Welcome, July!

July is here, and what a beauty of a day with sun, low humidity, and a temperature that is just right, warm but not too hot. The window by my desk is open, and as I work I can smell the sweet air coming from the trees and the woods. The birds are singing, and when I look outside, I see green, green, green. Nature is calling “come outside.” Unfortunately, I must work at my desk.

June was a cool, rainy month, and while it didn’t bother me personally—I am comfortable in a broad range of temperatures, from 65Ā°F to 82Ā°F—it has not been good for vegetables and hay. Everything is late, late, late, and farmers are worried about how they are going to feed their animals. The fields are too saturated, and the hay can’t be cut. This sounds like an old-fashioned concern from bygone days, but Maine is a rural state blessed with farmers young and old. We have plenty of goats, sheep, cows, chickens, and horses as well as tourists. While drought is never welcomed, I do hope that July, August, and even September will bring abundant sunshine so that the hay can be cut, and the farmers can feed their animals this winter.

The perennials in my gardens are doing well, and here is the view of our front yard.Ā  Still mostly green, with a touch of yellow. I have made my peace with having a garden with subtle colors and have even learned to love it. (But, oh, how I still drool over the gardens of some of my blogging friends. You know who you are.)

Here is a closer look at some of the yellow against, of course, a hosta.

July is the time for fledglings, young birds that are mostly grown up but still follow their parents around and depend on them, at least to some extent, for food. I have an extremely soft spot for these fledglings who are on the cusp of independence. Such a harsh, dangerous world for them, and it touches me to see how the parents tend to clamoring offspring that are no longer small.

Because we live in the woods, we have the opportunity to see the fledglings of many birds—crows, nuthatches, gold finches, to name a few. The other day, it was a woodpecker, eating from the bird feeder and then feeding the fledgling who waited patiently underneath.

Best of luck, fledgling woodpecker! May you thrive and mature to raise families of your own.

38 thoughts on “Welcome, July!”

  1. It looks wonderfully lush and green Laurie and what a treat to see the woodpecker feeding her fledgling! We wish these young birds well too, it’s so lovely to see them spread their wings šŸ¤—šŸ’– xxx

  2. Looking good! I worked out most of the day redoing one bed by taking out some boxwoods that get hit hard by winter’s snow piles and putting in perennials. This bed is in the sun so I was able to add a butterfly weed, two purple asters, and two colorful sedum. The only thing more challenging in sun beds is the watering. But they do provide a lot of color that does make you smile. Right now, I have beautiful clumps of Astilbe shining forth in the shade. Have you tried any Astilbe? I think I have just about every color there is and would gladly share if I could only figure out how. šŸ™‚

    1. I do have astilbe. As soon as it is bloom, I will feature it. Only grows well in a small area of the garden as I am plagued with dry shade. Bring on the hostas! I envy your sunny spots, even if it does mean more watering.

  3. Thanks for your interesting description of farming in Maine, and the problems with the hay, and too much rain. The whole paragraph gives a picture of your part of the world.
    I am always fascinated by birds look after their youngsters, they show a lot of patience.

  4. Do you know what that plant with the yellow flowers is, under your hostas? I have it, too, and don’t know what it’s called. The farmers here are worried, too, although things have been looking up. Love the photo of the woodpeckers!

  5. Aah! In England we used to have a woodpecker come to our bird table and, the following year, bought the fledgling.
    I have never been as cross with my cats as when I found the body of one of these lovely birds in our garden. Although, to be fair, it didn’t seem to be injured in any way so maybe there was another reason for its demise.

  6. All across the country, rain’s been the bane of farmers. It’s hay cutting that’s been on hold in the midwest, and the number of farm and garden tractors that got “paused” in the mud in my area was much higher than usual this year!

    But the birds seem a constant, and it’s a delight to see the fledglings here, too. Granted, in my area it’s mostly blue jays and grackles, but what they might lack in lovely songs or polite behavior, they make up for in the sheer amusement they offer.

  7. Delightful! I share your love of fledglings though we aren’t blessed with the variety that you have. Hostas I’m not so keen on. We do have astilbes. They are just about surviving. I planted them in dry shade…. Another plant to be moved come autumn!

    1. I am a hosta convert. After too many years of bare patches in my dry shade garden and after too many years of wasted money on plants that die in dry shade, I have succumbed to hostas. I’m even learning to like them. A little like broccoli. šŸ˜‰

  8. The farmers here are also having a tough time. A lot of the soil was too wet to plant during the normal time, a lot of fields were never planted at all. We have another wren family in one of our birdhouses.

  9. Your garden looks wonderful and the house and fence add a lovely punch of colour. I’m impressed none of those hosta leaves have been munched!

  10. Your garden looks wonderful and what a beautiful setting to watch the young birds!šŸ™‚ I love watching the young birds gain their confidence in the world and listening to their calls for their parents.šŸ™‚

  11. This heat wave ought to dry things out a bit, although I’d prefer it to be more temperate with a breeze.
    Your garden is looking great! Do you grow astilbes? They like acidic soil, shade and come in many colors, perfect for Maine.

  12. Your garden looks wonderful! I am sure that you’d be having an easier time of writing if it were winter. It’s hard to have to work inside during the best days.

    I, too, love the fledglings & we have had a lot this year so far – including the downy! Most of them are so big you wouldn’t notice them except for their noise and fluffing their feathers.

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