2018 Summer Holiday – Part 3: Cancelled

The temperatures dropped and a little bit of rain fell. Mist-waith, or dragons-breath, as it’s known in the West of Ireland, (and probably other lands where dragons are known to frequent) tangled itself within the sides of our little mountain.

What cute little dragon arms you have

What cute little dragon arms you have

The last of the strawberries, having survived the smoke and heat, then the slug onslaught when the rain did finally start falling, tasted divine.

All by myself, don’t wanna be ... wait a minute ...

All by myself, don’t wanna be … wait a minute …

The strawberry plants are in the same bed as Hardcore Parsley and they weren’t going to be outdone by a mere parsley plant …

Hardcore Strawb says ... “Autumn? What Autumn! ... it ain’t over ‘til we tell you it’s over!”

Hardcore Strawb says … “Autumn? What Autumn! … it ain’t over ‘til we tell you it’s over!”

And finally, the garden underneath the Summer Tree in the front yard managed to produce this little jewel…

Hanging with the bread ... (a ring-in from the compost heap)

Hanging with the bread … (a ring-in from the compost heap)

Unfortunately the Summer heat and smoke took it’s toll on both Mrs Widds and my health. Mrs Widds is still jousting with a nasty bout of bronchitis, and although I felt like I was coughing up my toes on occasions, the dreaded ‘Chitis’-Lurgy passed me by this year, substituting some form of Digestive-Lurgy instead, to remind me of my mortality.

We rescheduled and rescheduled our trip until common-sense prevailed and we cancelled it completely. Disappointing, but to paraphrase Miss Scarlett O’Hara, “2019 is another year.”

As a fitting end to this post I now present you with this little story …A week ago a spider took up residence inside the front window. Not long after, two … ahem … ‘gentlemen callers’ took up arms against each other to woo the fair damsel.
As is the way of things, ‘there can be only one’ … but Mother Nature, and Mdme Spider, was not done, and the failed suitor was recalled to active duty. Next time I looked, this had happened…

Trapped within her silken threads they nourish her immanent brood

Trapped within her silken threads they nourish her immanent brood

2018 Summer Holiday – Part 2: Sulfur & Stale Smoke

We’ve postponed our holiday for a few weeks and are in wait-and-see mode. Our trailer gives us a flexibility that we wouldn’t have if we were still tent-camping.

Wildfires seem to be a part of our summers now, and no matter well we seal up our little cottage the smell still creeps in through the cracks. I can feel it coating my teeth like a gritty slime that no amount of rinsing will get rid of.

It’s called PM2.5, fine particulate matter, a nice bloodless scientific descriptor, but really it’s all that’s left of the forests and grasses that have been swept down across the province by the infrequent breezes. A fine layer of grey dust, soot, coats anything left outside for more than an hour or so.

The sun and moon rise, each in their turn, stained a bloody orange, and set just as sullied.

Every so often I go out and sniff the air just to remind myself that it smells much worse out there than inside.

I don’t stay out for long.

The leaves on the Summer Tree hardly move. Last night I ventured out to water the garden and sprayed down its leaves. A tiny little wren flew onto one of the branches and had a shower, flapping her wings as she would in a birdbath, to make the drops fall from the leaves all around her. I smiled and got all teary at the same time.

I’ll do it again tonight.

I hope Wren told her friends.