Long Hot Summer

Tammy Brown

From quarantine to the brutal murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd recorded and witnessed by all of us, an outbreak of rage and protests, and the relentless climbing numbers of Covid-19 deaths, it was difficult not to be entirely consumed by bad news as spring slipped into the stifling heat of summer. Spring passed by, and the long, hot summer, and I had to look back through my photos to account for the time.

Nature keeps me grounded with its inattention to my concerns. Little Piney goes on growing, blooming, seeding, feeding the birds, surprising me with new things. It reminds me that we are such a small part of such a big picture. There are many places on earth that suffer this much most of the time. Our 2020–this incredibly difficult year–will someday be a short mention in the volumes of the history of the world. I don’t intend to minimize the importance of any of it. I hope that the awakening of America to racial injustice will lead to widespread social and personal change. I hope that the many costs of Covid-19 will lead to better health care and planning and other much needed changes. However, the earth will survive if we let it, and no one will remember the specific pain that you and I are feeling. .

Some Birding Highlights

Greater Roadrunner visited the backyard.

Ash-sided Flycatcher who dominated one field for a week.

Mushrooms and other Fungi

Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden

The Fountain

Sometimes things work out for the best even though they are very annoying at the time. The outdoor outlet for the fountain stopped working, and the electrician gave me a very high estimate to trench and run a new line. Instead, I decided to run an extension cord to the garage instead and bury it under the grass. A week later, some of the excess cord from the pump popped up and got severed by the lawnmower. The pump cord repair costs almost as much as a new pump, so we opted to replace the pump. Replacing the pump meant moving the fountain rocks and grate to remove the old pump and install the new one.. While we rearranging things, we turned down the fountain flow because I had long suspected the forceful flow might be discouraging the birds.

Success! Since we turned it down, the fountained is frequently used for drinking and bathing. So–happy ending!

Migrating Baltimore Orioles on the Fountain

Cooler Days

The long hot summer of 2020 is over even if the challenges facing our nation are unresolved. Cooler days are here–at least lower than the nineties–and it’s nice to be outdoors. I’m busy birding, planting Little Blue Stem and painting as life goes on.

Next blog will feature some of my paintings from Little Piney, and something about my process. Coming soon.