Goundhogs and Fireflies

img_20200618_200022356It’s summer with all the luxurious roses and the brilliant buttercups that enchant a young photographer. Today’s image was made by my granddaughter who has suddenly developed an interest in photography.

It is tremendously hot in Montreal and the good weather has been holding for days. I thoughtlessly planted a lovely rosebush on my mother’s grave about 10 days ago and watering it has been something of a chore. Because of Covid 19 access to the big mountain cemetery has been limited to late afternoon and  evening. Only one entrance can be used by cars. I am on foot and that means I have been getting my exercise by walking from the gate at the higher level through the old section with its wonderful trees and monuments and then up a steep incline to the top where my mother’s black headstone sits baking in the merciless sun. Fortunately a dear friend has been giving me a lift from time to time. Besides the inaccessibility of the site, the taps set here and there for relatives to water their plants and shrubs have mainly run out of water. I scout around on lower levels to find a tap that works or when I get a lift bring my own water! We met a widower the other day who promised to water my mother’s precious rose bush. It  is already blooming with many pink blossoms. However, I know I will not rest until the heat wave is over and I can trust rain to once again take over my duties.

The groundhogs, you ask? I saw two lovely ones up in the cemetery and then, as if to remind me of my responsibilities the next day – – a fat one in my city garden. He was bustling away under the fence. When he heard me he turned as if to say, “Well, is there a problem here?” and off he went.

Fireflies appeared that evening as I was watering my plants in the blessed darkness. I have a stubborn clematis that does not want to open its magnificent purple blooms, but it too will yield to the heat and length of days. In the meantime the little flashing lights, pulsating with mysterious life in the dense leaves, remind us that other lives, other forces are at work.

Lemonade stands and Fireflies

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I guess it must really be summer. I drank my first glass of homemade lemonade bought from young entrepreneurs.  They sold classic and pink varieties for one dollar a glass.  The price seemed a little steep to me but we were buying charm as well.  The group of youngsters had quite a good marketing strategy.  Some of them made and sold the lemonade and a couple of others yelled ads at a busy street corner encouraging us to walk half a block down the quiet street to where they were set up.  The dad who made the stand really deserves kudos for his classic style.  Worthy of Peanuts comic strip, I’d say.  I quenched my thirst on this first really hot day of the summer and loved the excitement of the youngsters pocketing our money with a satisfied smile.

Another welcome and beloved sign of summer for me is the appearance of fireflies or lightning bugs in my garden.  In the early evening I wonder if my eyes are playing tricks on me but no, they are blinking and winking at each other and I get to enjoy the heartening little flashes that tell me it really is a hot night. It is such a treat to see these little darlings in a city garden and down my rather overgrown lane.  It reassures me and raises my spirits to see these tiny creatures lightening up the dark shadows of my rose bushes.

All during the long dark months of winter I never think of lemonade stands and fireflies.  Summer always brings them as heart melting surprises.

Please note …unusually for me, this piece features a shot of people I don’t know.  I requested and recieved permission from the mother of two of the children, ( she was supervising the event) to take and include the picture in my blog.