Sunday, August 21, 2011


Something is happening to my summer. It's beginning to fade despite my best effort to make it last forever. Ah well the beauty of it all is that it will be back again next year. And even better, it's not quite over yet. I hope you enjoy the following photos taken over the last few weeks.

badminton racquet3
Tennis anyone? OK, so it's not a tennis racquet but rather a dollar store piece meant for badminton. There it sat beside a citronella candle, probably from the same store. And there I sat with my camera in hand. What else was I to do but snap a shot?

bubble toys
Not to give the impression that dollar stores get all of our business but they really do come in handy sometimes. I'm guessing that these colourful bottles of bubbles were purchased there too. It's all a guess because everything in these first two photos was found at Frank's place and really, where else are you going to buy toy racquets, anti-mosquito candles and bubbles for Benny to chase and burst?

windshield condensation
I can't remember where we were driving to or from on this day, but the rain had begun, and I liked the way it streamed down the windshield in small rivulets, allowing a peek at the cars' lights, like little bubbles ahead of us. The window was a lot clearer than it appears. I was trying to focus on the lights and water droplets. Can you tell it was a hot, muggy kind of rain?

early morning puddle
Where there's rain, there are puddles. This is one I tend to photograph fairly often. It's not as large as I've seen it before. Then again we'd not have very much rain at this point in the summer. Don't puddles make you want to return to your childhood just for a moment so that you can stomp around in them without looking like the neighbourhood loon?

This umbrella wasn't made for rain. It's the kind you latch onto the arm of a chair so you can sit in the hot sunshine and still have some shade. Colourful, isn't it?

qal umbrella2
Speaking of that, when I snapped this shot of a Queen Anne's Lace, I thought that the underside of it kind of resembled the inside of an umbrella. If you ever pull one of these flowers out by the roots, make sure you give it a good sniff. It's related to the carrot family and the root smells just like carrots. Did you know that?

milkweed low light
And finally, since we're enjoying the flowers, here's a photo which I meant to include with the previous "purple" post but I forgot. Milkweed grows all around the field near Frank's place and it does its best to attract Monarch butterflies. It does a pretty good job of it too. Had you noticed that up until now, I've ended every photo description with a question?

How about now?


Pseudo said...

Beautiful. I love the Queen's Ann Lace.

Lisa said...

I love the Queen Ann Lace too. It always reminds me of the same. Summer is going by so fast and yes there is still some left . We might hit our high tomorrow. 29C go figure. Its been cool , wet and wonderful.
Loved your blog and all the images.
Nice to view once again .Have a peaceful Sunday.

Lisa said...

One more thing that purple flower is stunning. Love the color.

Dan said...

I found this bit of information that cautions people about Queens and Lace and Poison Hemlock.


More info:

Cloudia said...


Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >


That Janie Girl said...

Absolutely gorgeous the Queen Anne's Lace.

Maggie May said...

What a lovely collection of photos.
The flowers are especially lovely but the bit of umbrella makes a really good shot!

Nuts in May

Bob Bushell said...

It's all there, to tantalize us, flowers and bits of plastic. Brilliant photos.

Country Girl said...

No, I did not notice the questions until I came to the Queen Anne's lace. And no, I did not know that it was related to the carrot family and smelled like that. Veddy interesting ~

Anyes said...

Reading your post I also got to learn a bit about Queen Ann Lace, was it your intention? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I love the variation of photos. Beautiful, bright! Wonderful.

Anvilcloud said...

You definitely excel at shooting flowers.

cheshire wife said...

Summer never last long enough does it. However, you have a variety of wonderful phoographs to help keep the memory alive.

Brian Miller said...

nice...i like the condensation shot it has neat starts here i know what you are saying...where did summer go...

Shammickite said...

I agree with you about the dollar stores... I can do some economical shopping in my local Dollarama and I quite often visit just to browse the shelves. The only problem for me is that everything is made in China.
For some strange reason I could not open the condensation shot.

TexWisGirl said...

you're too cute, aren't you? there, a question right back at you. :)

loved these. the rain - even if muggy and warm - looks lovely. and the blooms too.

Unknown said...

What a gift to return a bit to the blog world and see you sharing your eye for life.

I hope you've been squeezing the most of every beautiful day, Hilary.

It's been hectic and different and wonderful here...

I'll email soon.

Out on the prairie said...

