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Date:7/30/2014 8:13:07 AM
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Early Summer
While I love Autumn most, early Summer is my second favorite time of year. At this time of year, nature explodes with new life and promise. The ducks, turkeys, geese, and partridge have hatched out this year's young and the long winnowing process of predation will slowly reduce each brood to only three or four survivors. Each morning and evening the robins, orioles, grosbeaks sing their hearts out. I know that in a month, the birdsong at both ends of the day will diminish and I will notice the days have started to shorten. But for now, Summer is young, raucous, and noise-some with young life.

In addition to the birds, plant life is rife (pardon the poor rhyme). The lilacs are blooming like never before. My Ma, already in her 90's, had advised me two years back to prune back the wizened blooms of each lilac bush in order to ensure a full bloom the following year. I can tell you that it sure makes a difference! Already in Green Bay, 30 miles to the south, the lilacs are waning. Here, at La Ferme Sabloneuse, they are at their peak. I take a walk each evening to marvel at them and breath in their perfume. My Ruthie took a photo of the one in Ma's front yard and taped it to the wall of Ma's room. Tomorrow I will cut a sprig and put it next to Ma's bed. I've always hated to see the lilac blooms age, wither, and turn brown. I suppose it is the fleeting nature of any blooming shrub or tree that makes it all the more precious.

Right now the flowering crab blossoms cover the surrounding flower bed. There is a carpet of pink over that spot. The apple blossoms in the valley are dropping as well. The Pin Cherry blossoms are mostly gone too. However the snow bush tree next to the garage is coming into full bloom. In a week or so there will be another carpet, this time of white blossoms, covering the "garage garden." Each blooming has its moment in the Summer Pageant (to borrow a term of Kenneth Grahame's) and then is replaced by another. Much too soon for my taste we will see the blossoms of the squash, pumpkin and cucumbers, and then the blooming of Golden Rod and Asters. But that lies ahead. For now I will revel in the freshness of new life here in early Summer. -- Gary
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