Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Lazy Afternoon

A photo-essay of my afternoon.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed living it :)

After working up a drip drip drip sweat cutting the grass out front (10:30 - 11:30 a.m.) taking the full brunt of the sun, I took a little break and posted here.  Then I headed out to the DISASTER AREA known as my back yard.  It's a mess since the wind storms that came through next week, chasing out the prior week's gloomy wet, cool weather.  Now I've got half-foot tall grass and what seems to be half a foot of branches from my mini-forest that must be cleaned up before I can give everything a once-over with the lawnmower out.

Messy yard!  How many branches and twigs can you count?  Way too many! Work work work - tomorrow.
I had the best of intentions.  I pulled out one of my yard waste containers on wheels and the rake!  I had my nasty dirty big fat yard work gloves on. But raking felt beyond me today.  So, I did the next best thing.  I gave the deck a sweep, scrubbed down the plastic table and chairs -- the table has developed two cracks radiating out from the hole where the umbrella goes that weren't there a few weeks ago.  Damn! 

See!  I actually was working, darlings!  Yard waste container (on wheels), stuffed
full of yard waste stuff, my trusty old brass dust pan and a worn down broom used
to clean off the deck.  The rake is out of range.
And then I set up for an afternoon of relaxing.  Up went the umbrella.  It got very warm today -- 81 degrees F!  Amazingly enough, I don't think we got near to breaking any temperature records.  There was a breeze from the south but also humidity.  I hooked up the hose and cleaned out the bird baths.  It wasn't long before my feathered friends visited the fresh water en masse.  There's just something about that water fresh from the hose -- pouring a 2 gallon bucket of clean water every day into the baths just isn't the same, it seems...

Hooked up the big Acer laptop from upstairs (that I haven't used for awhile), got my wine, arranged my chairs so I could put my feet up, and went to work.

The grass was dry, amazingly enough, after all the rain we received over a week ago now, and so even though it's October I never deprive my grass of anything.  I put the sprinkler on.  I may have to rob Fort Knox to pay my water bill the coming quarter.  Oh well.  Back and forth, back and forth, the hypnotic rhythym of the arcs of water and the delicious scent of dry earth soaking up moisture had its usual salutory effect on yours truly.  I fell asleep.

Hazelnuts for squirrels in yellow cup, cheap wine glass half-filled with cheap pink wine (my favorite),
Acer netbook, empty popcorn bag.  Behind the wine glass you can see my ugly yard work gloves.
In the background on the right you can see the concrete birdbath, freshly cleaned out. 
Woke up to a squirrel sitting a foot away from me with one paw up, begging for a hazelnut. It was an older squirrel, not one of the latest crop of babies just down from the double BIG tree that haven't quite figured out yet what "nuts" are... He (or she) wasn't afraid of me -- the baby squirrels still are. He (or she) waited patiently as I went through the process of putting my feet down, rose from my chair, stepped into the kitchen just a patio door and a few feet away and grabbed a handful of hazelnuts out of the box on the counter (I order 25 pounds at a time for my furry little friends). He (or she) was a very happy little squirrel after I stepped back outside.

The grass is happy once again, too.  I moved the sprinkler around as the hours ticked by and most of the yard and what's left of the perennials got a good drink.  I checked out some things online, sent some emails.  I did some research.  I switched over to my little Acer netbook (I love that netbook) and turned on Smooth Jazz Online. The smooth jazz sound makes me very happy.  Everything and everyone was happy this afternoon in my backyard :)

Eat your heart out, Natalie Portman.  Despite the fact that your eyes are exactly the
same color as mine, you will NEVAH look like me, darling.  NEVAH!
About 4 p.m. I pulled out the very first issue of Vogue I received a few days ago on my brand spanking new subscription (ordered during a fit of madness that seems to have taken a strong grip on me of late).  Eighty-five pages later, I finally come across the Table of Contents.  The ads fascinate me.  So much airbrushing.  Julia Roberts, in one of the make-up ads, cannot possibly have the face of a six month old baby...
The angle of the sun says sunset is less than two hours away...Sigh.  The quality
of the light is breathtaking, wish I could capture it better in a photograph...
As the sun started sinking in the southwest at an impossibly early hour, I sighed and slowly started gathering my gear together.  Then I stopped and rested for another 30 minutes.  The quality of the light this time of year is so breathtakingly beautiful.  I loved how irridescent some of the leaves looked with the fading light bouncing off; I loved the play of light and shadow on sights so familiar to me after 21 years of living here I could probably describe them in minute detail in writing if my life depended upon it.

The contrast of shade and light always catches my eye.  Birds nested this year in the bird house
sitting on the post, near lower center of the photo.  I did not invade their privacy while in residence.  Now
they've moved out.  In the distance is the cell phone tower where the local hawk population hangs out.
I ran into the house and got the Nikon digital camera I spent a mini-fortune on in 2006, or 2007 - or whenever.  It's practically an antique now, darlings.  I don't care.  It feels rich in my hands.  I snapped photos here and there. 

The double tree is shadowed now, as is the wild grape wine growing on the fence.  Today I noticed the
first grape vine leaves turning yello.  Neighbor's windows are open, as mine are!  It's wonderful to air
out the house.  The long shadow of the satellite dish on neighbor's roof signals sun going down soon!

That light - it just drew me in.  The sapling is glowing and translucent in the sunlight.
Close-up of the sapling caught in the rays of the sinking Sun.   Look how the light is
bouncing around the leaves!  How many different shades of green in this one image...
Tomorrow is another day, and I'll be outdoors again, but this time I'll have to rake up the storm debris and cut the grass out back before I can put my feet up.
My little haven on the deck, now bathed in shadows of the sinking sun.
But I will put my feet up. I'll have the first game of the Brewers run for the National League Champion Title against those St. Louis Cardinals playing on one radio while listening to the Packers game on another.   I wish I could live with days like this forever.

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