Goodbye Summer

My lawnmower broke a second time this year, and while I was unable to mow, the daisies took over! What a delicious silver lining.
My lawnmower broke a second time this year, and while I was unable to mow, the daisies took over! What a delicious silver lining.
I couldn't get enough of the daisies. I never did mow them because I didn't have the heart. Just let them die and then pulled them up.
I couldn’t get enough of the daisies. I never did mow them because I didn’t have the heart. Just let them die and then pulled them up.

I am reluctant to say goodbye this year. Last summer was dry and hot for so long. That’s the way I like it. First, because I am crazy for dry & hot weather (don’t ask me why I live on the Columbia River, 45 miles from the ocean). Second, because when you have full-on summer, it makes you hungry for Autumn. This summer was cool and wet. Bleh. And while the crisp mornings and short sunny days and October colours are my favourite season… this year I’m still yearning for summer. Just when will summer start anyway? I think I was warm enough to wear sandals without socks on about six days in total, and those weren’t in a row! I look at the calendar and see I may as well give up hope and start looking forward to summer 2017.

Here’s a goodbye to my summer. As you can see, the sun did shine now and then, and I ran outside with my camera!

First I am excited to show off some new birds I have spotted this year, as well as some I’ve seen before. I just learned that the Eurasian Collared-Dove first arrived in the contiguous 48 US states in 1980, in Florida. And look! Happy and healthy over here on the West coast already.

Western Tanager
Western Tanager
Western Tanager
Western Tanager
Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroat
This was Thomas, while I was taking photos of the Yellow Throated Warbler.
This was Thomas while I photographed the Common Yellowthroat Warbler.
You talking to me?
You talking to me?
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Beneath the bird feeder I've collected two Juncos, a Black-headed Grosbeak, and a chipmunk.
Beneath the bird feeder I’ve collected two Juncos, a Black-headed Grosbeak, and a chipmunk.
How cool is this?!
How cool is this?!
Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher
Spotted Towhee
Spotted Towhee

Even though I see them on a nearly daily basis, I still love the deer that show up. There have been two regulars all summer, both small does, but one is noticeably smaller than the other, so I have wondered if they are mother and daughter. The smaller one loves to play, and prances, and bows, and sprints in circles trying to get the bigger one to play. The bigger one twitches her ears and reaches down for another mouthful of grass. I love getting up in the morning to see them sleeping beneath the apple tree.

The littler, spunky one that loves to play.
The littler, spunky one that loves to play.
The mellow deer, eating from my garden.
The mellow deer, eating from my garden.
Waiting for the apples to ripen.
Waiting for the apples to ripen.

Thomas and Chaplin love it here, but there are continued problems. They fight with my Racecar and with each other. Do you know anyone in Oregon who wants to adopt?

Chaplin is named for his mustache, and because he's in black and white!
Chaplin is named for his mustache, and because he’s in black and white!
Thomas is wary of the freshly escaped chickens. (Don't worry, they are back in their pen.)
Thomas is wary of escaped chickens. (Don’t worry, they are back in their pen.)
Bullfrog enjoying a rare sunny day.
Bullfrog enjoying a rare sunny day.

My pond is evaporating again and it’s distressing. I really need to find a way to keep that thing filled. I can’t count on another humongous flood this winter like last year, to fill it up again. I have enlisted the input from my neighbors. There are three homes in a row here, and no one else in sight. And it’s nice that I can only see forest and fields in all directions except one, but why cram all three houses together with all this land? I just don’t get what people are thinking sometimes. So anyway, I’ve talked to the neighbors farthest away, because their back deck looks down onto my pond and they are always worried about it. They have lived here 22 years and know exactly how to take care of it. Their ideas are great, and their offers to help are great, so now we just wait on the spare change to collect so I can purchase the needed equipment. Stay tuned…

In fact, rain and lack of funds is keeping me from my annual 5-day solo backpacking trip this year. It’s such a sad thing. I toyed with the idea of driving down to New Mexico or Utah, to get some sun, but then there is also the problem of taking care of the animals. I’ve opted for a couple overnights locally. Hopefully it is just as fun, if not as epic, to stay one night somewhere nearby, and do it again a few days later.

13 thoughts on “Goodbye Summer

  1. Beautiful post, Chrystal 🙂

    As you bade goodbye to summer, we are saying bye bye to South west monsoon and waiting for North East monsoon 🙂

    We have, here in Kerala, South India, only two seasons, rainy and not rainy 🙂

    Have a beautiful day 🙂

    1. Thank you Sreejith! Ha ha, at least I don’t have monsoons to anticipate. Are they warm weather systems? In Japan it rained and was warm at the same time and I couldn’t stand it. My brain says it’s supposed to be cold when it rains. 😉

      It’s lovely to hear from you. I wish you a beautiful day, too, and a happy North East monsoon, ha ha.

    1. Exactly Maureen! That’s what I’m hoping for. We did have one lovely week last week, with warm sunny days and a couple of warm evenings. The timing was off and I was working from before sunup to after sunset every day except Wednesday, and on Wednesday I drove Tara back to college and we helped shop for food and a new bed and all that stuff. At least it was sunny and warm that day – very helpful. As luck would have it (or not) this week I have a pre-approved week of vacation, in which I intended to do my backpacking. The forecast is for rain every single day. Sigh. But I have my fingers crossed that the forecasters will be wrong. They often are!

    1. I will confess, Derrick, that I run cold. When others are comfortable, I’m reaching for my jacket. So I imagine there was a happy individual around here somewhere who was in sandals as long as you have been. I am going to be one of those old people who keeps the thermostat at 76 degrees all year and people don’t want to visit because the house is too warm! 😉

      I think I’ve missed my window for this year, since I have to get pre-approval for vacation days, and I have no other vacation days approved except this week and one in November (that I use for getting ready for Christmas). However! It did occur to me that I’ll be in better financial shape in the Spring, and a trip to New Mexico or Utah in March would be divine.

  2. Crystal, I wouldn’t have mowed over those daisies either! They make me smile when I see them, and your photos have made me smile as well.
    Glad to read this update, and while I’m sorry you won’t get your 5 day right now, I’m glad to hear your looking ahead to the spring.

    1. Way too beautiful to mow! For now, I’m going to enjoy the Autumn. The weather has been pretty nice for Fall, and the colours are starting to decorate the forests. The apples on the trees are just about ripe finally, and I can harvest what the deer haven’t eaten. I’ve been stacking piles of wood and eagerly anticipating fires in the woodstove.

  3. Loved the daisies too. Hope the trip works out for you and you get the pond resolved. The weather has been all off this summer but unlike you, I need cool. So happy to see the fall come so I can get indoor work done. GREAT photos! KIT. M

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