Midsummer Thunderstorms

Photo by Pop & Zebra on Unsplash

Midsummer and the thunderstorms pile up….thick, beautiful whiteness, greyness, and stagnant air gets thick with moisture…. silence reigns as things too quiet to hear, suddenly are as loud as a cricket in your ear…. slips of blue blue blue fill up pockets of where the white and grey have spread just a little to reveal the serenity above the pounding drums and flashes of quicksilver violin spats…. swirling, whirling way up high, twisting around the needle branches of the pines, swallows spin and dance in the warm air, spinning up up up, to plummet down again….. and every hue of every summer flower is as vibrant as the paint in an artists paintbox, swirled out in extravagant splashes of orange, purple, red, pink, magenta, blue, yellow….. Greeness and yellowness, the grasses waving on the hills and meadows, the spires of seed heads bobbing in the waving winds that have been stirred up by the unsettled air, cut grasses, hay, laying in rows, billowing green rippling like the sea in shades of mint, olive, asparagus green, oh every shade known to man, rippling onward, stopping only by the stalwart blockades of the hills, filled with the resinous perfumes of pine, juniper, cedar, sweet maple of the sugarpines,….. the cicadas have stopped their humming and murmuring, now the raspy grasshoppers take the tune, and the buzz and hum, a perpetual hum of a white noise as bees move throughout collecting nectar….. only a splatter of rain may fall, the drops splatting in the dry dry dirt, kicking up little powderpuffs of dust then filling the air with wet dust dampness dirt….. before the asphalt gets its spicy sweet wet smell, and the grasses and hay are dampened… oh summer thunderstorms are the magic of the year….more magic than the first snowfall, this unstable sweltering explosion of fire and water and wind and earth… all the elements have come out to play……

Photo by John Westrock on Unsplash

So, I’m in bed, but I was out watching some of the thunderstorms pile up. Can you tell I love summer thunderstorms?  I’ve been writing about them in various stages for the past ten plus years. Always different, never capturing what I want to say. I love living where they happen. When I lived in Colorado, they happened almost every day, but they lacked the heat buildup that we get here in northern CA. They didn’t have the sweet hot smell of a burnt out summer and dried grasses.

Last year I had created a character a la B.H. Fairchild’s way of a heteronym, (see Wikipedia’s description) a Wilson Tennu, who comes to CA after a breakup of a love affair and experiences the summer thunderstorms as these giant wars between the gods of mythology. This Wilson guy ‘wrote’ some of my massive and narrative poems that went into the rejected manuscript, and he has become my inspiration for looking at things differently. I am also quite attached to his poetry. He’s rather remarkable in my opinion.

Anyways, viewing thunderstorms from someone that lives in New Orleans (which is where he lives, in an apartment above Bourbon Street) would be an interesting take on how they come about here in NorCal. They seem to just explode out of nowhere. Maybe all thunderstorms are the same way. I want to be on the prairie sometime and watch them form. Far enough away from a tornado, but still see them form. Let’s just say I respect and admire and adore summer thunderstorms.

So enjoy my little rambling description. If you live here, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, well I hope you can picture the magic.

Kate

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PAD Day 6 – Ekphrastic – Summer Siren Lady

Summer Siren Lady

Seductive and slumberous lady you are magnificent
in your slip of sheer silk
Chestnut curls adorned with poppies so red
Oriental with their black fuzz centers
an eye on the world as you lazily regard me in your
contentment, a ripple of silver as your toes
flash in the waters of life
a moment of clarity shattered in the hazy sun
an afternoon sky of purest blue satin and white lace
You are the epitome of luxury and sin
a promise of what could be, hidden behind eyes so knowing
so full of mystery
Pluck my heart from the floor as your red lips
grace me with a kiss of longing
you temptress you
Oh Venus herself could not compare to your voluptuous self
as you tempt me with your body and eyes, promising more
the world? A night? Maybe more like hell in a moment
But I would dive into waters so deep to test your skin like
porcelain warmed by the sun, fragile and so pure
Lead me not into temptation with your smile so vague
Let me be and let me walk from this agony you thrust upon me
A moment of insanity lingers in your powerful touch

