Glorious August



Here we are over half way through August! It’s been a beautiful season here in the New England region. Sun Valley, my home for many years, is suffering wild fires due to drought conditions. And earlier in the summer there were some similar fires, though not as dramatic, in New Mexico, near Taos, my last home. So I have to appreciate the opposite weather here which keeps coming with intervals of cool temps and rain. Where else can you have a lawn that never needs water and a garden that manages with an occasional sprinkle here and there? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. And, yes, I’ve heard this summer is unique, cooler and wetter than the norm.

I chose Day Lilies for my banner photo. There are lots of them planted here and the backyard garden here at 411 Middle is no exception. There are a surprising number of different colors and shapes. Most are more “fancy” than I’m used to, but they surely are a wonder.


Early in the month my granddaughter, Emma, turned 14. This is her (in pink) riding her new longboard down the street in front of her house with her best friend (in front, in black, holding on to a cup of something and her cell phone). I’ve noticed that since teens like to participate in whatever is popular they are drinking fancy coffee drinks these days. Of course the coffee is generally watered down with lots of foamy milk and sweetness. In summer they order these drinks with ice and some drink decaf I hope.

Speaking of teen trends…my granddaughter also has quit using email and FaceBook. I’m sure there are other ways to communicate with friends but it makes it harder for the older set to stay in touch with her. Texting sometimes gets a response.


I’ve been thinking about doing some mermaid art for my card line as a way of getting in the New England flow. So when I’m out and about with my camera I tend to notice mermaid products in local Portsmouth stores. They do have visible representation. Of course, I’m trying for inspiration to use mermaids in art that is more my style, whatever that may be.

In general it feels like mermaids are getting abused with stereotyping a la Disney, perhaps. So I’m hoping to bring something more worthy to the show. Can’t brag yet.


A week or so ago there was an official opening day for the Memorial Bridge that takes you from downtown Portsmouth over to Maine in no time. It’s been out of commission for two years I hear. So late in the afternoon, after thinking about wanting to join the celebration by walking across it, I found a housemate (and her 4 year old son) who were heading that way. It turned out to be very fun. Everyone we encountered, walking, biking or in cars, seemed to be happy and excited. The bridge offers views that you don’t get otherwise, perspective really. It really helped me experience the important role the rivers and the ocean play in the history and current patterns of the area.

The next day I biked across with a different housemate and that was fun too. There’s a great place to stop on the way home to get ice cream. Think it’s called Orange Leaf.


My daughter bought a new seat for giving toddlers a ride on your bike. It seems very safe and you have the child right in front of you to monitor their doings. I was also riding a bike on this day and we decided the beach nearby was as good a place as any. We thought Charlotte would want to get out and play in the water but she never did.

Those young people making the sand castle on the left side were making a day-long project out of it. What a relaxing way to spend a day!


To celebrate Emma’s birthday she and her mom and I and Charlotte went to a water park that if fairly near where they live. No family member had ever explored it in the three years they have lived in Rye so Katrina thought it would be a memorable adventure. Emma is taking this photo at the beginning of our visit. We are trying to get Charlotte and grandma (me) set up in an area that is shallow before Emma and her mom go off to the more exciting and dangerous water rides.

Katrina has Charlotte on her lap and is coming down a small slide. What you don’t see is that the ending was a bit more watery than expected and despite my best intentions there wasn’t much I could do to mitigate the shock for Charlotte. After that we stayed away from slides and just puttered around. Can’t say we’ve never been there! The outdoor dinner at a restaurant afterwards was fun.


And if that doesn’t prove we’re having an exciting life here in New England, yesterday we went to the zoo and amusement park in York, Maine. Katrina had it on her “must do this summer” list. The best part was petting the goats. They really were all most charming, like they had been to some training school for friendly manners. Many of the larger ones had horns but they still seemed very relaxed and docile. And the ducks were very friendly also. Of course the goats and ducks were being fed pellets frequently. That probably had something to do with it. I can’t recommend this as a four star zoo due to the short numbers of stalls in the restrooms.


Can’t end without this photo of zinnias I saw at the farm market last Saturday. I realize they’re just like the ones you find everywhere this time of year, at least at farm markets if not in your own yard or your neighbors. They are one of my top favorites of all flowers and they wait for this time of year to show their beauty. Amen to zinnias in August!

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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