August brings the sheaves of corn;
Now the harvest home is borne.
~- "The Garden Year"
August also brings back-to-school closer and closer, and a slew of family celebrations. Tomorrow, August 2, is the anniversary of Suzanne Eun Ha Luther's arrival in the USA as an infant, to become a member of the Luther/Packard-Luther family. For readers who are in touch with Suzanne (facebook, myspace, or wherever), you can congratulate her! (The same goes for any of the following notes.) August 2 is also Mimi K.'s birthday! Happy birthday, Mimi! The 4th of August is Jared Luther's 21st. Happy Birthday to Jared! He and a friend were making a canoe into an outrigger vessel, a la Kon-Tiki, when I was in RI recently. Bon voyage! Zack Hyde's birthday is on 8/8, so we can plan ahead for festooning him with money and gifts. Gail Hyde's birthday is on the 15th, and -- ta da! -- Leroy's birthday on the 16th! Leroy will be 11 and would love an iPod but might have to settle for less. (I'd love one, too, but I don't expect one on my birthday, 9/10.). Jacob Harry has his birthday on the 27th, the same day as the late great Carter Stanley.
A couple of literary birthdays in August as well: Herman Melville, on the 1st (1819); James Baldwin, Aug.2, 1924; Percy Bysshe Shelley, August 4, 1792; Tennyson, the 6th, 1809; on the 21st, Christopher Robin Milne, 1920... and the list could go on, but these are some high points.
August 1 is Lammas Day (go look it up, since I've already forgotten), the Dog Days continue, and according to my Old Farmer's Almanac, the "Cat Nights commence" on the 17th -- must be the ending of the Dog Days. I would love to see the Dog Star at night, 'cause then we'd be nice and cold. When the sun's up in the Last Visible Dog, we swelter and sweat. But flowers are blooming, and butterflies are visiting the flowers, so I'll enjoy the season's glories. Oh, and the Sturgeon Moon is full on the 28th, by which time my time will be in thrall to the school schedule once again.
Nature notes from Buckingham Ct.: The feeders are busy with the usual -- house finches, Carolina chickadees, titmice, little woodpeckers, and once in a while a goldfinch, who has been bust on the sunflowers in the back yard. The cardinals peck under the feeders, and the nuthatch visits too. If I sit by a window (it's too buggy outdoors) in the early evening I can see the hummingbird visit the bee-balm. The climbing vines are coming on: lots of Mina Lobata, cypress vine, and purple morning glories (volunteers from last year) are blooming. the moonflower vine is tall and developing buds. I have so far just two vines of the delicate and lovely "Love-in-a-Puff." Also, four colors of butterfly bushes, but no butterfly weed -- it just disappeared this year, as did the Queen Anne's Lace. When you have gardens over several years you see lots of changes. Nature is always dynamic (but "never spent," remember that).
The moon is waning, so I'm curious to see whether the haircut I got today lasts longer than the last one, done in the waxing moon. (If you haven't lived in the mountain south or another rural traditional area, this comment might not make sense to you). Maybe I'll trim my fingernails, too.
For fans of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass (aka Northern Lights) there's a new and expanded movie trailer out. You can find it somewhere on movies.yahoo.com. The movie looks super and is supposed to be out in December.