Thursday, September 13, 2007

(There Ain't No Cure for) The Summertime Hues

The start of the school year has always signaled summer's end for me, regardless of the few remaining weeks of warm, sunny weather. Flowers are still in bright bloom and the leaves show only vague intentions of changing colour. Even the calendar says we have not yet moved into the next season but for all of my intents and purposes, summer is over.

This is not to say that autumn is unappealing to me. Once the air turns frosty, there will be certain things that I won't miss about summer, such as bee stings, television reruns and the near-constant hum of the air conditioner.

I'm looking forward to the vivid hues that emblazon the trees, and later, the
crisp piles of leaves which will entice children to wade through, and burrow into them. I anticipate the inviting crackle of an outdoor wood-fire as its smokey scent envelopes the cool night air.

After a few months of near-constant barbecue use, autumn will be a time for becoming reacquainted with the oven. It's the season for cooking roasts, simmering soups and turning out hot sheets of cookies or pies. The aroma of freshly-baked bread will waft through the house…

Wait, that's coming from someone else's kitchen. I'm not nearly that domestic.

Winter is the culprit for me. I simply don't like it, and autumn serves to remind me that it's just around the corner. This year will be different since I've begun to look at seasons and weather with a bit of a fresher eye/lens. No doubt the shades of autumn and the stark scenes of winter will captivate me, and occupy my camera right up until those first signs of spring, and the return of my beloved summer.

That's my cure for the end-of-summertime blues.

Here are a few random photos left over from summer.

Just a few weeks ago the water lilies were in full bloom.

Earlier this month, we took a short walk along the Credit River. These flowers are growing tall and wild along its banks.

At a local pond, these two young boys are trying their luck fishing off the edge of the walkway, working cooperatively by baiting or untangling each others lines.

At the park, orange-tinged berries dangle from the branch of a tree high above me.

After a sports-filled morning, a few kids hit the sprinklers to cool down. Their basketball makes quite the splash as it hits a puddle.

My sister, Andrea (hi Andi!) has amazing, flowering plants all around her yard. Everywhere you look, you can find huge, colourful blossoms. This bloom, as well as the sunflower at the top of the post were lovingly cultivated by her green thumb.

Another beautiful flower found growing at Andi's place.

Across the pond, this little girl plays a game of 'hide and seek' with her reflection.

My neighbours Caroline and Lloyd have this hanging plant growing in their kitchen. The star-shaped blooms suspend in clusters, and the pink centers are so shiny and smooth, they actually feel like glass or plastic beads to the touch. The plant was a gift and neither one of them are certain about its name. If anyone knows what kind of plant this is, they'd appreciate finding out.
Edited on June 17 to include the information provided by an anonymous poster who informs me that the plant is called a Hoya. Thanks very much, Anon!

Early in the summer, just before dusk, a heavy rainfall begins to recede and leaves this vibrant rainbow in its place.

Among the few things that I will not be missing about summer, is the irritating jingle of the ice cream truck as it slowly blares its way through our dead-end court. Particularly annoying is the carnival-like music played loudly, and punctuated by an overly-friendly "HELLOOOO!" every 30 seconds or so. I snapped this picture on what turned out to be its last tour of our street for the summer. The poor vendor stopped his vehicle for me, in hopes that I was heading out to buy some of his wares.


Frank Baron said...

You didn't buy any ice cream did you?

I thought not.

Mean Hilary!

But you took some great pics. :)

Tink said...

Beautiful pictures! I'm curious what the star flower is too. I know the 7th picture is a Hibiscus. We had two at our old house and they bloomed all year round. It was amazing. The 8th is a Stargazer Lily. My favorite are Tiger Lilies.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Those are amazing pictures!

(And I was glad to hear the little girl was just playing hide and seek--thought at first we might be witnessing some kind of traumatic breakdown!)

Hilary said...


No I didn't because despite my own referring to it as an ice cream truck, you'll not see the words "ice cream" anywhere on the vehicle. That makes their products Ice Edible Oil Cones, Hydrogenated Sundaes, Trans Fat on a Stick.. Yuck! Your cardiologist will thank me. ;)

Thanks Tink,

I'm not good with flowers. I can't identify many of them and I tend to kill most plants under my care. My sister got the gardening gift in our family.

Hi Crabby,

Well she could have easily been having a bit of a temper tantrum. It was hard to tell for sure from my viewpoint, but I prefer to think she was having fun. ;)

Thanks to all three of you for your kind words. :)

Kappa no He said...

Oooo, those are beautiful shots. We don't have ice cream trucks here but we do have men driving around selling other goodies: ramen, tofu, sticky rice cakes and long aluminum poles used for hanging out laundry. I think the kids around here would adore one of those obnoxious ice cream trucks. They're very used to cars with loud speakers. Lol.

Hilary said...

Thanks Kappa no he,

Sounds like you could start up your own business and give those tofu traders ad sticky cake sellers some competition. I'd go with chocolate chips and candy sprinkles instead of aluminum poles though. ;)

Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Kappa no he,
you can have every ice cream truck in the city. They ruin the atmosphere in the area. You're sitting around in peace and quiet, then you hear that irritating music constantly playing. Maybe stuff some Tofu in the speaker. ;)
Great pictures Hilary! I loved the rainbow one. I saw three at once at the dog run on Friday, wish I had a camera!!


Hilary said...

Hi Al,

I did have a camera but by the time I noticed the sky, I only saw the one bow. You're not the first to tell me there had been more just moments earlier. The sky had some amazing colours in all directions at that time.

I'm glad you liked the pics and that you agree about the truck music. I knew I wasn't alone in that.

Anonymous said...

okay, bee stings I will NOT miss. ahem.

but ice cream trucks?! I luvre ice cream trucks. sure, they're bad for you. but I still luvre luvre luvre them.

beautiful pics. I'm going to miss summer.

Hilary said...


I'm not entirely surprised that you love those muzakal treat trucks. They have chocolate and I know how you feel about that.

Reb said...

I like your blog, I just found it through Crabby's.

The waxy star shaped plant is called a Hoya Bella, just called a hoya, or sometimes waxflower.

Your friends must be doing something right, as they take a long time to bloom, very picky about conditions.

Hilary said...

Hi Reb,

I'm glad you wandered in. I so appreciate knowing what that plant is called and my neighbour will too.

Come visit again soon!

Anonymous said...

Hilary, you are an excellent photographer! You have a keen eye for color, perspective, subject . . . etc!

Chicago Mary, USA
A reader of Frank's E-newsletter.

Hilary said...

Thank you so much Mary. I'm glad to see you stop by occasionally. Please come back soon. :)

Anonymous said...

It's a Hoya plant. There are many different kinds. Beautiful plant!! I have one myself!

Hilary said...

Thank you kindly, Anon. I so appreciate the information. I'll pass it along to my neighbour.