Solstice and strawberry moon

moonrise over the ocean

Yesterday I went down to a beach just after 5 am and watched the solstice sunrise with friends. There were seals, possibly an otter, a hummingbird, and passing orcas. There was a faint sundog to one side of the rising sun.

In the evening I mediated and watched the full moon rise just before 9:30. There were seals, an eagle in the tree above us, drummers on the other point, and a collection of people who are good to spend time with.

Solstice and strawberry moon, all at once. I’m told that it will be 70 years till it happens again. I made a conscious decision not to take a camera, in order to be in the moment, but I took some snaps with my phone.

The world is a beautiful place, especially where we live.

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Pink…

dianthus

The dianthus is blooming.

dianthus

dianthus

some kind of onion flower buds

… and blue. This is some kind of ornamental (?) onion that pops up in the lavender bed every year. It’s very subtle but I really like it.

Crocus crop

crocuses lying on ground

They’ve been busily popping up everywhere…. and I’m finally getting round to posting some pictures of them.

purple crocus

purple crocuses 2

purple crocuses 3

purple crocuses 1

Green and green

bright green lungwort on fallen brown maple leaves
Lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria)

It’s amazing how different the greens of different kinds of lichen can be.

Cladonia
British soldiers (Cladonia bellidiflora)

 

Autumn hydrangea

fading hydrangea flowers 1

It’s pissing rain right now, so I’ll pretend it’s nicer weather and post some pictures taken a week or so ago, of the hydrangea.

fading hydrangea flowers 2

This is the same plant I posted pictures of here.

fading hydrangea flowers 3

Even as the flowers turn over and fade it stays beautiful.

fading hydrangea flowers 4

Today’s forest

forest path

Overcast, but not raining—but there had been rain during the night. Now that the rains have started up everything is starting to look so GREEN.

moss on tree and log

moss on log

Grey

old grey pinecones with stones and a couple of brown pinecones

But not all grey. One last picture from the excursion to the Interior; mostly last year’s pinecones, but there are a few from this year too.

The other irises

purple and yellow iris 1

The owners who landscaped around our yard and around the pond, long before we bought the property, planted yellow flag irises. Sigh. Much of my yard work every summer is a long, futile, and very muddy attempt to fight this invasive species back. (One strategy I’ve seen described: cover the plants with a heavy tarp, weight it down, make sure it extends well beyond the area of the plants; leave the tarp in place for several YEARS and you MIGHT kill them.)

But elsewhere in the yard—in a dry spot—there’s another iris. I don’t know what it is, some sort of purple flag? I don’t think it’s a native variety, but it’s hard to know. Unlike most irises I’ve seen, it’s got very subtle colours—the purple and yellow together almost have a brownish tinge. The flowers are smaller and seem less floppy than many irises. It’s so self-effacing that the flowers always take me by surprise: omg, there are flowers here!

purple and yellow iris 2

It’s not flashy, but it sure is elegant.

purple and yellow iris 3

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