Looking Out My Back Door – July 7, 2013

Summer is here and so is the heat and humidity.  It’s been about two weeks now of tropical weather which is unusual for New England.  Usually you get a break after a few days of what they call the “3 H’s”…hazy, hot and humid.  But not this year. 

A tornado hit the next town over a few days ago.  There was no wind or rain at my house and I didn’t know until the power went out.  I called the power company to report it and I was the first to report the outage in my area.  Then I got on my smart phone to look at the outage map and I saw significant numbers of outages in the surrounding towns as well.  It wasn’t until several hours later when the power came back on that I saw on TV that there had been a tornado and there had been damage.  One of those inflated dome sports complexes was destroyed (the children who had been inside evacuated to an adjacent building just in time); the netting on the shade tobbacco had been ripped apart and was draped over trees and power lines and an 18 wheeler tractor trailer had been blown over in a parking lot.  Ah, summer, got to love it.

But it’s not all bad.  There is some beauty out there if you look.

Dragonfly on Rusty Barrel Top

Dragonfly on Rusty Barrel Top

There are lots of dragonflies out there this year.  There’s one that has a white body and black wings (won’t let me take his picture) and lots of silver blues and a few brown.  The guy in the photo above was very accomodating.  He sat there patiently as I kept getting closer and closer with my camera.  Quite stricking on that mottled rusty background.

Daylily Grouping

Daylily Grouping

The daylilies are starting to pop.yale 005-35a

And pop…july 016-35

And those invasive plants and vines love this heat and humidity!  How they thrive!

Gooseneck Loosestrife

Gooseneck Loosestrife

Gooseneck loosestrife is one of those invasive plants.  It is pretty, the flowers are striking and the bright green foliage turns brilliant red in the fall.  If you can manage to contain it in a certain area, it would be wonderful.  But that’s the thing of it….you can’t contain it!  It pops up here and there and if you try to pull it out, you’ll never get all of the runner type roots and they’ll just continue to grow, flourish and spread and spread and spread. 

Morning Glory Vine

Morning Glory Vine

Sometimes I know I am my own worst enemy.  The morning glory vine pictured above is one of those invasive vines.  In an earlier post I had mentioned that I was so happy to see it in the garden last year that a rustic wooden obelisk was positioned this year in the same spot in anticipation of its appearance.  Well, it didn’t show up where it had last year…it started growing in another bed.  So the obelisk was moved and the tiny little vines with their heart shaped leaves were coaxed up the poles.  And they seem very happy and are twirling and twining around those poles like crazy.  It will be a while before the first blue bloom appears some morning, but I’ll be on the look-out.  So I encourage this vine, I pamper this vine, I love this vine and it will probably take over the yard some day.  And I’ll try to control it and contain it… all to no avail. I just know this will happen.

Filipendula Rubra aka Queen-of-the-Prairie

Filipendula Rubra aka Queen-of-the-Prairie

Now the filipendula is one plant that knows its place and stays there.  The rubra version is also know as “queen-of-the-prairie”.  This is no prairie, but this plant does very well here.  The foliage is great and those hot pink crazy looking flowers are spectacular!  The flowers grow around 5 feet tall.  I love this plant.

Veronicastrum / Culver's Root

Veronicastrum / Culver’s Root

Talking about tall plants…here’s that veronicastrum this morning, July 7th.  The supporting obelisk is about ten feet tall and it looks to me that the veronicastrum is easily 8 feet tall or more (and I think it’s still growing).  It is surrounded by phlox.  The phlox, too, are pretty gigantic for phlox…some grow 5 to 6 feet tall.  And talk about invasive!  That’s what phlox are!  But the hummingbirds love them so I have to leave them alone for the most part.

So, what is there to do?  The giant sized plants are growing away and the invasive plants and vines are spreading like mad….

Raspberry Vodka Collins with Raspberry Sorbet

Raspberry Vodka Collins with Raspberry Sorbet

Sit back and have a raspberry vodka tom collins with raspberry sorbet.  Combine some fresh lemon juice and lime juice at the bottom of a tall glass, stir in about a spoonful of sugar, add raspberry vodka and club soda and spoonfuls of raspberry sorbet. Kind of like a root beer float…only better.

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