Okay, so today’s prompt was an ekphrastic poem, which is basically writing a piece from art. I wasn’t too thrilled with the images Rober picked, but I was inspired by the artist of one of them, Alphonse Mucha. I love Alphonse Mucha’s work, which has a very seductive them to the sensuous grace of women. A form of a goddess, untouchable and seductive in a way that even as a woman, I find so amazing. I love his seasons series, this being one of them. Summer. I wrote this as if I were a man watching (as much as one can write that way when one isn’t a man) with an inspiration of past poets, like Shelley, Scott, or Keats…

Enjoy

Kate

The Tastes of Summer – Blogging U – Poetry 201

Okay, so the assignment for day 8 of Writing 201: Poetry was Day 8: Flavor, Elegy, Enumeratio.

My flavor went more with the tastes of summer, but as for elegy…. while there is a slightly somber feeling, it’s not quite my idea of an elegy. And I have no idea if I hit enough enumeratio. I need to work on both. I would never even try to do elegiac couplets. That’s insane. But I hope you enjoy. I’m already missing wearing shorts and being tanned. The summer went to fast.

 

And now the summer has faded away
In flavors of spice and leaves
From burning sun to frosty nights
and the naked bare leafless empty trees.
The days are warm, filled with a waiting sigh
dust and leaves and acorns fall
shades of orange, and gold and red
and green moss growing on a wall
But summer burning the baked earth smell
has faded to dampened spice
and the sun up high in an azure sky
is now not so warm and nice
Winter is coming the birds all chatter
as I’m craving summer sun
I’m wishing I could step back two months
when summer wasn’t nearly done.

 

Kate

Late August Mornings and Looking Ahead

Rugburn, taking a selfie.... Okay, I held up the camera, but it looks like he is.

Rugburn, taking a selfie…. Okay, I held up the camera, but it looks like he is.

I’m up early this morning, and while 8am isn’t the crack of dawn, when you go to bed after two, 8 is early. My puppy, a 12 year old puppy mind you, has an unusual growth under his eye, the same eye that I had a cyst removed from back in June.  So it required calling the vet first thing this late August morning.  (and while I have to wait till Wednesday for a visit, I’m stressing. I mean, I don’t know what I would do without him)

It’s one of those mornings where it smells like almost fall.  Not quite there, but almost.  I feel like fall might come on a bit sooner this year because everything else seems to be coming on so fast.  Yet looking back, it I remember everything falling into place at its normal time. In July we had our massive heat spell, then out of nowhere, it broke with two weeks of rainy sort of coastal weather. Suddenly, Boom! There was that first hint of fall in the air.  I always hate when that happens because I actually like the summer heat and smells.  Okay, I can’t really handle anything above 95 and feel really good, but that’s beside the point.  I like summer. It’s usually the season I’m feeling the best.

You know it's late summer when the wild clematis is sending out it seeds.

You know it’s late summer when the wild clematis is sending out it seeds.

So here we are at a week from September.  Today is the first day of school… No really I just pulled up the School District and there it was. No one in my family could remember.  So it is like officially fall, in that pre sort of way that it happens a month before it reads on the calendar.  Truthfully though, after reading Liza Dalby‘s East Wind Melts the Ice, where she says how the seasons actually start before the date on the calendar, I never look at the dates on the calendar as accurate. I think about fall almost a month before it happens, while mentally grabbing a hold of ‘summer’ that is and trying to dig my heels in.  I want to wear shorts and summer camisoles as long as I can. I want to feel warm when I walk outside.  And gosh darn it! I want to keep my tan which is so pale since I have this super pale FinishGermanWelshIrishWhatnot skin. My tan is like what a normal person gets in one week of the summer.

