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."


I’ve been a little remiss about posting, as other things have taken my attention for a bit.  Decorating at work went well and everything looks great, but left a little back pain in its wake.  Grrr.   Fortunately, I have the merry holiday tunes to buoy me through that.   Oh, and also, there are sweet moments like this one above.  Here’s a view of the sunrise from the porch here at the Nest on Wednesday morning, much more easily enjoyed with all the leaves off the trees…if a little chillier at the hour than a month or so ago (and the hour’s a little later, at that).


Here are some rosehips on the rose hedge out by the driveway.  They look so terrific and festive for the time of year.  I think I will have to trim a few to adorn the wreath I’ll be picking up this weekend.  It’s time to deck my halls a little, and I could use the scent of a few fresh pine boughs to greet me at the door.

I’ve been working on those holiday adventuring plans and am happy to report that things seem to be coming into place pretty nicely.  I know it’s just a garden blog, but a little suspense can be fun, so I’m not giving away all the details.   But I will say that in just a week’s time, I will be vacationing on that lovely island, Manhattan.   

Vacation-ing is perhaps a little strong, its really a weekend get-away for Danny and Sara’s wedding, but Christmas in New York (with a little Christmas theatre in Connecticut along the way) is a big enticement for this former Metro area Sagittarian.  A bloggers’ reunion brunch is likely and quite possibly a visit with Saint Nick, too.  With luck there’ll be a walk in some city park or other…dancing at a wedding as a guest for a change, instead of working…and a bit of a dance with the Wonderful City herself.  Oh, and trains!!  Woo hoo


 Despite the high levels of my good holiday cheer (aka, Christmas mania)…and speaking of dancing…I suppose I should take a moment to assure my pal Patrick that – while I look forward to visiting Rockefeller Center and it’s fantastic Christmas tree and Channel Gardens – he should have no fear that I wish to create a “Kids From FAME” moment like this or anything.  Great Ghosts of Other Christmases, I might break a hip.  And I don’t even have an Ipod.

But anyway, it’s going to be lots of fun and that’s getting me through all the business of trying to get myself organized…second-guessing the weather to decide on what clothes to bring along…and how to minimize my carryings, since I’d hate to make enemies of fellow train travelers.

And there’s all the logistics…having to plan a little so as to make connections clearly and without worry, but still leaving things wide open so as to be prepared for the unusual way that Life sometimes unfolds.  Weather conditions, unexpected opportunities, traffic management snafus…it’s always nice to be ready and able to adapt as you go along.  It’s gonna be fun no matter what, I can tell you that is a definite part of the plan.

And as I focus on all that, more signs of the season are blossoming around us and I figured I’d share a few of my favorite scenes with you.

buoy-greetingsIn between events on Wednesday, I had a little free time and since the weather seemed fairly nice, it would’ve been silly not to leave the office to see what was going on around town.

Lots of stores are decked out in their finest to attract the Holiday Shopper, of course.  I’m always happy to see lots of fresh holiday greens, of course (artificial things have their place, but there’s nothing like the real thing…).  I really liked these red and green striped buoys with the Seasons Greetings message.  A  nice bit of regional flare, there.

My favorite nursery has put on fresh holiday attire, as well.  All the racks of mums and perennials and pansies and such are all put away now, to make room for the army of greens available to make such fantastic decorating of our homes available.  

I can’t believe I didn’t buy a wreath when I was there the other day.  I was too busy snapping photos, I guess, and just didn’t think about it.  But since smelling all those fresh evergreen cuttings, well, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.




And look!  Not only do they have all kinds of wreaths of all sizes, and trees of every make and model and height and width…they also have kissing balls!

(Yes.  I said “kissing balls”.  Let’s keep the emphasis on our first word, shall we?  I know it’s funny.  But stop.  That’s really what they’re called.)


They are called kissing balls (seriously…?) because they’re the best vehicle for decorating with the lovely and complicated mistletoe(I wish I could, but ’tis poisonous to kitties and people).  Did you know that someone standing under a kissing ball can’t refuse to be kissed?  It’s a rule.  But kisses under the mistletoe are not always necesarily romantic in nature, they can also simply convey feelings of good will or strong friendship.  But naturally, if you stay under there long enough…

Interestingly, it was thought that if the mistletoe wasn’t burned on the twelfth night, that all the boys and girls who’ve kissed beneath it might not ever marry.   Love those crazy Druids.  It sounds like they had the best holiday parties.  You can read all kinds of interesting mistletoe stuff here.

And if you want to make one of your own, it sounds pretty easy and you can get some direction about that here.  Don’t forget your potato! 






While our weather has been reasonably nice, it was still only in the 40s on Wednesday, when I spotted these guys surfing off Nauset Beach.  I only stayed for a moment myself, since the moist air coming off the ocean was felt a little icy.  Those wetsuits must keep them plenty warm. 





