Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Scent of Summer

I passed a pleasant few hours Sunday afternoon at Bunny Haven Manor East watching the lawn bunnies frolick and blue jays swoop through the yard. A contented part of the afternoon was spent lounging in the shade of an outdoor swing, reading. A cabbage white flew by. The cardinal pair tree-hopped around the yard. I spotted a flash of black and blue butterfly wings - likely a swallowtail - black or spicebush I couldn't tell at that distance and speed. Then I wandered over to the new garden for a spell where the tomatoes are flowering and fruiting - giving the air a distinctive scent I associate with summer.

It's a contrast. At the original Bunny Haven Manor, the insect life is abundant and fantastically colored, as if from an artist's mind. In the flowers, in the garden and in all the side beds - they flourish. By the mint, there are tiny translucent golden spiders and bright purple "rolly" bugs in the dirt. This week alone, in a brief-5 minute visit, the cardinals and yellow finches played swoop/tag/dart with each other in the front wildflowers, and I saw 3 cabbage whites in the garden area, a red admiral, and the most beautiful turquoise dragonfly by the lemon balm. (He had clear wings and a fat body with a brilliant, shimmering turquoise back - I'm not sure what he was as I don't know dragonflies as I do butterflies*.) They come for the flowers - native and exotic that I've planted, tended, and expanded for over 10 years. At the original Bunny Haven Manor, the scent of summer is the fancy lilies that are popping up against the fence - despite the evil burdock root!

I've decided putting in a garden is the bunny equivalent to the hobo sign for "kind woman lives here - tell a sad story". The bunnies don't eat the Bunny Haven Manor East garden, but since we've put it in - three of them have taken to hanging out in the yard on a daily basis for clover snacks and lawn salad (aka yard clippings). The puppy rarely notices them - he's more interested in chasing robins. And the very smart bunnies now head to the woods for temporary shelter when I say "outside potty" - they know that means the puppy is coming! In addition to the new lawn bunnies, I've seen more butterflies this year than last. I like to think it's a product of the new plantings. Summer here is different. Yet it's still summer.

Take-away - Life changes. And yet it's always the same. I hope you enjoy the summer.

*There may or may not be a copy of "Great Lakes Butterflies & Moths, A Pocket Naturalist Guide" in my purse all summer...

Another piece or two you might like:
- Scent and Memory
- Summer Days

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