Thursday, July 12, 2018

Stillmeadow - June


Gladys Taber begins her June entry so beautifully.
It might seem as if June is an old story, with so much poetry written about it, and so many songs sung. And yet every time it comes it is as much of a wonder, as much of a delight.
If I had Aladdin's lamp and the usual three wishes, the first would always be, "Give me the first day of June." The whole complete day, with the sky-blue dawn, and the golden noon, and the violet dusk, and the silvered night. With early roses unfolding and a hummingbird over the border. And a whole packet of smells too. New-cut grass, and pea vines, and freshly hoed garden soil.
What was June this year like where you live? Other than ticks, I'd say mine was pretty close to Gladys' description. There is always the odd weather June, but most every year is the same, bringing the end of spring and the beginning of summer. Here are a few pictures from Windy Poplars.

blackberry flowers


looking up toward the house 

a volunteer lupine that popped up beside the road


a tremendous year for locust flowers


the patio garden


My very favorite Gladys quote appears in her June entry. These words have a permanent place here on the blog in the Recipes folder under the blog header picture.
When I get to Heaven, I am not going to put on golden shoes or cast down golden crowns around a glassy sea or play on my harp. No, I am going to eat all the hot bread and potatoes I want. Cinnamon rolls, pinwheel biscuits, hot muffins. French-fried potatoes, baked potatoes, creamy mashed potatoes. Potato fluff. Butter will go well, too. And fresh-made jam. Or clear amber honey.
Amen! Though I'm not waiting for Heaven.

I was delighted when I came upon a passage about whippoorwills. I wanted to put up the link to my mention of this bird here, so I did a search for whippoorwill. And I could.not.believe one result. It hasn't been decades since we've had one here, as I said in the post. In June 2013 I wrote about hearing them. Tom and I have absolutely NO memory of this. And we think we know why. Four months after that day, the whole roller coaster of fear and worry began. And afterwards, the joy of having grandchildren - one, two, three. If you are a new reader, you may learn what I'm talking about here.

So after that long digression, here is Gladys' humorous take on her whippoorwills.
I used to think of the whippoorwill as a most romantic bird; once or twice I heard one crying in the north woods in Wisconsin and the sound was exquisite. But that was before I got so intimate with the whippoorwill. He has lost his charms for me. All night long I am jerked from my sleep at ten minute intervals, not by one lone one, but by all his sisters and his cousins and his aunts. I never knew they came in bevies, but if this is just one family group going on so furiously, I know they have sore throats.
The voice of the whippoorwill has a penetrating quality, a kind of feverish intensity as he implores me to whip poor Will. I rise up and assure him, and his relations, just as feverishly, that I would be glad to if I could only get a my hands on them. Romance or not, I like a few hours' sleep.
 She goes on to talk about visiting a man's beautiful place in the country.
"Oh, it is so lovely and peaceful here," I said.
Mr. Bellamy gave me an odd look. "You have any whippoorwills at Stillmeadow?" he asked.
We didn't mind being woken up one single bit. We hope he found a mate, and that more and more whippoorwills will come next spring.

12 comments:

  1. Whippoorwills are few and far between here. I would be delighted to be awakened by them. I am sure it would be annoying if it were a nightly chorus but I would like to hear it some time in my garden.
    Your garden looks lovely around the patio. I am glad all is well.

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    1. I'd love to hear a chorus. Maybe next year, and you can be sure I'll write about it. That patio garden became quite a mass/mess of weeds during the heat! Tom did some weeding when it got cool. Also, we've had no rain. Some parts of the state have 'moderate drought'. And we have 'abnormally dry'. I hate it when there isn't rain. It makes me very uneasy. Our grass is turning brown and we have to water the vegetables and some flowers every night. No rain in sight.

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  2. We don't have them in Europe (at least I don't think so), so I really don't know what they sound like. But like you, I don't mind waking up by the sound of birds - unless it is the raspy crackling-cackling magpies make, or when the crows make a raucous racket among each other.
    June is one of my favourite months - along with May, September and October... actually, I love the entire year, but June is truly special.

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    1. You may hear it here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Whip-poor-will/sounds

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  3. Whe I was in the Guides, we sang a song with the haunting refrain, 'whippoorwill, whippoorwill, whippoorwill. I can't remember the rest of it!
    From callmemadam, still unable to comment as myself.

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    1. What a great thing to remember! And great to hear from you.

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  4. Love the Whippoorwill and alas don't have them here ... guess I'll never hear one again, but I have my memories of summer nights in the south and listening to them calling through the evening. PS, where does the road go after it passes your wonderful home?

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    1. So, they aren't where you are?? I love your sweet memories. The road keeps going up until it ends about 2/10 of a mile beyond the house, and then there are just logging roads are. Pretty rough. Only good for the four-wheeler. The land is all ours.

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  5. Lovely pictures of your garden … nice to sit in the patio area …

    All the best Jan

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  6. I love that lupine and your patio looks so inviting!

    I don't think I've ever heard a whippoorwill, so thank you for sharing the link.

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    1. I'm pleased you listened to it. They can go on and on like that for ages.

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