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Enjoying the Height of Summer

| 8/7/2011 8:57:00 AM

In all my typing, I haven't included many or any photos in my posts. Consider this one vindication.

The following photos represent our outdoor world, our summer life, our secret backyard delights.

In mid-July, the stores start having "back to school" sales and the events around the community reach a fevered pitch. Everyone in our society knows that summer is drawing to a close as soon as you reach the first of August. Gotta squeeze one last fishing trip in! Have to make it to one last weekend festival. Hurry, catch a small town event before school takes over and Fall sports dominate the mindset of our modern world.

Something I wanted to point out, though, is Mother Nature cares not for school or football or the perceived end of all things warm on Labor Day Weekend. When one reaches August, things in the natural world are just reaching their symphonic peak of summer. If you have ever had a garden, you know that this is the month in which the plants that have been cordial, obedient companions get a shot of adrenaline and start taking over your plot. It's the month you can completely lose the garden to tomato plants in a week if you aren't intentional about containing the sprawling beasts. It's also the time that the weeds take a fevered growth spurt, completely leaving you scrambling to pull them before their seed pods mature.

The world outside is hot, vibrant and incredibly beautiful. I hope the following photos illustrate, despite my amateur attempts, the glorious height of summer in Wisconsin.

Enjoy. And please, stop for a few minutes today or tomorrow and look around. Soak it in. Be intentional about it, too. You'll be longing for sights like these come late January.


We made homemade sidewalk paint out of food coloring, corn starch and baking soda. The baking soda was a little extra to wow the kids after the paint ran out. We sprayed vinegar on the creations for a bubbling display of fun...

The flowers in our yard are blooming with gusto. I can take no credit whatsoever. I did not plant them, care for them or create them. I was simply blessed to have them within my reach.

Liam tries to eat a zucchini ringlet. This is Idea Number 442 for what to do with all that zucchini from the garden...

Raspberry season! Ethan quickly became our resident berry picker, going out first thing in the morning with any cup he could find in the toy box. He'd get to the door and say, "Me pick bazberry Mommy?" How could I say no? Our roommate here, who has been cultivating these plants for six years as a natural fence on three sides of the property, taught Ethan how to pick the tasty treats. After about two weeks of seeing Ethan's affinity for picking, he intentionally left a few easy-to-reach areas for our family to pull from. Eventually, even bug-shy Elly took on the cause after people stopped picking berries for her and told her to go get her own. :-)

The first sweet corn of our season. I say OUR season because we were late on the sweet corn train by summer standards. Spring caused a late May planting and therefore, June corn was pushed to July corn and now we are being rewarded with fresh sweet corn into this height of summer. The first tomatoes came in last week and we celebrated with basil, sea salt and homemade bread with balsamic vinegar. That was our whole dinner one night. Sweet corn and tomatoes. It was glorious.


Rebekah Sell lives on a small plot of land with her husband, Andy, on which they are hoping to build a sustainable homestead. With a small business and four kids, life is always interesting as Becky and Andy live fully the idea that the journey is the reward. Find her on .

Nebraska Dave
8/9/2011 11:27:42 AM

Becky & Andy, thanks for the wonderful pictures of the family activities. The gardens here in Nebraska are behind due to cold rainy start in the spring and the long hot dry July weather. My tomatoes started coming in a couple weeks ago and are getting into high gear now. I was able to give away a few tomatoes before other gardens started producing but now I'll have to start preserving the ones that are going to need picking. I've been working on a couple backyard projects so that has keep me quite busy this summer. Two more projects need to be completed before the snow flies. It's been a struggle with all the hot steamy days in July. This week is a yard work week as the hot weather seems to be over for a few days. The garden needs some extreme cleanup. Well, the list goes on and on so I better get to it. Have a great new adventure in life day.

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