284: Settling in for a bit

Waves on the pond

Home again, home again.  It’s good to be back in the Bogs.  I am, as usual, way behind when it comes to email and visiting other blogs.  My apologies for that.  I very much appreciate all of the lovely thoughts, prayers, energy, words, and hugs on my previous few posts.  Thank you all so much.

While the reason for the trip was a sad one, it was good to spend some time with family, especially those we haven’t seen in a long time.  We said our goodbyes to Jane on Friday morning.  It was a small, casual service with mostly family.  Although we’ll continue to mourn, funerals have a way of releasing some of that tension and sadness.  I suppose it’s a form of closure.

Flagstone artwork

M and went out for a pedal around the pond after arriving home yesterday afternoon/evening.  (With sunset coming so late these days, afternoon and evening are kind of blending together in terms of light.)  It was very peaceful out on the pond.  Nobody was mowing or setting off fireworks.  The Green Frogs, however, decided to serenade us with their banjo plucking call.  The Bullfrogs joined in occasionally.

Shadow of an empty chair

After our boat ride we sat on the porch and watched the sunset, staying up and talking well into the night, watching fireworks blossom in the sky somewhere off in the distance.  Our resident Great Horned Owl was whoo-whoo-whooing in the woods.

At the top of the first big hill

This morning we went for a bike ride around the countryside, starting at Quail Hollow State Park.  It was quite warm and very humid, the sky hazy around the edges (the horizon).  The nice thing about cycling is that you create your own breeze, at least on the downhill and flat parts of the ride.

It is mostly farm country out that way, with big fields of wheat, corn, and soybeans.  We passed by one of the farms with the dark black, very rich looking soil.  When we first moved to this area our real estate agent gave us a tour of the area and told us about the black soil.  There is name for it, but I can’t remember it (or find it on the internet).

Black soil

We rode about 7 miles in about 50 minutes.  It felt great to get out and exercise again.  We did a lot of sitting during our travels, most of it in the car driving out and back.

Purple coneflowers

After our ride I took a walk around the pond to see what’s new and what’s in bloom.  The purple and yellow coneflowers are just getting started.  The chicory, which grows prolifically along the roadsides, is going full force now.


Did you know that only a few Chicory flower heads open at a time, and that each lasts only a day?  I didn’t until I looked up the flower today.

Queen Anne's Lace

The Queen Anne’s Lace is blooming in spots.  There will be plenty more as the summer continues.  It’s not even near its peak yet.

Black Eyed Susan

There are legions of dragonflies and damselflies dancing around the pond, in the meadows, and back in the woods.  I did get some photos of them, and will post them tomorrow.


For the first summer season ever, I have been watching the flowering spikes of the cattails form.  It’s as fascinating as the other processes I’ve been watching since early spring.  I’m sorry to say I had no idea about the stages they go through before they form that fuzzy thing that eventually bursts open with seeds.

Timothy Grass going to seed

The grasses continue to grab my attention as they go from green to purple or brown or red or yellow, depending on their seeds.

Heal-All and Yarrow

That’s about it from the Bogs for today.  I’ll be back tomorrow with some dragonflies and maybe a few photos from the trip.  Most of what I took on the trip involved family so I’m not sure I have any I can post.  We did get to see some fireworks (very up close!) on Saturday night, having decided to do things that we know Jane would want to do if she were still alive and well and able to do them.  I took photos but without a tripod (I didn’t take it with me on this trip), and we were so close that I think everything came out overexposed and with lots of camera shake (blurriness).

Happy 4th of July to those of you celebrating it!  (In other words, to all of you here in the U.S.)

Today's view of the pond

46 Comments on “284: Settling in for a bit”

  1. My condolences for your loss. I hope the memory of her brings you comfort.

    This is a wild guess, but might the black soils be loams?

  2. dragonfae says:

    Glad you made it home safely! I hope you have a safe and peaceful 4th. *hugs*

  3. starbear says:

    My condolences to you and M. This is a beautiful series of photos! I love the pond image of rippling water and the colors. Scrumptious! We are not yet quite as blooming up here…
    Take care. ~ B

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Starbear.

      There’s a bit of red, white and blue in those ripples of water. As for blooming, I noticed we are a little behind those in south-central Pennsylvania. It’s interesting to travel from Ohio, through some of the mountains of PA, and then go south, and watch how the seasons flow.

  4. Zach says:

    Hi Robin,

    Beautiful photos, they took me away from my crazy reality for a moment.

  5. Welcome home. Your property and the area in which you lives seems to be restorative. I’d love to bike ride around those fields. Here, there is so much traffic I have to rise early to bike or take my bike somewhere else. Again, my condolences.

