One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

Sunday Garden Report

I have completed the Dragonfly Trifecta!

In July, Patrick danced with dragonflies and Joe had cocktails with one. Today, one of these garden visitors decided to stop teasing me and posed on the faded head of a plantain flower. And what a chance to see what the new camera could do.

Do click to embiggen and admire those wings!

Yes, there’s a new camera. It’s been a tax-free weekend here in Massa chusetts and I’d been saving up some money saved from not smoking (30 days today!!) and such since my old camera went on to its reward back in the spring.

So now I’m experimenting with something new, an Olympus FE-310. So far, I’m having a great time with it, though I’m not sure I’m interested in the photo program that came along with the camera…my PhotoPlus 6.0 does all I need it to for developing purposes.

The first tentative photos were taken at that house party I visited last night. To the left are Vera and Chicao, two of our hosts…and down below is the whole bunch of us.

There had been other guests earlier, whom I unfortunately missed, but it was still fun to hang out for a while with everyone who was there when I arrived after a long night at work. Good tunes, a little dancing and Vera’s special Brazilian potato salad!

Mmm mmm.


Here’s me with Maria Paolo, Rocio and Katerin, who are all here on work visas from Columbia this summer.

By day, they are working as chamber maids, but in the evenings, the make the best team trio of dishwashers our restaurant has known in years! Plus, they’re funny and sweet and great to party with!!


Despite the late night (it was around 2 a.m. when those pictures were taken!), I was up pretty early this morning, since I couldn’t wait to get the new camera out for a spin in the garden.

A fresh round of bachelor’s buttons provided some nice camera fodder. These little flowers – each one’s about an inch across – just keep coming and coming…and in a great assortment of colors.

I just love the blue ones, but there are many of them up and down the fence garden. Naturally, I’m being won over by the purple ones in the color range, which were part of a range of about five different colors, so they are fewer in number.

The dappled sunlight behind this pair of purple pals is pretty delicious, too.

There’s lots to learn about the new camera, so eventually I will have to sit down and have some quality time with the manual, to make sure I’m making full use of everything.

But I’m happy to say that its also pretty intuitive, and I’ve been having fun exploring some of the different settings.

As you might guess, my favorite, and one of the most appropriate to the Midnight Garden, is the macro-focus…and this camera also has a super-macro focus, and to celebrate I managed to stalk a few bees who were visiting the border this morning for your entertainment.


As you can see, sunshine made a full return to the Cape today and it really felt like summer. Looks like that’ll be staying with us a for a few days, which is a comfort, since it’s clear now the summer season is in decline.

In a moment typical of the sort of Charlie Brown-y moments which punctuate my life, last night I finally discovered my official cocktail for the 2008 Summer Season.


It’s light and refreshing and mellow enough to enjoy more than one without falling down on my face. Being a frozen drink, the only real danger is a brain freeze from speedy consumption.

And no sooner did I victoriously hoist that Midori Colada in the air than leaves began falling from nearby trees, signalling the end of the season.

; )


Howdy, pardners! Life brought a straw cowboy hat my way this afternoon at work, when we hosted the annual un-birthday celebration of a local family.

This year’s theme was cowboys and they were all appropriately attired, a wonderful Cape Cod mix of cowboy boots and flip-flops…and there were hats for all the staff who worked the party, too!

And just in time for Carnival Parade.

As I tried out the zoom feature, I caught this sunset-illuminated jet plane high overhead. It was flying east, out over the ocean, so I assume it was an international flight, though it occurs to me it might just have been circling around to approach Logan Airport in Boston from that direction.

In between pictures, I managed some serious dead-heading of the garden tonight. As always, lots of spent marigolds to remove, some more allyssum to trim back…a few faded bachelor’s buttons here and there.

More of the daisies had gone past, so they were taken out and some of the coneflower rudbeckia was thinned a little, to encourage some late season reblooming.

I also took shears in hand and addressed the business of the now- tower ing spikes of evening primrose, pruning them back to something lower growing.

We’ll see how well they respond to this sort of treatment; my suspicion is they will get bushy and stay a little shorter–I wish I’d thought to cut them back earlier in the season.

Once again, I unwound a great many morning glory vines around the re-captured flags on the fence, so for at least the next few hours, they should be able to flap with abandon on the occasional sea-breeze.


With nightfall coming just a little sooner, the deadheading turned into lighting candle lanterns in the garden and before long it was dark, leaving me free to head inside to sample that first Early Girl tomato.

There were two, actually, but I discovered that the second one had a nasty patch of mold growing on the bottom of it, so that one was jettisoned, but this one sliced nicely and was very tasty.

It would’ve made a nice tomato sandwich – the kind I’ve been craving all summer – if I had remembered that we had no bread in the house. But it was yummy just as it was…and tomorrow I’ll make sure I’m stocked up to make a proper sandwich with the next couple in the harvest schedule.

It’s not quite a full moon anymore–that was last night, but that just means I have a whole month to figure out how to take a great moon photo (no wisecracks, you lot…oh, ha ha…cracks…yah, whatever…) with the camera.

This one’s not bad, but you can’t see Jackie Gleason’s face.

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