The Pleasures of My Own Yard

Many people like to travel—to see new sights and to eat new food. While I understand the need for novelty, I find that I get plenty of variety in my own yard. Best of all, I don’t have to take a plane, bus, or automobile. I merely have to go down a few steps, and there are I am, surrounded by gardens and trees that look different with every season.

Right now, in Maine, it is fall, a lovely but bittersweet time of year,Β  when all things green and growing are getting ready for the long cold of winter. In the front yard the leaves of the Solomon’s seal have turned a ghostly white, a pale contrast with the black-eyed Susans, which are beginning to fade.

The leaves of the hosta Frances Williams are yellowing and curling in on themselves.

In the backyard, there is a blaze of color in the woods, a bold punctuation among the evergreens. Soon the leaves will fall, a sprinkle of red on the forest floor.

We haven’t taken in the patio chairs and table, and it often continues to be warm enough for me to sit and listen to the crickets singing their song of fall. So far, the little jumping creatures haven’t been stilled by the cold. Neither have the nasturtiums, which are still blooming, albeit in a more desultory way than they were at their peak.

Often times, in the waning warm of autumn, Little Miss Watson keeps me company.

And watching over everything is a Spirit of the woods, guarding the yard whatever the season.


56 thoughts on “The Pleasures of My Own Yard”

  1. I’m feeling like this more and more lately.
    We sometimes nip down into Spain in the car and, obviously, I go over to the U.K. to visit my girls occasionally but, like you, we already live somewhere beautiful and I begrudge renting a house elsewhere in France for a couple of thousand euros for a week when it isn’t even as nice as the one we live in. I hate flying and the whole airport thing – there’s no longer any pleasure in it. Luckily, I travelled quite a lot back in the day so more or less got it out of my system. However, if the flight wasn’t so long, the one place I would really love to see is Japan.

  2. Even ugly places can have little niches of beauty and wonder. You may just have to look closer.

  3. How did Little Miss Watson get her name? The rare plant preserve I visit now is named after Geraldine Watson, so it’s a name I tend to notice.

    The Swiss naturalist Louis Louis Agassiz once said,
    “I spent the summer traveling; I got halfway across my back yard.”

  4. I used to have a tree, in a park where I walked (in Austin, before we moved to the Texas Hill Country), that I talked to and considered a being. I don’t remember what I called it, but discovered I wasn’t the only person who saw a “being” in that tree. Tree spirits, indeed.

  5. Autumn in your garden looks beautiful Laurie and it’s lovely to see it’s still warm enough to sit outside, guarded by the Spirit of the Woods and sweet Little Miss Watson πŸ€—πŸ’–πŸˆ xxx

  6. I don’t think I knew you had a cat! Pretty girl! And pretty yard, too–I hope we both eke out a few more evenings on our lawns before the real cold arrives.

    1. Thanks, Kerry! We’ve slid in a few more patio nights. Hope to get a few more in. Fingers crossed that you get some more evenings on your lawn before it’s too cold.

  7. It’s lovely to hear you say the place you’re happiest is your own yard. What could be better? I have travelled more than I like to, but always remind myself that when I leave the house, I’m on a circuitous journey towards home.

  8. Our gardens are at about the same place. We are gradually tidying up dried grass, mildewed vegetables, and seed heads. Eat goes to different locations for composting (do no not want to put seeds or fungus into the compost pile). Pretty soon all will be under Winter’s blanket for a few months of rest. – Oscar

  9. Thanks for sharing your lovely surroundings and, of course, beautiful Little Miss Watson! Your photos portray another wonderful autumn transition and there’s no place like home!!

    1. We feel very fortunate to live amidst so much beauty and mystery. As for the crickets…so far, so good. I’ll report when they stop singing, always a sad event.

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