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This week I am sharing a video from a couple years ago when Linda and I made our trip Back East to visit relatives and friends. Ever since we moved to Yakima, I have missed out on one thing that was ever-present during the summer in North Carolina. I am talking about the “Sound of Summer“. Yes, my friends, I miss the sound of cicadas singing. Fortunately, I was able to get a good video of one singing while we were visiting my sister in Jacksonville.

A lot of people really hate that sound because in the South during the height of summer, it is almost deafening. But I always liked it because it signified that summer was indeed here…and I always liked summertime the best of any time of the year. I hope you enjoyed the video (or not).


Yesterday marked eleven years since Linda’s mother passed away. I know I don’t mention her as often in the blog as I do Linda’s dad, but that’s only because I didn’t get to know her as well. She was a wonderful lady, somewhat reserved at times but we can attribute that to the fact that she was British. She had a great sense of humor and was always fun to be around. We all miss her very much. She and Dad came to visit us during the summer here in Yakima a couple of times. I remember during one of those visits, coming home from work one day and coming in the back door. She was right there in the den, arms outstretched for a hug. And on the bar there were large bottles of gin lined up…my birthday present. I remember writing in my journal that night that it was nice to have parents again. We always had a good time when they visited. So in remembrance of Linda’s mom, Margaret Ballard, I am posting a picture taken at her home in California, of her most beautiful rose.


Below is a picture of Linda and her mother, taken at Wendy’s house in Tacoma, when we were all visiting over there for the annual birthday celebration. We love you, Mom, and miss you every day!



We have had some truly hellacious temperatures for the past week or so. The temperature here has been above 95 degrees ever since June 20th, and that day it was 89. Last Tuesday, when we had an actual temperature of 115 degrees, is the hottest I believe I have ever seen in my lifetime. Of course I’ve seen the “humiture or heat index” go above that back in North Carolina and Florida, but never have I been anywhere the actual temperature was that high. And let me tell you, it was hot as blue blazes.

Due to the extreme heat and the typical dry conditions (that seem to be even worse this year), some of our plants are suffering. Linda cut our Spirea plant down to the ground a couple of days ago because it appeared to be mostly dead. I have a little Japanese Barberry bush in the front yard that has half of it fried to a crisp. I am hoping the rest of it survives the summer. We do still have some pretty flowers in the yard, though. Our Stargazer Lily has several buds on it, more than last year, I think. One of them is open now, so I got a closeup of the flower.


I love how those brown things on the end of the filament (they are called “anthers”) look like fuzzy slippers. Together the filament and anther make up the stamen. Now, don’t ever say my blog isn’t educational.

Our perennial Sunflowers are wilting every day when the hot sun is on them. They usually perk back up after they get back in shade. I got a closeup of one this morning before it wilted.


My Buddleia (butterfly bush) has really been pretty this year. This spring when the flowers just started coming out they were such a deep purple color. Now the color is not as intense, so I guess the heat and sun has done that. Some of the flowers were very long this year, also. I think it’s because I didn’t cut it back last fall. I haven’t decided yet whether I will cut it back this year. I may do that since the consensus on all the gardening sites I have looked at recommend cutting them back.

Linda snapped a nice picture of our Coneflowers in the front yard this afternoon. She used it for her daily Instagram post, and then checked her archive, only to find out that she had taken almost the exact same picture two years ago today and posted it!


Summer Girl is glad that the triple digit bonanza is over (fingers…or paws…crossed) and now she can get down to some serious lolling about.


ANNOUNCEMENT: The blog is going to take a short break for a couple of weeks for so, but will be back in August, hopefully with lots of pictures of vegetable harvests! See you then!

Join me every Wednesday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.

Published by Peg

In 2007, my partner and I decided to pull up stakes from North Carolina, where I had lived all my life, and move to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to her family. When I retired, I decided to write a blog because I had always wanted to be a writer, but somehow never found the time for it while I was working. I figured that writing a blog would give me the chance to share my thoughts with others, and also combine my interest in writing and photography in one place.

9 thoughts on “IN A CLOSEUP MOOD

  1. So, that’s what a cicada looks like! I remember those from my Southern childhood, but we called them locusts. Yes, they sang quite loudly at night, lulling me to sleep on hot summer nights. Next morning, Mama Nedley (my grandmother) took me around the estate, looking for their short curved shells clutching pine tree bark.

    After reading that Linda had to cut down your spirea to the ground, I am encouraged not to despair too much but simply get busy cutting down certain of my plants, such as cat mint and the fleece flower. No amount of watering will bring them back this summer. Maybe in September?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your description of Linda’s mom brought some tears; she sounds so lovely and likable. My MIL passed away just a few weeks ago. I was fortunate to have known her for so many years. She was a wonderful MIL and grandmother. Thankfully, we have memories to cherish. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful photos, especially the butterfly bush. Not sure if I’ve seen that one before when I’ve been out. I’ve read that it needs good drainage so that might not be so good for Florida since it’s so humid here. Not sure. Summer Girl has it right… taking it easy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a butterfly Bush when I lived in NC, and in the Seattle area, which is very wet, they are so prolific that they consider it a weed! So might work in Florida.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I too think of summer with the cicadas. More so my summers in Arizona with my dad visiting his side of the family. I don’t often utilize my sense of hearing for memories, but this is certainly a big one!

    Liked by 1 person

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