Dry Am I: Pictures From the Ground

Instead of taking full-on pictures of the dead-dust flammable lawn, I thought I’d take a moment to look at the smaller picture. We’re currently under a burn ban beginning today and we’ll probably be under a lawn sprinkler ban before July if the drought doesn’t break.




Do not walk on dry grass in bare feet:  it’s like stepping on toothpicks.  😦


A breath of fresh air…

Though the storm made grumbly noises yesterday evening it didn’t manage to spit out rain.  The hot, dry weather sucked all the moisture from the storm as it rolled across Illinois–we ended up with loud clouds.  It didn’t bring any liquid relief.  My whole yard is brown–August hot-as-hell brown–and I doubt it will get better this summer.

We are down 4″ of precipitation from normal.

The false storm did break the heatwave and the weather today is spectacular.  I think I am going to go outside and spread a blanket in the yard and read.  That is something I haven’t done for ages…

Note:  I am working to finish both Persuasion and Why Read? this week.

Trouble so early…

Usually I have no problem writing for Nanowrimo, but that does not seem to be the case for my experience for Camp Nanowrimo.  I am stymied by the weather and allergies and the desire to do everything else!

I couldn’t manage my 1700 words yesterday; I ended up about 400 short.  It was all about the apathy yesterday–bad, bad me!

The stat marker had 6666 words listed as the benchmark for Day 4.  Instead of doing my usual slog at the computer, I went outside with a notebook and pen to write by hand.  It did wonders for my mind and brought new life to the story.  I didn’t feel as pent up as I do sitting in an office watching the birds and flowers from the window…  I managed 2151 words today and have crossed the writing threshold at 6737.

Maybe if I try speed writing first thing in the morning I won’t feel so confined and pressured by the nice weather…


I want more!

I have no idea what kind of butterfly bush I bought…it wasn’t labeled.  But it was 60% off and I got three.  They are absolutely some of the darkest purple flowers I have ever seen in a plant and the smell is divine.  I watched them last night and I swear every bee and butterfly within a mile stopped by until the last dregs of light were fading from the evening!

These are the ones I could catch this morning.  We’ve got a really breezy day and my camera–while fairly good at catching a still shot–was no match for it.  I ended up with a lot of blurred pictures.

I hope these plants do well.  If they do, I think I will get a few more next year.

White lavender…who knew?

Perhaps I am a bit thick.  I’ve never considered that lavender came in any color but purple!  Technically, “Jean Davis” is a pale pink…but up close mine is mostly white.  Although it does look quite lovely next to my pink speedwell.

I needed a second English lavender plant because one of mine died.  To be honest, I was quite surprised that my second one sprouted at all!  It is still frail and wispy, but I didn’t have the heart to yank it up when it smelled so awesome and had a few blooms beginning to pop out.

I think I am going to give it a few doses of fertilizer and hope it likes the new lavender and speedwell as bedmates.  We’ll see how it is at the end of the summer…


I absolutely adore peonies–they are so beautiful.  I would have them everywhere if it weren’t for the ants.  That was the one thing my mother impressed on me about peonies:  plant them away from the house because of the ants.

Here are the two bushes of white peonies I currently have:

And here are two gorgeous red peonies I just bought:

I don’t think they’ll bloom this year, but they will be stunning next spring.  I am very excited!

Ok.  I am off to plant some salvia and speedwell.  But to tide you over…have a bearded iris:

Pardon the mess

I am feeling a need for a bit of redecorating around the ol’ blogstead.  If you show up and the walls have turned an ugly shade of puce and nothing is where you last left it, please note that it is only temporary.  Thanks!


I am being a bad library patron

I love my local library.  It is just one branch of the town system, but it is homey and my librarians know me.  If I want something and it isn’t found in the local area, they bend over backwards to locate a copy.  They are wonderful!

However, I find myself in a small–not insignificant–quandary for an avid reader.  I am slowly working through a book currently three days overdue and I am having trouble finishing it with any kind of speed.  I am enjoying the story, but something in me just isn’t swallowed up by the book–which seems to be, lately, what my body demands in order to justify the attention span spent on reading.

Can I blame this on spring fever?  I don’t want to sit still; I hate being inside.  My sleep cycle is readjusting to wake me for the ever-earlier sunrise.  You’d think with the extra hours I spend awake that I’d make time to read…but no.  I am all flibbertigibbet!

So my dilemma is:  do I do the smart thing and return the book (as someone is waiting for it) or do I selfishly try to muddle through before the weekend?

New camera. Bad weather.

My new camera came today–a Canon PowerShot SX130is.  I looked at reviews on several sites to get a feel for it and found them to be mostly positive with detailed accounts of what to expect.  Right out of the box it has proven itself simple to handle and easy to navigate.

Unfortunately, the weather refuses to cooperate with my new toy and is waffling on with a steady spring rain.

I’m off to play with the camera now…somewhere dry.