Evening’s Glow

A bumble bee drones past as I sit on the porch watching the sun lower in the sky. Sunset is in an hour. A blue jay calls, and in the distance a lawnmower can be heard as someone most likely came home from work and decided to squeeze in mowing the yard before dark.

In the distance, the Appalachian Mountains are gauzy in a bit of haze after a 70-degree-day. It’s a view I never tire of seeing.

A farm truck rumbles past the house, entering the field beside us on some mission only he knows. Dogs bark at this intruder into their paradise. A cardinal calls from the Douglas fir.

I can smell freshly mowed grass while looking out over the newly cut front yard that Mr. Mitchell worked on today. With the weekend rain, cool at night, and warm daytime temps, it’s a jungle in our corner of the world but we’re working to tame it as we do each spring. Plants love to leap at this time of year.

Spring onions are mixed with weeds as I bend to clear them from the flowers beds. There’s a stack of mulch to tackle. Leaves are coming out on the redbuds that have been blooming for two weeks and are nearing the end of their outstanding show of purplish-pink blossoms. Other trees – maples, Bartlett pears, oaks – have fully leafed out. Flowering plums that were in full bloom two weeks ago are now covered with maroon-colored leaves that continue to add to the array of colors in our landscape. White dogwoods bloom near the woods.

We transplanted a redbud today that was about five feet tall. It had grown up in my flower bed in front of the porch but I hadn’t moved it, saving to share with someone I thought would like it. But it was so big that the time had come to get that thing out of my flowers and boxwoods so we dug it up and replanted it near the back door. As it grows it will add shade from a nicely shaped tree and a splash of color for many springs to come.

There are more trees to transplant – a cedar and some smaller redbuds. Flowers are blooming and, with the various ones we’ve planted over the years to cover all seasons, we’ll have something blooming from now through fall. If you’ve never smelled a lilac, you’ve missed a treat. The purple and white ones outside our bedroom windows remind us they are there on those warm days when their fragrance drifts in on the breeze. There were lilacs outside my bedroom window growing up so I continued the tradition.

Virginia bluebells are prolific in the woodsy area that overlooks the mountains, under more redbud trees and surrounded by other flowers – some that have already bloomed and others that will be coming along soon.

Mr. Bumble Bee is working the flowers near me, his loud drone moving in and out of the plants. The sun, directly in front of me, has finally stopped blinding me and is now behind the trees as it lowers toward the mountain to signal the end of another day. After a day that hit 70 perfect degrees for being outside, the night coolness is beginning to settle over me on its way to an overnight low in the upper-30s. But tomorrow will be 80 and sunny so another nice day.

The evening birds are twittering as the sun eventually disappears behind the mountains, a chorus of song birds saying good evening. The lawnmower has stopped and quiet has settled in. Ahh, the quiet of living away from the hustle and bustle. Did I mention the grass is emerald green?

With feet propped on the porch railing and laptop perched on my knees, this quiet time of reflection was exactly what I needed after a busy day. It’s amazing how calming the outdoors can be. Sadly, it’s time to head indoors or else I’m going to need a sweater if I stay much longer. Darkness is beginning to settle over my corner of the world although I can see sunshine out over the mountains as the last rays illuminate the ridges.

And then a text from our across-the-street neighbor – “Do you see that moon?” – sent me running through the house to the back deck where the pink supermoon was clearing the trees on the ridge. Photos do not begin to do it justice even though I used both the iPhone and my Cannon camera but the size appeared larger to the eye than in pics, and an orange-pinkish tint didn’t translate.

It’s evening in the Shenandoah Valley….

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