Chance of July Showers


July is an active month for roses everywhere but here in New England you’re likely to find them all over the place. The one pictured above no doubt has a name but there are so many wild bushy types like this I could never hope to learn them. This plant was growing happily near the Peirce Island swimming pool along a path that offers a view of  boats big and small, water and the bridge from Portsmouth over to Kittery, Maine, that’s been under construction since I’ve been here.


Speaking of plants…this was taken in the vegetable garden a week or so ago. Already this blossom has transformed into a baby cucumber, which I am keeping an eye on. It will be the first of the summer and seems to be jumping ahead of a rival first zucchini. Both plants are growing by leaps and bounds now making the garden look like it knows what it’s doing.

I have found the garden season here a bit confusing coming as I have from New Mexico. NM has it’s own odd challenges, especially early in the season when wind and heat is a real challenge to young seedlings. Here we’ve had lots of rain and short spurts of heat between a trend of coolness and cloudy skies. Of course that’s likely to change any time but the high levels of rain and humidity have both kept things growing and kept me wondering how things in the garden would turn out. Can too much rain and clouds be a bad thing? Apparently not if you’re a cucumber plant.


My daughter and I have been spending a lot of time at a beach called Sawyer. If you have a Rye beach sticker you can park near the entrance for free and it’s less popular than others nearby so we’re enjoying the lack of hype and people. With the 2-year-old in tow                         “less is more.” Just across the busy street from Sawyer’s is a large body of water called  Eel Pond. I noticed these water lilies starting to bloom and walked around near the water’s edge for some photos. Startling natural beauty is never far away when you’re driving in this coastal area.

SONY DSCSome weeks ago we discovered Goat Island, near downtown Portsmouth and offering a distant view of New Castle beachfront homes. I looked to us like a perfect place for Charlotte to throw rocks into the water, still a favorite sport for her. It was an overcast day so I had my camera and was looking for photos of Charlotte to put in the photo book I was planning to make for her 2nd birthday.

Out of the blue up came this gentleman out of the water to drag his boat up to the tiny beach. Charlotte was already standing just where she is in the photo, far enough away not to be worried, but rooted there keenly observing the boat and the man from nowhere. Obviously I was ready with the camera. He proceeded after this to pick up the boat and carry it to a close-by hillside for drying off, or so I suspect.


This is Emma, my 13 year old granddaughter, sliding in on a wave while I attempt to get a photo. Not too dramatic, but that’s how it is when the waves are small. She’s also showing little sister, Charlotte, the things you can do in the ocean when you’re older.

I’m just glad to be on the beach myself instead of hearing about how much fun it is from my family. The highest water temperature I’ve heard about so far is 68 degrees. For swimming I may try to hold out for the Caribbean. Been to the Yucatan a couple of times. Guess that spoiled me.


Love this photo of mother/daughter at the beach. Charlotte is really happy with the challenge that the ocean offers her. They say that her age, “just turned two,” sets up a real inner battle between desire for independence and mother security. The ocean lures her strongly but shows its power too, of course. She has lost her balance in it, and felt a mouth and nose full of sea water several times, and yet she seems to be enthralled by the ocean’s ruthless strength and goes back for more. She is in love.


Here’s my house on Middle Street. I think I’ve mentioned that I live in the carriage house. That’s it at the back and to the left of the “big” house nearer the street. The end of the driveway leads to the door to this part of the house. The beautiful back yard is the view from the carriage house 1st floor living room and kitchen. The bicycle  “barn” is to the left. You can see the shape of the roof that protects the bikes from weather. A trip to town by bicycle can take 5 minutes or so. I’m loving this feature of my urban life.

Until next blog…Love…Kate

About Kate

A newcomer to New England I am blogging about it from that perspective. My plan is to look around for places, events and people that resonate with my values and interests around community and respect for the health of the planet as well as its people. I am a painter, collage artist, photographer, astrologer and gardener. I'm in my 70s but not retired. I admit I get tired if I try to do too much, but then I rest and become re-invigorated. I am never bored.
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