I worked diligently planning and planting the right flowers on the deck. Mark getting special bird seed for the Squirrel Buster feeder.  All intentions toward attracting butterflies, Cardinals, Virginia wrens, bees and hummingbirds, ladderback woodpeckers, too, but especially the beautifully spectacular yellow finch. Here he stops by for a drink out of our fountain, which happens to be on low flow at the moment. Sometimes out our kitchen window I can spy 5 or 6 feeding off of the cone flowers they come to tear apart for the seeds in August. It took two summers to cultivate enough foliage on our deck so they'd all visit, but now we're old, if wary, friends.  Sorry, no picture of Mr. Fox, who after we saved as a pup still visits, but grew up wise and stays out of human sight.

I worked diligently planning and planting the right flowers on the deck. Mark getting special bird seed for the Squirrel Buster feeder. All intentions toward attracting butterflies, Cardinals, Virginia wrens, bees and hummingbirds, ladderback woodpeckers, too, but especially the beautifully spectacular yellow finch. Here he stops by for a drink out of our fountain, which happens to be on low flow at the moment. Sometimes out our kitchen window I can spy 5 or 6 feeding off of the cone flowers they come to tear apart for the seeds in August. It took two summers to cultivate enough foliage on our deck so they’d all visit, but now we’re old, if wary, friends. Sorry, no picture of Mr. Fox, who after we saved as a pup still visits, but grew up wise and stays out of human sight.

THE LAST week of August before Labor Day is when summer beings to ebb, but nature certainly isn’t finished just yet, nor is the warm weather. Well, my basil plants are finished and now in the freezer as savory pesto. …and it’s almost time to stir up a pot of my rich red wine bolognese.

Hope your summer was as wonderful as ours was in the Beltway. August has been a dream, mild, rainy and few days of the humidity for which this area is known. We live not far from the George Washington Parkway and the Potomac River. It’s a special place on this planet. Lush, green, floral and filled with birds, including predators, with lots of rain, because Washington, D.C. was founded on swampland. Fitting, isn’t it.

We had many visitors this summer, with a special visit from a baby yellow finch. Daddy finch showed him to our Squirrel Buster filled with special bird seed, where he promptly stuck his little head so far in I was afraid he’d get stuck! It all ended well, as you’ll see below, a fraction of the shots captured from this gifted dropping by.

I’ll be stepping back a bit this week until after the holiday. I’m taking a time to refill my creative vase, do some reading and thinking, all in preparation for what’s ahead.

On that note, this fall is going to be big around here. All I can do is tease it now, but you won’t want to miss it!

Enjoy the last week of summer before football season lands. It means Keith Olbermann’s new late night show begins tomorrow, Monday night, 11 pm on ESPN.

Here are just a few of the dozens of photos giving you an eye on nature in our world.

Getting very comfortable...

Getting very comfortable while playing lookout.

Chowing down

Dad picks at the cone flowers.

The first visit of a baby yellow finch, with dad close by.

The first visit of a baby yellow finch, with dad close by.

After chowing down, baby finch flies to a resting spot, very tired.

After eating from our special bird mix, baby finch flies to a resting spot, very tired.

ZZZzzzzzzzzz....

ZZZzzzzzzzzz….

Baby finch

After his nap, what’s next?

Baby bird is thirsty...

Baby bird is thirsty… gets a drink and off he flies!

Spectacular last blast of the summer pond blooms.

Spectacular last blast of the summer pond blooms.

Where the creatures live, below the blooms... fishies, frog and turtle, dragonflies...

Where the creatures live, below the blooms… fishies, frog and turtle, dragonflies…

A single red flower starts the final rose bush fireworks.

A single red flower starts the final rose bush fireworks.

I soaked & split the  morning glory seeds hoping they'd flower.  The velvet blooms aren't done justice in a picture.  In California they're invasive vines, but in the Beltway they die completely back in winter, making them fun to plant wherever a vine can crawl.

A toast to my beloved California… I soaked & split the morning glory seeds hoping they’d flower. The velvet blooms aren’t done justice in a picture. In California they’re invasive vines, but in the Beltway they die completely back in winter, making them fun to plant wherever a vine can crawl.

...and another kind of morning glory.

…and another kind of morning glory.

A deck garden view.

A deck garden view.

Meet Rascal, one of the kitties we rescued that was one step away from being feral.  Her name fits her, as she's our fierce huntress.

Meet Rascal, one of the kitties we rescued that was one step away from being feral.
Her name fits her, as she’s our fierce huntress.

A work in progress... This is the view I see where I write every day.  Lucky, aren't I?  It's not near finished & has taken a lot of work, because when we arrived it was nothing but a 5' pile of dirt & mud.  Writing is difficult in the best of circumstances, which I have had ever since my feminist husband joined me on my very wild ride.

This garden space is a work in progress… It’s the view I see from where I write every day. It’s not near finished & has taken a lot of work, because when we arrived it was nothing but a 5′ pile of dirt & mud.

One of the many dozens of butterflies our butterfly bushes attract and are still floating by as August ends.

One of the many dozens of butterflies our butterfly bushes attract and are still floating by as August ends.

More beauty...

More beauty…

Hummingbirds are such a visual splendor in flight when feeding.  We have red-throated variety around the Beltway.  There's something almost spiritual about watching them if you can get close, which on our deck we can.

Hummingbirds are such a visual splendor in flight when feeding. We have red-throated variety around the Beltway. There’s something magical about spying them if you can get close, which on our deck we can.
It’s been a grand summer.

Hummingbirds buzz by regularly and we never get tired of the flight games.

Hummingbirds buzz by regularly and we never get tired of the flight games.