What a unique collection of beauty around you.I like the backlighting on the umbrel bloom. I hope the skeets aren't so big and bad you need the badmitton racquet to knock them out.LOL

Elizabeth Grimes said...

I love the dollar store! Lol! These photos do say "summer" to me...don't goooo!

DJan said...

I cannot help but gasp with pleasure and appreciation when I look at your pictures. Your eye is magnificent. Thank you so much for the soul food.

She Who Carries Camera said...

summer goes by way too fast!

Anonymous said...

Yes ~ way too fast! I love the windshield droplets :)

ellen abbott said...

I did not know that about the queen anne's lace but it makes sense. The flowers are similar. Love the purple milkweed. All I see down here is the yellow and yellow/orange variety.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Love all the different angles and, of course, your probing questions! ;)

Ruth Hiebert said...

I enjoy seeing what my fellow bloggers see.THe shot of the windshield is very interesting and something I would take as well.Love the flowers.Hey,I just enjoyed this whole post. Thanks.

ds said...

Ah. "Summer's lease hath but all to short a date" or something like that. Wonderful shots. I especially love the puddle and the Queen Anne's lace (hadn't thought of the umbrella angle--cool!).

Did you know that if you pull up one or several QAL stems--sans roots--and stick them in a glass of colored water, the flowers will turn that color?

Lynne with an e said...

Colourful and summery--yes, let's hang on to summer and its trappings as long as we can. The windshield in the rain looks like a beautiful glaze on a tea bowl. I must admit, reflections in puddles are as thrilling to me today as splashing through them was when I was a kid. And I did not know QA's Lace is a relative of the carrot.

messymimi said...

No, i didn't know that about Queen Anne's Lace, but i did notice the questions, and wondered why you were doing that. Nice touch.

Travis Erwin said...

I shall never become a carrot sniffer.

ADRIAN said...

You are on top form here.......the windscreen shot is great. Thank you for your flora shots they have been an inspiration for me.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful shots of summer. Aren't they?

Anonymous said...

All lovely images. Hoping your summer up north lasts a bit longer for you. We are so over it here. Lovely photos, Hilary!

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

I'm so glad you clarified that the driver of the vehicle could indeed see out of the windshield. I was afraid he was holding off using the wipers until you got your shot and that his view was the same that we were seeing in your photo. I love the perspective on your Queen Anne's Lace photo. By the way, did you look for the little dark red flower on the top side? (See, you're not the only one that can ask questions.) ;)

Terra said...

I like your questions and your photos. Can you ask too many questions? LOL, I had to put in a question here.
I am your newest follower.

Rosaria Williams said...

Oh, such beauty!

SandyCarlson said...

I like the way you shot these. You capture the fun of the dollar store goodies. Those places are helpful.

I sure do like that angle on the Queen Anne's lace!

Mimi said...

Hilary, I think I'll answer "yes" to all your questions!
Love all your photos, but my favourite is the Queen Anne's Lace, it's so delicate.

Hilary said...

• Pseudo, thank you. It's a lovely wildflower, isn't it? :)

• Lisa, so nice to see you drop by. I love my summer and it's been a pretty hot one here. I wouldn't cope well without air conditioning, mind you. Thanks so much for your kind words. :)

• Thanks for the info, Daniel. They do look rather similar and if I saw hemlock, I'd probably think it was a type of QAL. I promise you though, I'm surely not pregnant, nor trying to become so. ;) Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Cloudia, thanks for the visit. :)

• Janie, nice to see you. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thank you, Maggie. I'm glad you like them. I kept looking at that umbrella knowing there was a shot in there somewhere. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you kindly, Bob. Much appreciated. :)

• Kate, I was sure that you would know that about QAL, somehow. I think you and others might be pulling them up by the roots the next time you see one. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Anyes, it was! And also my intention to see if anyone would comment with a question. You win! ;)

• Thanks very much, Robin. :)

• AC, thank you so much. :)

• Cheshire Wife, thanks kindly. No, summer never lasts long enough for me, anyway. I'm already looking forward to next May. ;)

• Thank you, Brian. I keep forgetting how early school starts in some of the states.. and how early it often ends. Here in Ontario, our kids always attend until the 3rd week of June and they don't return until the day after Labour Day. August would be way too soon for me! :)

• Shammie, Dollorama can be a lot of fun for some purchases .. kitchen gadgets, tea towels, playing cards, inexpensive drinking glasses for outdoor use. You can't beat them for that. Too bad about that shot. I sometimes have a stubborn image or two when visiting others, as well. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Tex, I was expecting a few questions in return. Top of the class for you! ;) Thanks always for the kind words. :)