  6. Eden says:

    That top shot is very cool Robin 🙂

  7. Good to know you’re able to settle in and enjoy the outdoors, not to mention some exercise. Happy 4th of July to you, as well!

  8. Happy 4th to you as well, hope your homecoming was as refreshing as the trip was cathartic…

    Might the soil be ‘alluvial’? I think that’s the name for the old river deposits…

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s dragonflies!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Marie. 🙂

      I think they have some made-up name for the soil. I keep thinking “muck” but that’s not right.

  9. Bo Mackison says:

    My best to you and your family. No loss is easy, no matter what the circumstances. May you find some consolation in the gifts and glory of all nature that surrounds you.

  10. The first three shots are truly great, Robin. And all the flowers are absolutely lovely.
    I’m sorry for your loss, and I wish you and your family strength.

  11. Hallysann says:

    The flowers and the lake are very pretty, but I really like the chair shadow picture 🙂
    Now when I’m sharing time with you at your lake I will be imagiining myself sitting in the chair 🙂

  12. Glad you made it back home. Your pictures are especially beautiful today.

  13. Karma says:

    I am sorry for your loss and happy for your return. You have some striking photos today. The empty chair shadow is rather poignant. I love the chicory shot. I saw all sorts of lovely wildflowers and weeds on a recent walk (without my camera) and I’ve been wanting to go back, but the dogs brought back a horrifying number of ticks with them! I don’t know if this would be the name you were looking for or not, but in ancient Egypt the black soil was called “kemet” – known for being especially fertile.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Karma. 🙂

      Ticks are the one pesky pest I haven’t seen yet this year. I’m sure they must be out there, lying in wait. *insert scary music here*

      I think the soil name is a locally made up sort of thing. I love how several of my visitors tried to come up with the name for me. Thanks for trying! 😀

  14. Karma says:

    P.S. There is a “toes” picture for you in my July 4th post! 😉

  15. penpusherpen says:

    HI Robin, as you say, funerals bring closure, and a chance to say goodbye and reminisce with others about the loved one gone ahead…
    I had to Google, about the Rich, dark soil of Ohio…
    and came up with this Tills Plains …I hope it’s a help… anywho, can never resist googling.. 😉 … Good to catch up with you, and good for me to soak up the beauty of your photo’s xPenx

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, LadyP. 🙂

      And thanks for Googling. Tills Plains is officially correct, but I think this is an unofficial name. I may have to call the woman who sold us our home and ask her.

  16. Derrick says:

    First image of the waves is excellent! Love the colors and the “texture” of the water.

  17. SAJ says:

    i love all the abstract shots in this post! i’m sorry again about Jane, i hope everyone is starting to heal after this weekend.

  18. 7978moments says:

    So sorry for your loss..
    beautiful captures

  19. eof737 says:

    Happy 4th… As always, your photos add a warmth and joy to any post. Welcoem back! 🙂

  20. judithhb says:

    Welcome back. Next time I visit I shall sit in that chair.

  21. Great colors on the very first photo!

    Summer is a fun time for wildflower pics. Best wishes to you and yours.

  22. Chloe [Photographer] says:

    i’m sorry for your loss 😦
    these photographs are beautiful x

  23. Pam says:

    Hi Robin! I was googling New Baltimore Ice Cream and came upon your blog (I think the post was from 2008-ish). Then I noticed that you are sort of close to the area I grew up in. Just wanted to stop and say Hi! I haven’t lived in the area since I graduated High school (which was many, many years ago), but I used to go back to visit my Mom a lot when she was alive. BTW, the locals call them the muck farms. A long time ago they were swamp land, but was cleared and they use it to grow vegetables – anything that loves wet dirt. Like radishes, lettuce, celery, etc. The farm area has shrunk since I was a little kid, but the main road through there used to have tons of farm stands on it. Most of the farmers have sold land off to developers though. Anyhow, now that I’ve written a book, just basically wanted to say Hi!

    • Robin says:

      Hi Pam! And thank you so much for stopping by! As the old song goes, I’m not from here, I just live here, but I have come to appreciate the beauty of the area in the time we’ve been here (11 years now).

      Thank you, thank you, and thank you for the term for the dark black-dirt farms. As soon as I read “muck farms” I responded with a mental slap to the forehead. It was an “on the tip of my tongue” event, but I couldn’t seem to come up with it.

      The ice cream at New Baltimore is as fabulous as ever. 🙂

      Will be checking out your book and website soon. Thanks for stopping by.

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