On Saturday, while the Admiral slept in, I got up with the birds and took a four mile walk. What a great way to start a summer day. Absolutely no one is up at 6 AM on a Saturday and the streets were deserted. I did a nice long loop and when I got home, there was a lovely cup of tea waiting for me on the new porch.
We just added this room to our home and this is our first summer enjoying it. It overlooks the garden and catches all the breezes. We feel like we are blessed to have breakfast with God's blue jays and orioles every morning.
After breakfast, the Admiral decided to take it easy, something he seldom does, so he put his feet up and had a delicious newspaper/book fest.
I opted for an active day and I started by weeding for two hours. Along the way, I harvested some basil for our dinner salad. I like to keep picking the tops off the basil all summer so it doesn't bloom. This forces the plants to grow more leaves and then in August or early September, I have enough to make large batches of pesto for freezing.
While I was weeding, harvesting and clipping things that were overstepping their bounds, I happened upon a large stash of peppermint which had run amok while I wasn't looking. I cut a massive amount of it and took a break to pull off the brown leaves. I washed it and put it in the 'drying room.'
Next, I picked some flowers for my bouquet and turned this:
We decided to plan a hike for early Sunday so we showered and skipped off to church on Saturday evening. Then a simple easy dinner on the porch, again serenaded by our bird friends.
Sunday morning, we surprised ourselves by getting up early! After blueberry pancakes for the Admiral and cereal and fruit for me, we packed some water, a few granola bars, and my camera and drove to one of our favorite hiking spots in Sunken Meadow State Park.
We hiked for a few hours, through the woods and along the wetlands path(which is only a path when the tide is out!) As usual, I wandered about like a drunken butterfly, looking for (and finding) so many creatures and plants to be intrigued by and , if I was lucky, to photograph. Good thing I have the Admiral to be on the lookout for lions and tigers and bears and high tide!
My husband, who often spots things I would otherwise miss, pointed out this butterfly which I was able to grab a photo of, because it was resting for several minutes. This Angelwing is often hard to spot. With its wings closed, it looks just like a dead leaf.
I was delighted to spy a large group of swallows resting on some dead branches near the water. I've seen swallows in flight for years since we are surrounded by wetlands and they are arial acrobats when it comes to chasing flying insects. This was the first opportunity I had to get some photos. I believe they are barn swallows.
The Rosa Rugosas grow wild all along our shoreline. Their bright pink flowers give way to flashy orange hips. I enjoy using the hips in some of my tea recipes but don't always have an opportunity to harvest them in the wild. The best hips are the ones that undergo a frost, so picking them requires a visit to the shore in the fall.
Just before we left the park, we found a bench facing the wetland and these two Snowy Egrets arrived to go fishing among the rocks along the shore. The adult moved in tandem with the juvenile, never moving more than six feet from her off-spring. Nice finish to a hike!
Home again, in time for a late afternoon date with the New York Times and a short nap on the porch.
Today's Thought - "Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known." Garrison Keillor