Monday, August 24, 2009


© Chris Gregerson, 2005

Summer is definitely moving on.  It’s still terribly hot out there but not AS hot.  The fields have all been harvested of their corn and cotton.  The days are now noticeably shorter.  And the grandkids are back in school.  As long and slow as this summer was, I know that this next part will fly like the wind and then it will be year’s end.

With the demise of summer, I also feel my great lethargy of the year beginning to lift a little.  Not lethargy of the body since I have worked hard on the jobs we were fortunate to have, but lethargy of the mind.  I’m beginning to feel the studio calling to me again.  The unfinished pieces out there are starting to want to be finished.  I had the answer to one of those voices this weekend, finally, and I think it’s the right one.

My 80 (90?) something neighbor is getting ready to plant his winter garden.  He pulled out all the struggling summer plants.  Now it’s been tilled, hoed and rowed.

Do birds have speech impediments?  I saw a pair of cardinals Sunday hanging out in the yew tree.  She was singing her bright little sharp note they call to each other with and he kept responding with a muffled pffht.  At one point she rolled her note a little quieter the way people who speak Spanish roll their ‘r’s.  Almost like purring.

When one of my granddaughters came to visit and she was in the little pool, news of the rare water source spread quickly and there was a steady stream of wasps and yellow jackets going to and fro.  They were minding their own business, getting a drink and going on their way but it kept creeping her out.  I spotted this colony under the eaves of the garage yesterday.

The pecan trees started dropping their immature fruit three or four weeks ago, victims of the drought.  I was afraid of that.  Every week there are more and it’s not just the little ones.

This was my project for the weekend.  I have two 32 gallon plastic trash cans I use to collect rain water in.  This is the third, new and improved model.  Pay particular attention to the overflow tube...

and the hose attachment with on/off valve at the bottom.  I’m particularly proud of those.  Now I have to similarly outfit the other two.

Good night.


  1. The studio is calling? All right. It must time to get back to creative pursuits. Good thing too; everybody else is going back to work or school.

  2. My dad (in NC) uses those same types of water barrels. When there's draught he's been known to save his shower water too. He has a really big garden every year - & we are the happy beneficiaries of it (green beans and okra anyone?)...

  3. you - ellen - are one cool all over and all around lady!!! thanks for putting all of these little moments and events up here. they keep the world rolling!!!! steven

  4. Great Post!
    I love the part about the birds having a speech impairment. I had to go to speech for 8 years in school! I would have loved to think that animals weren't "perfect" too.
    Also love the rain catcher!

  5. I am looking forward to the fall months, when I am in my element. I hate the heat of summer and am so sluggish. This weekend, I felt the first pangs of the cool morning air and the scent of fall. Ahh. Bring it on.

    Cool water barrel. I'm impressed.

  6. I love this, Ellen. Truly love this. It's such a subtle shift this turning toward a new season, especially in Texas. You've captured it beautifully. The pecans remind me of running around as a kid in my grandmother's back yard and smelling the musky scent of pecans decaying on the ground. And, of course, your rain barrel is marvelous. Perhaps you should market them!

  7. Great photos, and I like how you see the wasps - just getting a drink. I wish I could see wasps in the same light. Your rain barrel is great. I have a similar contraption saved to make at a later date. Good luck with the unfinished artwork. I am putting off something I need to start.

  8. lakeviewer - yes, I think so.

    The Bug - hmmm, shower water.

    steven - (blush) thank you.

    janis - I though it very dear that he had found a female since their song is how birds attract a mate.

    willow - it'll be awhile yet before we get that. I usually like summer but this one was intense.

    Kathleen - thanks. It is more subtle here than father north. When I was picking up the dropped pecans they were giving off that very smell.

    Nancy - wasps do have a mean sting but if they are not startled or feel threatened they will pretty much ignore you. A lot of people get stung because when they see a wasp, they try to kill it and the wasp reacts in kind.

    I am such a dolt! Looking at the picture of the rain barrel, I see I left the cock open so that if it rains while we are in the city, it will all just run out! Sheesh.

  9. Your photography is wonderful. The wasp colony and the cardinal are beautifully captured. And your hose hook up which you rigged on the trash can is brilliant.

  10. Thanks Hilary. I can't take credit for the pic of the cardinal though. I googled it.

  11. Did you think that I had forgotten you, Ellen? Now way, and here I am, catching up on Sunday morning. I really enjoyed this post a lot, in its simple beauty. I miss Texas. Perhaps it will wait for me to come back?


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