Friday, August 5, 2016

Hello August

In the way of a mini report on our garden, I'm sharing this painting sketch inspired by the view from our little overlook.  We call it "The Overlook" because the area is elevated and looks across the road to another hill.  Towards the end of July we started having lots of rain showers in the afternoon and evenings.  In the morning, a mist would be rising from the hollow across the street.  The view never fails to move me.  I would like to create a better painting, but for now this conveys the mood.

Thanks to adequate rain in June, we had our best season of daylilies ever.  Our garden is mostly shaded and I just assumed shade was the reason we didn't have many blooms.  We figured out last year that deer were eating the buds, so Barry applied malorganite (a fertilizer and I may not have spelled the name correctly). Deer don't like it and the added fertilizer gave the plants a boost.

Those who follow me know I enjoy creating photo books.  I usually use Blurb and I usually wait till I get a coupon.  A coupon for 40% off arrived recently which was put to use creating a photo journal  (Part I of  at least III or IV) of our 2011 road trip across country to Yellowstone National Park.  I'm late getting this project started because I thought I had lost all the photos when my external hard drive  was accidentally flung into the air, crashed and broke.  The files were eventually retrieved, but by then so many new things demanded attention, I had to move on.  Now I'm taking some time to look back and I'm thoroughly enjoying the trip again.  One of our first stops was the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.  A highlight for me was walking through some of the presidential aircraft, especially SAM 26000 which carried Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagon and Clinton.

Much further along we reached the Badlands of South Dakota and Mount Rushmore.  I've heard western stories of the Badlands throughout my life,  but never thought of them as a place to visit.  We were fortunate to visit in Spring when desert flowers were blooming--many of them small and delicate in contrast to the vast rocky landscape.  In the National Parks pamphlet there is a quote by Frank Lloyd Wright that parallels my awe: "I've been about the world a lot, and pretty much over our own country, but I was totally unprepared for that revelation called the Dakota Bad Lands...."

Mount Rushmore seemed familiar by contrast thanks to countless viewings of the film North by Northwest.  Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint trailed along with me as I learned about the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, whose vision for Mount Rushmore was "the formal rendering of the philosophy of our government into granite on a mountain peak."  Borglum chose to give human form to the abstract.

Skipping way ahead, we have left Cody, Wyoming and are driving up Bighorn.  Love the view and I picked the right sweater to wear that day.

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