• Deb, so good to see you, my friend. I was thinking about you, today. Glad to know that all is well with you. Wonderful is very good! Thanks for your always-kind words. They're so much appreciated. I'll look forward to that email. :)

• Thank you, Steve. The skitters and accompanying deer/horseflies were pretty bad earlier on but they're beginning to dwindle. You weren't far off the mark about the badminton racquet as a weapon. We had one of those zapper racquets up at the cottage which allowed us to be selective about what we were zapping. And luckily for us, there were lots of dragonflies around to help us diminish the mosquito population. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Elizabeth, I'm with you on wanting to hang onto summer. It never seems to last long enough or return soon enough. Sigh! :)

• DJan, you're so good for my ego. Thank you so much for always leaving such kind comments, my friend. :)

Hilary said...

• Jill, it sure does. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Christine. I'm glad you do. :)

• Ellen, I can't say that I've ever seen yellow or orange milkweed.. just the purple/pink ones we have up here. I'm always happy to see you stop by. Thanks for that. :)

• Thank you, Bonnie. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Ruth, thanks so much. I'm glad you found my post entertaining as I always enjoy yours. Thanks for the visit. :)

• DS, I did not know that. I think I'll have to try that sometime.. maybe three different colours and then combine them later. Thanks for that idea. If I do it, and photograph it, I'll have you to thank for a post idea. ;)

• Louciao, thank you for your always interesting comments. I love puddle reflections too. It's like another world in there. Sometimes though, I'd still be tempted to splash around some. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• MessyMimi, I wonder why I did that too. It just sort of happened and before I knew it, it became an intended pattern. Thanks. ;)

• Travis, oh ye of little veggie faith. It's not like you have to eat it.. and it's not like it's… LETTUCE! Thanks for the visit. :)

• Adrian, thank you. You give such kind praise. :)

• Thanks, Lady Fi. You caught the question bug, didn't you? ;)

• Thank you, Di. I'm hoping it will cling at least until October. Not much chance but I wouldn't complain one bit. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Linda, I sent you an email explaining what I saw in the way of tiny red flowers in the QAL. And worry not, I wouldn't have tried for a shot that could put anyone in danger. Those windshield wipers were doing their job. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Welcome, Terra and thanks so much for commenting, questioning and following. Nice to have you aboard. :)

• Good to see you, Rosaria. :)

• Sandy, thanks very much. I'm glad you liked the post. :)

• Mimi, you can't fool me.. they're not all yes or no questions. ;) Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

Zuzana said...

Oh I so agree with you, the summer is passing so quickly...
And ours has weather wise been a total disaster, cold and rainy. I can not bear to think abut the autumn at all...
Your images are beautifully atmospheric and poetic. And speak so much on their own, they do not need any explanations.
Have a lovely week dear friend,

Mental P Mama said...

This summer has gone by way too fast for me. My children are already back at their schools, and my nest is eerily empty. Thanks for the walk--it cheered me up;)

Gary's third pottery blog said...

oh I know, the last week of august! we almost wanted gloves while walking this am, so chilly outside!

Daryl said...

My favorite is the little umbrella, I love that POV

Meri said...

Visiting from Ellen's Blog. I love Queen Anne's lace, puddles, and colorful things.

Fragrant Liar said...

Gorgeous pics, as always. I do love that you end your posts with a question.

Dianne said...

I love that there are bubbles for Benny!! you are good humans

the puddle shot is amazing, all drama and shadow
and the Queen Ann Lace is stunning

Kat said...

Only you can make puddles look so beautiful. :)

Oh summer. Won't you stay a little longer????

Wendy said...

When you are a grandma, you will have the perfect excuse to jump around in puddles looking like a loon. Well, the grandkids are doing it, and you have to keep them company, or even better - you have to show them how! LOL!

I love your summer pics and where else to buy colourful summer stuff than the dollar store? I buy so many garden doodads and kids summer toys there, it's fun.

Loved your pics, especially the one of the Queen Anne's lace. It does look like an umbrella, doesn't it? (ha, I cheated and read your answer to somebody, so my last comment ended in a question, didn't it? ) LOL!

Anonymous said...

I love the randomness of these posts - you make ordinary into special!

Unknown said...

Nothing wrong with dollar stores. The more we save shopping there the more I can put away for my next piece of camera gear. I like the Queen Anne's Lace, as well!

