupted by interesting features.

I think most often we prefer to have things to look at, objects that catch our eye and focus our attention. But, an “empty sky” has its own special beauty, giving us a glimpse of the vastness, the immensity, the infinity that is our world and our universe.


Clouds and Caterpillars

August 28, 2017 – It is cool and cloudy this morning. The line of rain that was heading this way from the northwest predictably split into a northern mass and a southern mass, leaving us dry in the middle. But the remnants of rain, or even a near miss of rain, make for a beautiful sky. The rising sun paints highlights and shadows on a soft blue background. Soft pieces of gray fluff drift by…Meanwhile, on the ground, we have new, many-legged life appearing here and there… on the milkweed¬†

…on the fennel¬† …on the dill

…and on the parsley.It’s fascinating to watch these guys go through their life cycle… eating and growing and eating and growing. However, we’ve found that when they reach a certain size, the birds get them and/or they wander off in search of a chrysalis site. So here’s what I asked Joe to build…It doesn’t have a “floor.” Its four legs just stick into the ground, so it can be placed right over any plant that happens to have a few caterpillars clinging to it. Also, this year, Joe added a removable top… handy for replenishing the food supply. At the moment, we’ve got about five swallowtail caterpillars of various size in residence. Inside their house, they are safe and we can watch their growth as they munch away at the fennel. It’s not “air-tight,” though, and some still manage to escape as they get ready to transform.

So, this time of year, we don’t harvest many herbs; we leave them for the caterpillars.

We don’t have a caterpillar house for the monarchs yet… that’s on the list for next year. This guy will have to take his chances. He certainly seems up to the challenge.Nature doesn’t really need any help from us; we just need to stay out of its way.

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