On the island (and off)

The first day of summer has come. The temperature outside this morning was 49 (brrr). It has been raining most of the month, but this morning dawned with the sun. Some of the island’s elderly ladies slept out on the beach in sleeping bags to see the solstice sunrise. I know this because they requested permission to sleep on a section of beach that I partly own. I wonder whether they felt the spiritual uplift of the solstice dawn (at 4:30) was worth the chance of chattering teeth. I got up to pee at 4:45 (on the beach these physical needs could dampen the magic the cosmic event). I noted that the sun had risen and then went back to bed with my warm and sleepy husband.

Things grow even when it rains a lot. May was sunnier than usual, so even with the cold of June life on the island has flourished. I have less bloom than last year, and the rain causes big flowers to flop over or turn to mush. Still, I have some lovelies to show.

the first rose of summer


Some flowers arrive of their own accord and I let them stay. They are weeds, in a way, but pretty ones, so that really removes them from the weed status of a plant growing where you don’t want it.

foxgloves in a good place


And the veggies are coming along well.

the first cauliflower of summer

Peas already

In the greenhouse tomatoes are looking like a veritable jungle.

tomatoes on the way (and hot peppers, too)

Wild flora and fauna prosper too. I picked some salmonberries from the bushes that grow wild on my property.


I froze them and I am going to combine them with thimbleberries when they ripen in a few weeks and make jam. To do this all you need is sugar because there is so much pectin in the thimbleberries.

The dozens of starlings that gobble suet at my feeders have had hundreds of offspring — which are uglier even than their parents — and the offspring pursue the parents relentlessly demanding to be fed. There is a pair of chipmunks that live under the bush over Zute’s (dear old dog) and Heloise’s (dear old cat) graves. Deer and rabbits are everywhere.

An orphaned deer has been befriended by some families down by Legoe Bay. It has become quite tame as can be seen in this video Dangerous buck on Lummi Island. The young buck is entirely unafraid of people and dogs. It’s gentle play with the golden retriever shows how varied the complex mental makeup of mammals is. Both deer and dog, through the process of human intervention, have lost their usual adversarial relationship. The dog, fully domesticated, will stay tame, the deer, a buck, will revert to wild when the hormones of mating begin to flow. Then it may become dangerous and I have been told that if the game authorities learn of it they will come out to the island and shoot it. I hope not. I hope the Bambi will slip back into the forest and find his love or loves and keep out of the way of dogs.

Life is the real mystery of the universe. It persists, it clings, it grabs every opportunity, every nook and cranny. I fight the weeds, but they win every time. That’s life.

in every nook and cranny

In the meantime, that DNA of mine that I have spoken of before, has migrated again into a new person, a great granddaughter born in Gainsville, Florida. I am going to meet her this weekend.



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16 Responses to On the island (and off)

  1. Hattie says:

    What a lovely meditation. And congratulations on the new life in your family.
    I guess you are flying off again. We will probably be in your area in early July, but we may miss each other.

  2. Lucy says:

    So many delicious things; life can be sweet as well as bitter. I remember tasting thimbleberries when I was a youngster, in the country around Niagara Falls when we were visiting my American auntie.

    Enjoy your visit to see the new shoot!

  3. Lori says:

    A great-granddaughter — breathtaking! I’m expecting my first grandchild (a granddaughter) at the end of October and I’m dizzy with the promulgation of my DNA too. 🙂 Congratulations to your family.

  4. Dale Favier says:

    Lovely post!

    Congratulations. Yes, it does root audaciously 🙂

  5. I LOVE the video of the dog and deer. (As the “mom” of a golden retriever, I was very enthused!) Your flowers and vegetables are looking great! And a new baby too – congratulations. : )

  6. Tabor says:

    Our hot weather has arrived…not to stay yet…but summer is really here. I envision your cold rainy weather with a sigh. Congratulations on the new one.

  7. Friko says:

    Hello Anne,

    Surely your veggies grow under cover? How can you have a magnificent a cauliflower and peas already? I can’t understand these things, why are we always so late with everything in the UK when we are supposed to be living in temperate climes?

    Everything in the garden is late this year, flowers that have been over elsewhere for ages haven’t even started yet here. And it’s raining again, two sun of warm sunshine was all we got. It’s a misery.

    Congratulations on a new addition to the family.

  8. Annie says:

    I am sitting indoors with my coffee in the early morning, it is sunny out and looking to be another dry hot day, we’ve had so little rain I have to water my garden regularly. But your post is such a lovely start to my day. Happy solstice! Happy summer! Have a wonderful great granddaughter visit! [I imagine Florida will be hot hot hot]

  9. Pauline says:

    Wish I’d been one of the elderlies watching the sunrise. My new mattress is so delectable I sleep later and later every day! Congratulations on a great-granddaughter. Glad to know you will get to meet her!

    I’ll share tomatoes (mine are trees, too!) for some of that marvelous cauliflower!

  10. wisewebwoman says:

    My three loons call to each other in front of my window as I write this, to human ears they sound sad and lonely but to themselves these calls are probably raucous bar songs 🙂

    Lovely post, Anne, I am stunned you are harvesting. Here the potatoes aren’t peeping at all yet.

    I love that greenhouse….


  11. Love those lilies.

  12. Mage Bailey says:

    You absolutely inspire me.

  13. Darlene says:

    Your photos are a work of art, Anne. I wanted to scoop those berries out of the bowl and put them on my ice cream. Are they like raspberries?

    Ah – how lovely, a new baby girl to cuddle. I envy you.

  14. Betty says:

    It is impossible not to smile all the way through your posts! Thanks Anne.

  15. Salmonberries, thimbleberries–both totally unknown fruits. What a sheltered life I’ve led to never have encountered either. So much is new in the northwest. Thanks for the intro and many congratulations on the newest family addition.

  16. Marja-Leena says:

    I’m late to comment though I’d read this earlier in a quick rush. First off, many congratulations on another family addition! And happy travels!

    Your garden looks superb, veggies already! I think living as we do below the mountains, we get so much more cold rain than you do on your island that we are way behind this year. The salmonberries are out but not very sweet. The roses and foxgloves are flattened by deluges, sigh.

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