MICHELE HUEY: June brings splendor
Special-Tea: Genesis 1 -- And God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. — Genesis 1:31 NIV
I have only one word to describe Pennsylvania in June: glorious.
OK, so the weather hasn’t been glorious for the past couple of days, but we’ve needed the rain. And here on the mountain, it’s been a good garden rain — the kind that soaks softly into the soil and nourishes the seeds and young plants.
The garden is in. The hills are alive with lush emerald branches that dance with the summer breeze. The blossoms in the flower pots on the deck still look good. (They won’t look so healthy in August, thanks to the color of my thumb.) The grass needs mowed, but yellow wildflowers (not dandelions) scatter themselves across the yard like splashes of sunshine. Baby pears cling to mother branches of the two trees in the yard. Maybe we’ll have some decent fruit this year!
I haven’t seen a hummingbird yet, although I bought red flowers to attract them. The bird feeder hanging from the maple tree in the front yard is a busy place, as I keep it filled with seed — not the cheap kind, either. The cardinals are my favorite (not the baseball team!). They aren’t bullish like the blue jays. They wait their turn, and the male always watches out for the female as she feeds.
I haven’t seen Harry, the Hairy Woodpecker that frequented the suet cage this spring, but I’ve seen Donny, the Downy Woodpecker, on occasion. I haven’t named the red-bellied woodpecker that visits every day. Funny it’s called that because the only red I see is on its head.
“The National Geographic Field Guide to Pennsylvania Birds” is tucked into a basket by the big window in the dining room, which looks out on the bird feeder. Whenever we see a bird for the first time, we log the date on its page in the handbook. A pair of binoculars has become a permanent addition to the window seat, too. The azalea and lilac bushes have finished blooming, but the mountain laurel and the wild rose bushes above the stone wall are getting ready to. I’ve seen a solitary deer feeding in the high grass at the edge of the yard. It won’t get in the garden, though — not with the 4-foot fence surrounding it and two strands of electrified wire above that. (Gotta love those solar fence chargers!)
June in Pennsylvania means perfect temperatures, a dazzling blue sky reaching into eternity, fresh, clear air, with none of the mugginess that comes with late summer, nights cool enough to snuggle. And the stars! When daylight fades into lavender evening and my feathered friends settle down for the night, a canopy of diamonds spreads itself over my head.
And a Bible verse pops into my mind: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1). So does everything else He created.
Pennsylvania in June is glorious — and a piece of heaven on earth.
For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise. Amen.*
(*From “For the Beauty of the Earth” by Folliott S. Pierpoint)