Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Do you see them?

There are definitely signs of Autumn around us.  

Just a glance into the garden and I see such changes in the past week. A few golden leaves dropping from both the fig tree and the Japanese maple. Opening a new magazine I find things to do such as knitting, home decor and crafting leaning toward Autumn shades of gold, rust, orange and brown. How many more scarves and cowls can I knit?  With 'silvered' hair I suppose I'll have to find new yarn colors soon!

I will not be sad at all to see summer leave this year! It's not my favorite season in the best of times. This year the weather has not been overly generous with what I would describe as "beautiful Summer days."  Rain and heat, oppressive humidity, lots of almost sunless days, heavy grey clouds, and rarely a brilliant 'Carolina Blue' sky which we are known for! 

I did a little baking at the weekend - this blueberry peach crostata, good and somewhat healthy.  
I also had my car detailed ready for Autumn, it's looks like new although quite old! Our long time friend will return on Thursday to do Bob's. 
Although we have no plans to drive far in shiny clean vehicles, we did go for pedicures together on Sunday afternoon. Our sweet Vietnamese ladies are always excited when "Mr. Bob" accompanies me - he made them laugh behind their masks!  
We made travel reservations for a Thanksgiving trip to family in Arizona - in hopes it pans out. We are also making plans to get home to England next Spring - I can hardly wait! 

I stepped outside late on a recent evening. The air had cooled a bit for the first time in months and the shrill sound of the cicadas had lowered a little. Then I heard them in the high trees across from the cottage, a pair of Great Horned Owls. Their conversation was interesting being so close, yet invisible.  I wondered what it was about. . . . . a new romance, what delicacies they might find for supper, flying conditions for that cooler night? Such large beautiful birds, but sadly rarely seen in their natural habitat.

Great Horned Owl
My photo from a visit to the World Owl Trust some years ago.

This tufted, yellow-eyed owl with gravelly hoots that carry far, sound almost like a muffled foghorn from a distance. When pairs chant together the female goes first, followed closely by the male. The second and third hoots in their series tend to be the shortest. Great Horned Owls can be found all over the continental United States, Alaska, and most of Canada. The 'horns' are actually tufts of feathers. The ragged ends of the wing feathers result in silent flight. This large bird doesn't build a nest but takes over nests of crows, hawks and Great Blue Herons, or uses tree cavities. One brood per year with two white eggs, are usually laid here in the Carolinas in December and January. Fearless, it's one of few animals that will kill skunks and porcupines.  Amazing birds!

How is your week going?  Well I hope. I'm off now to water the garden as it's looking parched with no rain in several days. I may pick basil, it's still growing strong and green, to make yet another batch of pesto to freeze.  


  1. Mary my friend I am with you, at the best of times Summer is not my favorite season. It has been so hot and if it is not hot it has been raining non-stop. I am ready for cooler weather.

    Love the look of your galette, it looks delicious and I am sure that it taste delicious. Have a great day my dear, brace yourself there is heat coming at the end of the week.

  2. I think fall is coming early this year. It just feels like it will. We have had the same weather and now Hurricane Laura is predicted to come over us around Saturday....

  3. There are signs of fall here, but I'm averting my eyes, not willing to face up to it quite yet. I can imagine how welcome cooler weather would be in your hot and humid climate. This has not been a great summer for warmth here - my first tomatoes are barely beginning to ripen.
    Coincidentally I posted about a galette today on my blog - peach and cherry.
    Your pedicure date sounds like fun and I can envision Bob making the girls laugh. Do take care!

  4. How intersting to think you had the wonderful owls so close, and talking too! A trip to England soon, how lovely.

    1. Well dear not really soon - next May is a looooog way off! I'll be patient though as I want to come home so much.

  5. What pretty Autumn pictures, very charming. You will welcome the change of season very much this year, while I dread the return of our relentless Summer heat! It is high time I learnt to make a crostata, they look so delicious. Hi to the horned owls, and how great to see a pair nearby. Paired birds always make me smile :) xx

  6. There have been signs of the ending summer and approaching autumn here for at least two or three weeks now, helped along by the dry conditions - falling leaves, the first "lampion" flowers in the gardens and brambles ready to be picked. Last week, I saw birds gathering in large flocks on the power lines above the fields - are they already going to travel south?
    I hope your autumn will be better than your summer, and that your travel plans will work out! My sister and I very much hope to be able to go to Yorkshire next year, after this year is a complete write-off in that respect.

    1. Yorkshire will be waiting just like all the other places we hope to visit. I see some cruise ships won't be sailing until 2022!!!!!

  7. That's amazing that the owls were so close. Hope you get nicer weather soon.

    1. Hurricane on the way toward Louisiana - we should get the rains come the weekend.

  8. We have leaves changing colors and crispy dried up leaves falling to the ground already. It makes me sad as summer is so short here. We're having a very hot day today with a heat index of 98. I was just outside pulling some weeds and cutting flowers to bring inside. Yes, it's hot but I don't mind because I know what's coming. I'll take the heat any day over our brutal, depressing winters.

    So cute that you and Bob went for pedicures together!

    No travel plans for us in the immediate future, though my hubby wants to go on a weekend trip for our anniversary next month. I'm still not keen on the idea of staying in a hotel.

    Speaking of travel, my son is in the air right now as I type...on his way here! I'll be picking him up in a few hours.

  9. Have a great time together!
    I'm not excited about hotel rooms either!

  10. Love the thought of hearing owls converse back and forth. How very special!
    Your crostata look yummy!
    What new yarn colors will you go for with silver hair?


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