Friday, June 19, 2009


Our Etsybloggers assignment: Describe summer in our neighborhood.

And immediately, my mind leapfrogs to Mr Rogers, singing, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine?"

I live in Portland, where the summers are everything you could ever want that time of year to be. Literally. Freakishly hot one day, muggy the next, clear and sunny the day after, with a delicious breeze to swirl around your ankles and cool your feet that evening.

The matilija poppy covers its eight-foot high and wide self with blossoms that look like enormous fried eggs, the frilled white petals furling in the lightest of breezes, folding themselves over the poufs of yellow they surround.

The foxgloves have free reign in my garden, and I never know where they'll pop up, or even what color they'll be. There seems to be more variety in them every year as they hybridize themselves, but wherever they grow, they do it with great enthusiasm.

The hair garlic, a zany little allium, is also self-sowing. Seeing it out front makes me almost giggle. It refuses to grow in clumps, so there are long, skinny, leafless three-foot stems sprouting just wherever, here and there, one sticking up from the middle of the candytuft, two beside the lilies, another stuck between the euphorbia and the pavers through the flowerbed. Hair garlic. I didn't plant it because it's pretty. I planted it because it's goofy, and it never fails me.

And the irises. I've lost count of the varieties, and sometimes have to look them up to remember their names, but I ove them all.

That's summer here. Days and days when I don't shiver, days that begin before five, with birdsong squeezing through the screens on the open windows, and last until I sit, bare feet propped up, my entire being soaking in the last rays glimmering in the west.

Summer. Long walks. Sunburns. More freckles than I'd believe possible. Playing guitar on the deck, alone or with friends. My camera constantly at the ready. Dust puffing between my toes, garden dirt under my nails. Rain when it's been so hot you don't think you can bear another day of it. Stars. Rivers and rafts. Sitting on the swing in the backyard with a cold beer and the love of my life, resting, letting the breeze dry well-earned hard sweat.




SisterDG said...

Those poppies are absolutely amazing!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your lovely description of summertime :)

Anonymous said...

And here you are! That iris got me tripping. You are my favourite flower photographer.... first equal with Mapplethorpe.

The Fab Miss B said...

WOW. Those poppies are to die for!

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