Today, our reader VBFF has sent in one of her favourite trees as seen in two seasons. The tree got its name because at one point it held an impressive eagle’s nest.
With Covid raging we made the wise decision to stay the fuck at home during our holiday, and with 2.5% of people returning form “risk areas” testing positive (mind you, these were mass tests, not tests of people who themselves suspect anything or show symptoms), this was a smart decision if we ever made one. Instead we invested the money in a steelframe pool with a dome tent to protect it.
What sounds like putting up an oversized kiddy pool was indeed about two weeks of hard work. Not the pool or the tent, but the preparations. First Mr had to clear the area in the overgrown area we rent from the city. Then we had to level the ground. The area has a very small slope. Really, you’d hardly notice. 20 cm on a 6m area. When you need to level it you notice, because you are shovelling several tons of dirt, not to mention the roots and that nice block of blue concrete that we had to remove. But after three weeks of backbreaking sweat soaking work, we needed about an hour and a half to put up the pool and my dad and I needed another 2 hours to put up the tent.
So here it is, and with a heat wave rolling over us, it was one of the best decisions ever. I can tell you, finding this house with its garden at a reasonable price was the best piece of luck we ever had.
It’s got a diameter of 3.5m and can be filled to 1.3m depth. I suggest applying insect repellent before getting anywhere near because this is nature.
It’s a gloomy overcast day with rain on the way, but the heat wave has broken and the temp is a pleasant 24°. Shade isn’t necessary today so we walked the path beside the lake and listened to all the children playing in the water on the other side. The far side of the lake has a camp ground with picnic and swimming areas and my city has just done away with the $10.00 fee to use the facilities. It’s always been busy on that side of the lake, but since the fees have been waved it seems to be getting even more use.
Jack and I prefer the quiet side of the lake. Jack can swim without kids bugging him and I don’t need to worry about Jack looking for cuddles when he’s soaking wet. Jack just doesn’t understand why people don’t want to love him up when he’s wet. I’ve tried to explain it to him, but Jack keeps telling me that it’s only water and that it makes him extra adorable. Alright, Bubbs, we’ll go with that and just stay over here on our own. I don’t mind the solitude a bit.
It’s a hot one here today and Jack and I didn’t get out as early as I hoped – a bit of extra gravity from the humidity slowed me down. Instead it was about noon and Jack was obviously anxious to go out so I decided the shade of the woods was our best option. Jack wanted to go swimming in the river, but there isn’t enough shade there for me so I pulled rank and we went to the forest. For once we didn’t run into any strange happenings, but we did find a patch of ripe wild black raspberries. YES! I picked and ate until my fingers were black and Jack was making the “Come on Mom” noises. I offered him a berry, but he looked at me like I was offering him poison and then he made the sad little whimper again. Sheesh! I’d pretty much denuded the patch by this point, but there are oodles more berries still to ripen so I think next time we come (very, very soon!) I’ll bring a bowl and maybe come home with enough wild, “organic” black raspberries for a pie. I know just how to make it good.
Today Jack and I stopped to say hello to one of our favourite horses who is finally out of the barn and back in the field again. We call him Ranger, but that isn’t his real name. We don’t know what his real name is so Ranger will have to do. In the past I’ve tried giving him a few other names, but none of them suited him at all. He is not a Mr. Ed nor is he a high-ho Silver and away. He’s definitely not a Secretariat or a Man O’ War and I’m pretty sure he’s not the Trigger type, either. Perhaps someday he’ll come closer and whisper his name to me, but in the meantime I’ll keep trying to guess. Ranger works for now, but it isn’t quite right either. Maybe one of you has a better guess.
It’s that wonderful time of the month when Nightjar shares her portraits of light.
In the month of the Summer Solstice sunlight is brighter than ever and nature is bracing for the dry season. Many wildflowers have gone to seed and are drying out already (some are doing weird stuff like the wild chive in the last photo… perhaps confused by the unstable weather?) and bugs are very busy. Backlighting is trickier this time of the year but I tried to play with June Light from all angles and I think it was worth it.
Our weather has finally warmed up and the past few days have been pleasantly warm and summer-like. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for many of our readers, especially those across Europe who are enduring a heat wave. Jack and I hope you find ways to stay cool, safe and hydrated. Jack says all you need is water – drink, splash, swim and stay cool. I say a little air-conditioning might be a good thing, too.
I’ve been low on energy for the past few days so Jack and I have been taking short walks close to home. Today, though, I woke up with a smidge of get-up-and-go, so we did. We got up and went to the river and I’m happy to report that the flooding has resolved and all the paths were clear and dry. Jack had fun splashing around and a HappyJack™ makes for a happy voyager.
We seem to have got our summer early, although next week is supposed to cool down significantly. I am using this time to try not to melt and to gather materials for a few posts – still have the Skopje Aqueduct to present, then some things from Madrid (basically a series on fancy chandeliers), and a couple other things.
For the moment, though, I’m trying to get back into something like a routine after being sick and after the frequent travel – the good news is I have one more trip to Skopje during the second half of June, and then I get to not go anywhere for a couple of months at least. Looking forward to that, because I can’t get anything done in the summer anyway. Which seems to have arrived with a blast of hot air (30 in May, I’m sorry, too much!).
The heat also discourages Ronja from her usual energetic antics, so I got some nice poses, for your enjoyment. She’s a beauty. And she still hasn’t shed all her winter coat, no matter how much we brush her.