As for summer fading, I know you're winter weather is more harsh than ours but I look forward to autumn's colors followed by snow on the landscape down here.

Unknown said...

Oh, I so enjoyed having a peek of your time the last few weeks. ~sigh~ yes summer is almost gone but there is next year!
Love that reflection in the mud puddle!

Midlife Roadtripper said...

No, I probably didn't recall the questions. In awe of the photos.

I love badminton. I play a mean game of badminton. The Queen Anne's lace indeed looks like a very Victorian umbrella. Have never though of flowers functioning as umbrellas. Probably stupid on my part.

Enjoy the rest of the summer. Most loveliest time of year, I think. We can run barefoot (after we toughen up our feet.)

June said...

That windshield photo is fabulous. I thought it was the moon through a house window until I read the description.
I think that's frameworthy!

That Janie Girl said...

Back again just to say I really like the windshield photo.

Kerri Farley said...

~ Such creativity in your images Hilary ~ Wonderful!

Unspoken said...

That Queen Anne's is my favorite shot!

Unspoken said...

PS I didn't know about the carrot scent!

Reb said...

love the rain runnels on the misty wind-shield makes a very cool shot.
Nothing wrong with a dollar store bargain either :)

yaya said...

Learned something new with this post...carrots huh? I'll have to pull one of the Queen Ann's lace and try it out! You always make the everyday so special!

Mage said...

I eagerly await the return of my camera from the shop and the loss of my common cold. You see things so clearly and probably, like I do, punch up your images slightly in Photoshop. Still, they are a lovely gift to all of us. Thanks.

steviewren said...

I love the brilliance of the reflections in the puddle...and Queen Anne's Lace. Ours bloomed and disappeared a good while back.

Enjoy the rest of the for me, I can't wait for cooler temps to arrive. This summer has been so hot.

Hilary said...

• Zuzana, too bad your weather has been so poor this summer. At least you have other endeavors which have kept you warm. Thanks so much for the kind words. :)

• MPM, I'm glad the walk cheered you. Empty nests have a way of becoming crowded on holidays. Hopefully home is where they'll want to travel. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Gary, we had a couple of cool nights here, too but it's warming nicely again. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Daryl. I'm glad you liked it. :)

• Welcome, Meri and thank you so much for stopping by to visit via ellen. It's always nice to see a new face in the group. :)

• Thank you, FL. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Dianne, Benny would drive us insane if he didn't have a way to burn his energy with things like bubbles, balloons, swimming, fetching.. etc. It's as much for ourselves as it is for him. ;) Thanks so much for your always-kind words, my friend. :)

• Kat, thank you so much. You and I both are wishing that. :)

• Wendy, you're so right. I just hope that by the time I'm a grandma, I can still jump and splash around. ;) Thank you very much for your kind words and for adding to the question fun. :)

• Barbara, thank you so kindly. Such a nice thing to say. :)

• Chip, good point about dollar stores, savings and lenses! I like autumn, too. I just always wish summer could last as long as winter seems to. I'm glad to hear that you and yours are safe after that earthquake. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Reena, you're right of course. There's always next summer to look forward to and enjoy. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• MJ, thank you. I haven't actually played badminton in a very long time but I used to enjoy it and was pretty good at it. I'm enjoying every moment of summer for sure. Thanks for the visit. :)

• June thank you so much for such a kind compliment. Most appreciated. :)

• Janie, thank you. So nice of you. :)

• Kerrie, thank you so much. :)

• Amy, now you know. Try it out sometime. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Reb, thanks very much. I have fun in the dollar store and probably spend more than I intend to but far less than I would anywhere else. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Yaya, than you so kindly. I hope you do try it sometime. I guarantee you'll nod in agreement. :)

• Mage, I would be lost without my camera so I can understand how you must be feeling. And the insult of a cold, to boot! I use PS to crop, resize and often lighten, brighten or sharpen my images. Occasionally, I'll play a little more extensively in hopes that I can make them look like what i saw with my eye, if they don't already. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Steviewren, thank you so much. I'm glad you like it. I like the way the "bones" of the QAL stick around all winter, gathering snow. At least, around here. It has been a hot one here, too for the most part but that's exactly how I love this season. I wish you cooler temps though. Just save the warm ones for me. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Frank Baron said...

I did.

Did you think I would?


Good stuff, as always. :)

Hilary said...

Thank you, dear. :)