I’m hoping though with the cooler weather (ha! right. considering it was 90+ degrees yesterday) that I might be able to settle down and write more. I have pretty much given up doing much major writing over the summer because it was hot, I was tired, there was so much to do, I was reading…….. excuses. Except for the fact that I just got a letter from Susan Wooldridge who said she wasn’t writing a lot either.  I need cooler weather to write. Granted, I have dabbled in some poetry. I have a couple marvelous ones that I’m happy with and some that I have half finished and various starts. Eventually I hope to have them finished.

I never know what to do with my poetry. Do I post it here? Do I try to publish it? I have this Coral flushed series I’m doing that sort of relate to Boris… Okay, fine, they are technically just for Boris, but in my opinion they are good. So what do I do with them?  I really like dabbling in poetry because it’s something ‘small’ but I can take it anywhere with me.  I have my little book and pencil, because I seem to like to write poetry in pencil unless I’m out and all I have is a pen and several pieces of scratch paper or the back of my library book receipts.(those are actually fun to write on)

Fiction is sometimes so BIG in feeling that I feel like I have to really sit down to write it. But poetry is really something you can take with you, even down to having a small Moleskin or Field Notes and pencil (or pen) in your back pocket You don’t have to take hardly anything with you. It kind of makes it this perfect thing to write, because even if you don’t really do poetry, everyone has a poem in them just from how they might describe a flower they just saw.

And now I’m starting to ramble off on a tangent that is far from what I was thinking when I sat down on the couch on the porch waiting for the coffee to finish perking and listening to the Stellars Jays…… Oh wow does that sound so good to me.

What I wanted to say was that I am going to be doing a 31 Days in October again.  This year the theme will be ladies, femininity and all things girly. Or relating to me since I’m a girl. I have to keep a few options open just in case I can’t figure out a post or two.  I need to start working on posts and plotting out some ideas a bit more, along with deciding what I want a button for the  challenge to look like and a place for all these posts to go. I didn’t like that I have a header tab that is for last years listing. Maybe I can add under that or something. I clearly did not thing about it at the time.

So, new stuff for October is coming…. along with three new book reviews this month. I received a book last Monday and by Wednesday, I was done.  Okay it was lightish reading, but still I flew through it.

And now I am at 900+ words. Wow, I really just let it all fly out. I should stop.

Until I write again at some random point. Happy Monday, Dearies. (September means OUAT is coming soon! Yes!)

Kate

Unmotivated Me

It’s not that I don’t have things to write about. It’s not even that I don’t have the time…. Okay, well time is limited right now. But I’m just not motivated to write.  I have a two book reviews I need to post, a book I need to finish reading before I can write a review, letters to friends, ideas for writing, a blog post on haying season, pictures….. The list goes on and on.

But right now about all I’m interested in doing is daydreaming and reading. I haven’t even written much of anything. Okay, that’s not true. I did write a poem just this last week titled “Elephants”. I should type it up and share it because I’m kind of proud of how it turned out.

I have been dabbling in a new piece of fiction which was inspired by ASMR and The French Whisperer over on Youtube. I seriously suggest if you are interested in ASMR to check his channel out. The tingles this guy can put up my spine….. Whew!  Magic. Puts me to sleep every time I listen to him at night.  Recently I listened to his take on the History of the Palace of Versailles.  That was really interesting for one, and really relaxing for another.  And I’m going off on a different tangent.

My reading has consisted of a bit of poetry; Rumi, Billy Collins, Rilke; an Emilie Loring, a few random fiction books, and the desire to read A Farewell to Arms and The Great Gatsby.  I have failed to finish anything nor get very far in anything.

One major reason for all this lack of motivation is right now the farming is in full swing.  What with watering, picking, and the heat….. well there isn’t a lot of down time. I am getting to the point of the season where I can spend two to three hours picking blueberries. Not to mention a few hours watering, oh and I cook two meals a day and do the laundry and pick up the house… Okay the house is kind of a joke right now.  There is way too much dust in all spots and I would NOT want anyone to come over.  Some places make me want to scream.

