As is usual for me in the summer, I didn't keep up with the blog so well. It's not that nothing was happening - it's more like too much was happening, and I was having fun living it, without wanting to stop and document it. That actually seems like a pretty good philosophy - keep moving forward with the fun - so instead of wishing I had kept a more complete accounting, I'll just move on with the highlights:
One of my favorite summer distractions - lots of swimming, diving, floating, lounging in the pond.
Steve - expert napper.
The veggie garden was a success this year. Best tip: mulch everything with a LOT of straw. And then forget you own a hoe, because you won't need it. Seriously.
Fishing on a paddleboard. Halcyon days of summer.
NOT halcyon days of summer - the number of black snacks that visit (reside in?) our storage buildings. See this snake up on the wall? It was *touching* my weedeater harness. Mine! I moved it thereafter. (the harness, not the snake - the snake moved himself when he damn-well felt like it I guess, because in my experience if you move a snake it's a lot of excitement for not much reward - they just go back to where they wanted to be in the first place.)
If that last snake didn't creep you out, how about this one? A freaking giant, climbing up our neighbor's tree! I think it's the climbing ability of a snake that creeps me out the most. In theory I love black snakes - eat rats etc. In reality I have a little harder time being all chill and grateful when they keep climbing up things so they are where I least expect them. Sigh.
In much less creepy news - my garlic harvest was pretty great this year.
I grow enough garlic for us to keep for quite a while, and braid the softneck garlic with dried strawflower to hang in the kitchen. I'm a fan of garlic and flowers, so why not combine them?
Summer brings a lot of great sunsets.
Summer also brings a lot of yoga on our porch. Steve is an expert at savasana.
Summer also produces a lot of surprising animals. This snapping turtle was in the middle of the yard, and we encouraged/scooped him into this cooler to move him down to the creek. You guys, this is a *full size cooler*, which means it's a giant effing snapping turtle. They are completely prehistoric, and fascinating if you can get past the claws and extremely aggressive attack that gives them their name. For the record - I hardly can get past the claws and the attack.
For Fourth of July we hiked up to the top of Mt. Pisgah. It poured down rain - still totally worth it.
Personal rainbow! One of the few times I've seen both ends of a rainbow at the same time.
Lots of flowers this year. Our house was full of them, and now their seeds are all drying in my studio. Can't wait to share them with you in the spring.
Summer plot twist - we went to London! It was amazing, fun, beautiful - all of the adjectives.
From London we carried on to Isle of Skye, Scotland. And it was magical and maybe the most beautiful place I've ever seen in my life. Not enough adjectives to describe this one.
We had the *best* family trip, and now that I'm back I keep seeing pictures of Isle of Skye on Instagram, and I kind of can't believe we were actually there.
Back to our North Carolina mountains. We went up the Frying Pan lookout tour on Labor Day. It's an old fire tower, where the park service used to keep watch for forest fires.
The views were amazing, and it's an easy walk from the Parkway, but after we had been there a while some kids showed up and started climbing around the outside of the railing at the top of the VERYTALL tower and I almost sh!t myself thinking we were about to witness one of them lying crumpled on the ground, so we headed on to Skinny Dip Falls.
Where we all took a jump from the high rock to celebrate the end of summer. Except it's just now starting to cool off below 80 degrees, so possibly we should head back to Skinny Dip and give that another try.