The Joys of July

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James

Poodle playFor those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, July is the peak month of summer. Warm dawns are filled with birdsong punctuating a breathless silence, gardens  flourish with flowers and produce, evenings are balmy enough for shorts and sandals. “Lazy” is the way to spend a summer afternoon. For me, July is also filled with family birthdays, including my own, daily dabbling in the garden, and a tradition of watching the Tour de France. This year, Angel’s buddy Charlie Brown spent a week’s vacation with us, a time for exuberant play for these best friends.

There always seems time enough to watch a spider web floating in the breeze or to track winged creatures flitting through the garden – sometimes they land on my hand as if to say “Isn’t summer grand?” I often retreat from the heat of the afternoon into the cool of the house, watching cyclists at the peak of their powers race their way through the breathtaking scenery of the French countryside. Rainy days are spent at the piano, workinWine for weedingg on new pieces to the rhythm of water falling through the woods and garden and the percussion of distant thunder. Most days end with another tour de jardin, seeing what the morning’s efforts accomplished and perhaps to spend a leisurely hour pulling the odd weed while sipping a bit of cool wine.

Here’s to the joys of July, days and nights of sensory delights to hold and treasure in memory for the rest of the year. Enjoy a few scenes of the denizens of the summer garden. (click any photo below to trigger the slide show; all photos ©2014 Lynn Emberg Purse, all rights reserved)

My life, I realize suddenly, is July. Childhood is June, and old age is August, but here it is July, and my life, this year, is July inside of July. ~Rick Bass


35 thoughts on “The Joys of July

  1. Your garden is beautiful! Exactly what I was looking for. I will enjoy visiting your site for inspiration. I have a toy version of your Angel,she also loves to garden.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Otto. The black poodle, Angel, is my special girl. Charlie belongs to my sister-in-law but is Angel’s best buddy and a frequent and welcome visitor. There is something very special about two poodles playing together! I miss all of the flower bloom, now that the garden is in a quieter phase.

  2. Here we are in August and I’m just getting to this – work has been busy. I love the breathing spider web, which does express that midsummer afternoon contentment you describe so well. And oh, the garden! The shot with the bench – was it plum and pewter garden? – lovely – let me sit with you! Of course I love the daylillies and already forgot their names but the ones after the bench photo are may favs. It’s a bonus when a little insect perches on the petal. Beautiful photos, and I’ happy for you, enjoying the season heartily. Come see my Nitobe Memorial Garden post from Vancouver, CA – I know you’ll like it. (And Angel and her pal – how I’d like to feel that fur and romp with them).

    • WP problems, Audrey? I updated my browser last month and it seemed to help. I still have issues with the Reader sometimes though. Thanks for stopping by; I’m looking forward to catching up with the pups and flowers!

  3. Lynn, I so love your work (in the garden and as a composer) that I forced myself to watch the entire spider video. I think I need to go get a glass of wine and it’s not even Noon. Yikes!

    I am in love with your flowers, of course, and their beauty takes away the terror of the spider. 🙂

    • Oh my, Eleanor, I hope the glass of wine helped! To me, the spider web is a thing of beauty and I love having spiders in the garden – they eat many “bad bugs” and I consider them the gardener’s friend. But I understand your reaction; glad to know that the flowers counterbalanced the experience for you :-).

  4. Delights for eye and ear alike. I hope spidey doesn’t suffer from mal de mer! His wavy web could make a good visual for a short theme. Strings would be indicated! 🙂

  5. “For me, July is also filled with family birthdays, including my own…”

    Mine too. Happy Birthday, Lynn.

    Not incidentally–very, very nice set of images.

  6. Your garden is beautiful, as always. You make July sound wonderful. I enjoyed the spider web in the breeze video. There was something refreshing and relaxing about it. 🙂

  7. Lovely, Lynn, and so deeply accurate, for my heart, are your images of the month’s rhythms and pleasures…Thank you for this beautiful reflection. I’ll toast you, with my own dusk-blessed wine and wish you a very happy birthday, too! Joy and merry adventures in your new year!

    • Kitty, I thought of you as I was writing this, so it doesn’t surprise me that you enjoyed it. Definitely a “slow life” reflection 🙂 Now I will think of you this evening while I sip my end of gardening day wine and send a silent toast your way.

    • I do, thank you Tootlepedal! I was a collector of daylilies for some time, before I had to handle a larger garden! Now I only collect “weeds” 🙂 Still, I admire the unique beauty of each daylily; surely they are the stars of the July garden!

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