California is in a serious drought so watering is a conscious effort to not waste water.  Lawns? Pshaw! Those are going by the wayside except for where there are fruit trees because anyone who knows anything about gardening knows that fruit tree roots extend beyond what you think.  So the lawn around the trees gets watered.  And because this is a very dry year, the spider mites have set in.  On the positive side of things, the spider mites are the reason we have had burnt looking leaves on several plants for several years.  One would think it would be crazy to say that was a positive thing, but now I know that it wasn’t my fault in how I watered. Okay, indirectly it was because lack of water leads to the mites coming in, but it wasn’t like I wasn’t watering good enough, it was more that it wasn’t quite enough to deal with the infestation.

So, as you can see, it’s rather busy.  I hope to get a book review for a Christian romance up this week. And also Persephone Books let me read their book The Homemaker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.  Marvelous book. I have been a bit behind with getting that review written as well.  And lastly, my post on haying season with pictures…..

So, hopefully soon this blog will be back into ship shape…. Excluding my random pages that need a serious updating.

I need a maid.

Le sigh, as Jules says.

 

Kate

Summer Nights And Summer Films

From the front porchI’m sitting out on our front porch, which is almost de rigur  in the country, watching a tree swallows attempt to fit a too large feather into the hole of the birdhouse the swallows claimed months ago.  They should have had a nest built and babies there already.  Now he, or she, is poking its head out after succeeding in shoving the feather into the hole.

The sun is minutes from setting on this hot, June evening.  Clouds of gnats hover and congregate over the tall weeds.  The mountain air smells more like cow manure and a tractor just went down the highway.  Everyday things in the country.  In the field next door is a tractor waiting to cut the long grass tomorrow.

The days have been viciously hot, if you can call the low nineties vicious, but June evenings are magical.  When everything is still vibrant green and lush, not dried from the summer baking.  The air is filled with the golden flashes of flying insects and there is an ever present sound of birds singing. Or fighting, as I just heard that sound.  Crickets abound and mosquitoes are typical.

There is something about this time of year that makes me want to watch certain films that seem to scream summer.  Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Paris When It Sizzles, Sabrina, (yes, those are all Audrey Hepburn films), The Seven Year Itch, and old westerns like Once Upon a Time in the West.  There’s something kind of sexy about all those films.  The Audrey ones are probably my favorite, but I am an Audrey Hepburn fan.  For years I was a Marilyn Monroe fan, but since I only like 3 or 4 of her films, and her life wasn’t as admirable, I’ve changed my likes.  I adore Audrey Hepburn and I’m in a mood for summer films.

Like films, my music tastes change come summer.  I love pulling out Carole King’s Tapestry album because it should only be played in the hot summer months. Or America, Loggins and Messina, Seals and Crofts, and various other bands from the seventies.

And now the sun sets and the air is scented by the hot, spicy scent of pine resins that float down the mountains.  I’d love to stay on the porch reading and enjoying my cup of coffee, but I’m sure to be slapping mosquitoes soon, and I can’t bear that.  Besides, I spent this time writing out this post in my journal and I’ll need to type it up and post it with the picture I took of a view from the porch.  Also, after a day of watering and burning out in the sun, a shower is definitely in order.  too bad we don’t have an outdoor shower or a cattle trough bathtub.  I would love something like that.

So here’s to summer, sun, and sexy heatwave movies.  What are some of your summer must watch films?

Signing off

~Kate

Smoke Gets In My Eyes

Ah, the summer heat.  Hot days, warm nights. Humidity if you live where it’s humid. ( I sort of do just because we water so much the humidity is way higher in the back yard then if you walk to the street where it’s nice and dry.) And that first acrid burning scent of chlorine…..

Not from swimming pools.

No.

The chlorine smell is from the wildfires. I live in Northern California and it is pretty much a guarantee that at some point in the summer, there will be a wildfire, or forest fire, somewhere.  Anywhere. Oregon, California, Nevada, etc. One of the western states will at some point be burning.

The skies take on that hazy blue that is really more of a greyish hue and everything is dingy looking. LIke that feeling at the end of summer when everything is dry and tired.  But it could be the first week in July, or the early part of June.