There was a pretty sky over the ocean, since the sun was just setting over the bay on the other side of the Cape.  This is a shot facing east.  That bump on the horizon? 

France.   ; )

Here’s a pretty wintery sky I captured across the street from the Nest on Thursday afternoon, when I was headed back to work for the second half of my split-shift that day.   I was sort of surprised it didn’t snow, since it certainly looked possible at this moment.

It sounds like that’ll be coming for us soon enough, though.  Maybe even in the coming week.


quiltersOur work night was enjoyable, as we hosted the Cape Cod Quilters for their Holiday Party.   Not only were they a fun group who seemed to really enjoy one another’s company,  but after dinner they quilted, which was pretty terrific to check out. 

They were working on a Go Green themed quilt and we here at the Midnight Garden think that the CCG have some pretty fantastic taste in fabrics.  Oh, all those wonderful shades of green and floral and foliage patterns.   Yum.



Come back real soon.  I’ve got a second post’s worth of photos once I’ve had a little sleep!  ;  )


Comments on: "This and That, to a December Beat" (6)

  1. I thought you were going to say that bump over the horizon was Maverick’s Russia! Have a great time vacationing and try not to steal the dance floor away at the reception with a rendition of “I Will Survive.” You’ve got the surfers and I’ve got the parasailers. It was freezing at the lake.

    Silly boy. This is the East Coast. You can’t see Russia from here.

    Actually, “Love Shack” seems to be the song that’s always playing when I’m in the kitchen, cutting the cake.

  2. Did you know that I quilt? Well, I’ve been known to, anyway. It’s been a while. I’ve had one or two other things to do recently. But I love seeing these quilters!

    um, the Rockefeller Center dance? Interesting, in a frightening way. I went to New York and did not see Rockefeller Center. I saw Penn Station, though. I think it was Penn. Or was it Union? And a little piece of 7th Ave.

    I love the excitement of preparing for a trip. And TRAINS!! I’m excited by your excitement. :) You help me feel the excitement of the season, actually. I love this post.

    I’m not at all surprised that quilting is in your bag of skills, my dear! It sure was fun to have this bunch share the evening with us and to have the chance to see some of their work.

    Ah, the dancing video, is just one of many you’ll find at Davey’s Dance blog. He’s actually traveled all over the world and danced in front of all sorts of different landmarks. Most of the time he’s on his own, but every now and then there’s a few others involved…this time, he had quite the crowd. And it IS a fun song…

    You were in NY in spring…was it May or June? Not as much to attract one to Rockefeller Center there, unless you’re looking to get on camera in the TODAY show crowds. Penn Station sounds right. Union is in Washington DC, among other places.

    I’m glad you enjoyed this post so much! You should be excited about the holidays…it really IS the most wonderful time of the year! ; )

  3. Why yes, Sarah, um Greg, I’m sure that’s France…

    I think you hit on a great solution for our economic times. Just take your camera and snap pictures of the the holiday wreaths. Almost as festive except for the heady pine scent.

    Welcome back to your blogging. BTW, some of your links (I think within Blogger) point back to your old blog location. You wouldn’t want people to lose touch with you where you are now–always a trouble with relocating, isn’t it?

    And what do you mean, “just a garden blog?” Fewer things in life are more important! :)

    Few people realize that the people of Cape Cod take very seriously their job of keeping an eye on those wiley Frenchmen. ; )

    Ah, the holiday season just offers one more chance to wish that the Internet supported “smell-o-vision”. The wreath photos really need the pine scent, though.

    I’ve had issues with some Blogger blogs, which don’t give me the opportunity to link to anywhere other than the old site, which is sort of annoying. I’m trying to get as much of them directed the right way, though.

    Of course you know how how I really feel about gardens!!

  4. Even with my bad English I can recognized, that’s a really nice (that means it creates warm feelings of joy) post and I guess you’ve left the ‘only a gardener’ phase behind you long time ago.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post, my friend!

  5. Do I really seem like the type who would try to squelch a sudden impulse to dance? Okay I suppose in some contexts I might just leave you to it and pretend I didn’t know you, but I’d never try to STOP you. I’ll make sure you have your own set of keys.

    Oh and yes, Java, that was Penn Station you saw. So scenic.

    I don’t know how one expects to make it in the entertainment industry if one isn’t willing to drop everything and dance on every street corner!

    And since that sounds so cheap, well, I’ll just add that on my senior class trip (too many years ago to enumerate) some of my classmates shared a bottle of wine with one of Penn Station’s winos, whilst we waited for our train to Williamsburg. ; ) Delightful memories.

  6. the kissing balls story is interesting

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