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."

Sunset Walking


Look at these purple roses I found blooming up the street!  I’ve biked passed this yard a few times more recently and ought to have noticed these sooner, like when they were just beginning to bloom.   But this time of year there’s more traffic on our road and so being on the bike means not always paying as much attention to the gardens along the way.  Anyway, they were a fun surprise as I walked by the other evening.


Yes, I actually got to walk all the way to the bay the other night.  I love the walks with The Purrmeister – you shouldn’t misunderstand – we have a great time and he is a treat to see in action, that’s for sure.  He’s helped remind me to appreciate our own backyard (and those immediately adjacent, when the coast is clear…) and all it has to offer, which is legion.

Because of all the time we spend out on the leash, I’ve been abbreviating my own journeys to the waters edge by making them bike rides instead.  Perhaps the work out is better, but the time spent on the trip is also cut in half and they do say it’s the journey that matters, not how quickly one arrives, and you just can’t see what’s going on if its whizzing by you like you’re a stunt double in Breaking Away.

So it was fun, at this tipping point of the summer season, with the days already getting a little shorter, to realize that on this night there might actually be time to walk to the bay for sunset and see what’s been happening in that world along the way.  There’s lots of untamed privet in our neighborhood and it’s sweet white flowers are seasoning the air with a whiff of honey this week, for example.



There are a couple of small houses along my walk which I admire, small New England affairs, utilitarian little boxes which have expanded in a couple of directions over the years and are now quite unique creations.   Sometimes its fun to think about what they might look like inside, or what it’d be like to live in one of those places.  Homeowner fantasies, you know.


Anyway, one house also has a garden that’s winning my heart as the season progresses.   I never know quite what I’m going to see blooming there, but it always makes me smile.

Right now its a bit full of itself, as any self-respecting garden is this time of year.  There’s butterfly flowers, and queen anne’s lace and daylilies and tickseed and lots of coneflowers and rudbeckia and roses and clematis and all sorts of things.

Quite fun, really.



The cool thing about taking the bike is that, if time is short before sunset, it guarantees getting there sooner.  When walking, I do tend to get distracted more easily.    I look up from my walking in time to see a fox tail disappearing into a stand of brush and I lose a few minutes standing there, wondering if I’ll actually get a better glimpse of her than that.


Or I’ll be nearly deafened by the self-proclaiming whistle call of the bob white, knowing it is so close by I ought to be able to see the darned bird, and yet, it remains hidden.

Perhaps its two different levels of clouds in the sky, overlaying one another, the higher ones catching the golden angled light of the quickly sinking sun, and lower wisps light more brightly.  Sometimes, it’s the view of those clouds through the prism of Otherside (is that what it’s called, Curt?), that place you might end up if you were able to jump into puddles like they were chalk drawings in London.

On this trip, I was also stalled by the sight of these little round toes of moss.  I remembered for a moment more melancholy walks in the gray days of winter, when my little mossies were the only bright green I had hope of seeing outdoors as I made my way for a look at the icy bay, and I ponder for a moment if our moods make the weather or if the weather makes our moods, with no need for a practical answer to the question.



And then I’ll step out of the wool-gathering, noting the changing tones in the sky overhead.   The way the land undulates here as we approach the bayshore, it’s sort of hard to tell sometimes if I’ve already missed the sunset.   It can happen pretty quickly and sometimes ends prematurely due to low clouds or creeping fogbanks and such, although sometimes its simply behind the trees.   I rededicate my feet to their task and move west again.

At least until I spy some new planting along the way, some fresh bit of landscaping, or perhaps a plant I’ve just missed until it’s blatantly blooming for my attention.   We can, perhaps include these red hollyhocks in there somewhere, though I’m not sure if they are newly-planted or only just now grabbing my gaze.   Either way, they were a treat…but also a distraction from my goal.   Would I get there?  Was the light gone already?

I quicken my pace and, before much longer, I arrive and see that I am not too late, after all.  In fact, I am just in time.










Comments on: "Sunset Walking" (9)

  1. Nothing like a walk for noticing things and there is so much to notice on yours. Did you know Queen Anne’s lace is a member of the carrot family? Of course you did. Would it be possible to take badum on a bike ride… in a basket mayhaps,

    I don’t know if that’s a single rose, in pink. The leaves look more like peony.

    Just in time. Lovely sunset, the sun’s golden eye sinking under heavy-lidded clouds.

    Jeaux, sometimes I think you suspect I don’t “carrot” all. ; ) I thought about taking Badum on the bike, and it totally gives me the heeby-jeebies, mainly ’cause I’m a klutz m’self and wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt him. That is a rose – rosa rugosa, to be exact – they call them beach roses and their scent is a joy enough to rival our dear peonies!

  2. I love the layered clouds that color up differently as the light changes. I almost forget to look at cool stuff blooming around me. The color of the rose you show reminds me of some of the sultry red-purple colors of some of the first roses, a color that they tried to ignore in favor of the brighter reds that were so popular for decades. Your sunset photos reminded me to look out the window a few minutes ago. There was a sunset going on somewhere out there, but it was pretty buried in the clouds. Sigh. There will be other days and other sunsets.

    Isn’t it funny how we have decided over the years that we know better than nature what constitutes beauty? It’s given us some great things, to be sure, but at what cost? Roses that don’t attract pollinators, or even lovers, with their lack of fragrant sentiment…? I liked these purples a lot. Wouldn’t mind cultivating them to spread more of them about.

    Our sunset was more secret this evening, too…started with promise and then shyly ducked behind a curtain of clouds, to light them dramatically from within. Never the same show twice, to be sure.

  3. Hey! I knew the names of three of those blooms! I feel so… organic.

    I love your perambulations and purrambulations. The way you write about them brings me right along on these quiet meditative moments.

    Heh heh. I’m so proud of you! Often, it feels like all of my best blog-reader pals _are_ with me when I’m walking, too, you know? Look forward to ambling together for real someday!

  4. Purrdum in a bike basket, now that would be an experience.. :o and it sure would scare me having one of my own in a bike basket..they just don’t normally ask for permission or offer a ‘heads up’ when they decide to go off in a new
    nice photo walk Greg :)

  5. Wow! This is beautiful, can we come and live with you?

  6. A beautiful sunset indeed. Thanks for sharing. Those red holy hocks are gorgeous. They look like carnations.

  7. Thanks for the walk! I love Queen’s Anne Lace. Use to have Queen’s Anne Lace growing in our backyard. You know what is a beautiful combination, Queen Anne’s Lace and chicory. There is something about the blue and and the white in the two flowers that is somehow striking.

    It’s a beautiful combination, Charles, that’s for sure!

  8. Simply gorgeous!

  9. Have not visited in forever – sorry. Just scrolled through – amazing photos…MUST catch up on your prose soon. I’ll have to agree with what Charles said – QAL & C made up my wedding flowers! Beyond beautiful.

    Stop on back when you get a chance, Molly – you’re always welcome! (For the under-caffeinated, QAL=Queen Anne’s Lace and C=cosmos.)

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