Ours came this year mid June. So far, it hasn’t been too bad.  Yep, there was a fire somewhere.  Someone mentioned around Clear Lake, but I can’t quote that.

 It’s a common occurence for this area. I remember one year where the fires started in July, like on the 4th, and lasted clear through till the rains came…. In November.  And we are not talking just a little smoke.  Picture grey skies all day and by evening, as the sun sets, the world takes on this hazy pink hue that is somewhat eery.

And yet, it isn’t summer unless I smell a fire.  I kind of like it, even if it is a fire.  I know that the fires are crucial for the whole circle of life thing, so I respect them and think them needed in the forests where there is so much overgrowth that plants that used to be there, can no longer live.

I think I can be quite happy and pass at the thick smoke that comes from bad or close fires, but a fire is all part of the summer for me and living in the mountains.

Signing off

~Kate

Post 7 : A Haiku A Day

Sweet summer roses

Spicy warm and full of life

Let me walk with you

 

The chill of the day, and the lack of feeling very chipper made me need something summery.  Roses fit the bill.  My rose, showcased in the picture, is Playboy.  One of the sweetest smelling roses I know, without all that cloying annoying scents you can sometimes get.  A nice old fashioned rose.

Signing off

~Kate

Red, White, and Blue Chocolate Dipped Strawberries (via Life Tastes Like Food)

I have so got to make these! I have a friend who would adore them. I think her word for them would be, “Glorious!”……

Red, White, and Blue Chocolate Dipped Strawberries The 4th of July is almost always comprised of social gatherings including BBQs and potlucks! When I was younger, I use to live in a cul de sac where the neighborhood was really child-friendly. Every 4th of July, we would block off the entire neighborhood and hold a huge potluck BBQ that would end in lighting off an obscene amount of fireworks into the darkness. Did anyone else ever use sparklers to write their names in the sidewalk as a kid? It's … Read More

via Life Tastes Like Food

Hazy Shade of Summer

We sat there in the sun, my sister and I, baking, warming from an altogether freezing dip in the pool.  Though 73 is far from cold, it was a shock to our systems.  Rugburn, my dachshund, crashes in the sun, drying from his unwanted swim in the pool.  He rubs his face dry in the long grass.  Scratching, Rubbing. Rolling.  A lazy, contented daze crosses his face as he stares at a floating hover fly a few from him.
 
The sun has that September feel to it.  Burning, but subtly different from the blazing, burn of July.  More hazy.  I feel the heat from it, warming my back.  A warm breeze blows down from the mountain, bringing the sweet resinous scent of pines that have baked all day in the sun.  Warm sweetness of dried grasses intertwine with dry dusty earth.  A brush of sweet smoke.  A faint flavor of cow manure graces the breeze.  Not unpleasant.

The lawn is weedy again.  With plantain seed heads and wide-bladed meadow grass that grows three times faster than the soft mountain grass.  It needs to be mowed, but then it will lose it’s last summer feel to revert back to the clipped neatness of full on summer.

Sunflowers are heavy with seeds, though the golden disks are still blooming wildly at the top of ten foot spires.  The trees are heavy with winded seeds.  Rustling gently in the wind.  There is a lazy feel to everything as flies buzz restlessly.  The yarrow has gone to seed.  Weedy heads like too tall trees sway slightly.  Stellars jays chatter raucously  as they fly over.   Landing to call from a tree.

Tomatoes are ripening.  Bright red globes of juicy sweetness.  Sweet berries hidden in cane patches demand munching.  Grapes hang from spiraled vines.  Warm and sweet with juice.  Golden hard squashes ripen on vigorous growing vines.  Consuming flat ground, seeking purchase.

I watched a dragonfly zip by a wheelbarrow before landing for a moment.  Rusty brown with etherial wings.  He buzzed off in a hurry, to who knows where.

This weather demands pitchers of iced tea and good books to be read on a porch swing.  Naps to be taken in a hammock.  Endless games of croquet to be played leisurely.

Signing off

~Kate