where the writers are
Summer in Southern Illinois

Already our son-in-law's corn crop is high as an elephant's eye, and the corn beside the south end of our lane will be that tall by Friday.  Summer is definitely busting out all over, and everything is beautiful in Southern Illinois.  Hearing someone from across the ocean explain tonight that in Jordan the no-rain season there leaves the summer color scheme dark brown, light brown, and sandy brown made me appreciate our bright colors even more.            

For the last couple weeks I had been feasting my eyes on the golden rectangles of wheat ripe unto harvest on the north end of our lane.   Our neighbor plants these fields for us in research plots, which explains the rectangles with their wide alleys between them.  Even now with the wheat harvested, the golden stubble is still a lovely sight.  We saw our neighbor's tour group from all over the country walking the alleys a couple of days ago.  Gerald has already hauled the grain to the elevator.           

Though much smaller than usual, Gerald's garden is typically neat without a weed allowed.  He moved it down to a new location in hopes of getting rid of some disease that had shown up last summer.  One of my flower beds is typically weedy but a couple look pretty good right now.  The weedy one has an influx of Queen Anne's lace that must be five feet tall.   I really love Queen Anne's lace and am reluctant to destroy it. 

However, we have a close-by patch behind the shop, so I really don't need this for bouquets and I should remove it, but so far I haven't.  I have a wild rose bush spotted beside the road for my favorite June bouquet of wild roses and Queen Anne's lace, and I better hurry if I am going to enjoy a bouquet this month. 

I had to laugh Friday morning when I looked out toward the lake and there on our upper floor deck railing walked a lovely brown and white duck.  I had never seen one of the ducks up there before even though they nest in the flower beds. Not wanting to scare her, I did not move.  Then I laughed again as a beautiful bright feathered drake followed her on the railing before they both flew down to the ground below.  

Baby barn swallows from the nest on the front porch and baby martins in the houses Gerald has built are all learning to fly.  It is fun to stand on the porch or the lakeside deck and have them come quite close as they zoom by.  At noon, Gerald stepped on the deck to get two photos of martins in the new 70-room house he put up this spring. One photo show the baby's mouth wide open waiting for its meal, and the second photo shows the mama bird placing it in the little one's mouth.  The lush honeysuckle climbing up the deck by the bird houses sends fragrant messages of summer's richness.

            A few years ago while living at the other farm house, I used to walk in the direction of our lake where we built our retirement home and I wrote: 

                                                                                  Circles of Lace

Circles of lace are in this place

As I walk down my road.

Pink of bloom, the rose too soon

Will fade to greener mode.

Beyond a valley of white fog

I hear the turkey's call.

Overhead the line of geese flies north

To wait for fall.

Cream and white, the suckle gleams

Giving fence rows sweet perfume.

Enjoy it now my heart exalts

For dank will be the tomb.

Wild asparagus with fern-like fronds

Reaches to the sky.

Past its prime it's growing yet.

And so, I hope, am I.