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Posts Tagged ‘roses’

It’s not easy keeping cool when the heat and humidity conspire to drain you of your energy and motivation.

Snowshoe hares know how to make the most of the dog days of summer by relaxing in the clover. They’re not running and hopping around as much as they did earlier this summer. 

My yard is a haven for them as I don’t have a dog.  Hares know how to stay cool by winding down activities and keeping a low profile.

In ancient times, the dog star Sirius was considered responsible for the sweltering heat.  Back then, its coincidental rising with the sun in July and August was thought to bring on the worst in men and beasts.

But there are many ways to tame the beast within during these ravaging hot days…

Taking a moment to pause and smell the roses is always a good way to refresh yourself through scent and beauty.  The wild rose bush is in bloom in my yard.  With its single layer of petals, it resembles the Dog rose (Rosa canina) often used in heraldry.

Even if you don’t have roses nearby, so many other beautiful flowers are in bloom at this time of year, both in gardens and in the wild.

Certainly one of the best ways to beat the heat is to take a stroll along the seashore.  Morning and evening walks are especially refreshing. 

Collecting seashells along the shore is a quiet activity sure to take the focus off the concerns of the day.  

Over the years I’ve collected a variety of Dogwinkles (Nucella lapilus) both at Rainbow Haven and Silver Sands beaches.  Worn smooth by the waves and bleached pale by the sun, they even feel like summer as you roll them between your fingers.

Of course the best way to be refreshed during the dog days of summer is to take a plunge in the water, be it a stream, lake or the sea.  Nature beckons.

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autumn gold

It’s been half a century since gold was mined in Cow Bay.  Gold deposits here are part of the evidence that support the theory that this corner of Nova Scotia was attached to Africa prior to continental drift.  Today, the closest we have to gold is found in November’s plant life along the Salt Marsh Trail. 

These golden grasses and leaves exhude a warmth and richness that were not present earlier this fall.

the marsh in september

The Marsh in September

The goldening of the grasses takes place at the same time that the water turns a steel grey.  

marsh grasss nov

The colours look especially burnished in the morning sunlight.  Even when there is frost on the seaweed, there is a warm glow to the landscape.

frost in autumn

The few leaves remaining on the rosebushes that border the trail are also golden.  They stand in bright contrast to the brilliant red rose hips that were orange earlier in the season.

gold rosebush

Even the November sunrise seems more golden…

november sunrise

Which makes me wonder… why do we usually think of November as such a dull, dreary month?

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autumn leaves

Autumn brings brilliant hues that brighten up the Nova Scotia landscape.  In the salt marsh, maple leaves and red apples stand in bright contrast to the evergreens and grey waters.

red apples

Bright orange rose hips replace summer’s pink blooms on the wild rose bushes. Full of vitamin C, they’ll provide a nourishing treat for birds in the cold winter months ahead. They’re often dried for use in herbal teas.

rose hips

nightshade berriesUnlike the rose hips, the elongated nightshade berries shown at left, are NOT edible. Both the fruit and leaves of this plant are extremely toxic. Consumption of fewer than five of these berries can be lethal to children. It’s best not to eat any wild berries that grow in a similar oblong (as opposed to spherical) shape.  These nightshade plants are  numerous along the edges of the salt marsh trail and can be identified by their purple flowers during the summer months.

Nightshade was used to poison the tips of arrows by early people.  It was also used to poison political rivals in Ancient Rome and employed by MacBeth to poison troops in Scotland.

This single long stemmed red rose was found wedged between two tree trunks along Rosemary’s Way, a small path that leads off to the side before the first bridge on the trail. How it arrived in this setting is a mystery.  Besides heralding the cooler days ahead, it would appear that Autumn’s colours reveal the fiery passions that still lie beneath the surface.

red rose

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heart stone

Looking for heart-shaped stones on the beach is something I’d never thought of doing until recently.  Many people have collections of these.  Who would have thought anyone would consider a ‘heart of stone’ something worth searching for?

Beaches are favorite places for couples to visit.  They take long walks along the shoreline at sunset, or sit on the beach together, gazing out at the horizon while sharing their dreams of the future.   Nearby Rainbow Haven Beach attracts numerous singles seeking summer romance .  Glowing with suntan lotion, they bask in the sun while non-chalantly checking one another out from behind their fashionable sunglasses.

The shore and its pounding waves are sometimes employed by poets as a metaphor for the coming together of lovers.  One waits patiently for the other to arrive at long last from afar.

shore

But what happens when love dies and couples who walked together so often hand in hand along the sand must now walk alone?  If love can begin at the beach, could it not end there as well?

This week I found not only one, but several yellow long-stemmed roses tangled in the seaweed on the shore.  Although they were a bit frazzled by the elements, they still looked fairly fresh.

yellow rose

In the language of flowers, yellow roses symbolize the end of a love affair.  Could someone have been given a bouquet of yellow roses at the beach?  And could these have then been abandoned on the shore or thrown into the sea?  We’ll never know.

yellow rose 2

Strange how my heart beats
To find myself upon your shore.
Strange how I still feel
My loss of comfort gone before.
Cool waves wash over
And drift away with dreams of youth.
So time is stolen
I cannot hold you long enough.

~ Enya

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wild rose

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon-instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.

~ Dale Carnegie

Wild roses are the only ones that grow in my yard.  The bushes are in full bloom at this point in the season, attracting bees and some years, providing a secure nesting place for Snowshoe Hares.

clematis

A vine of ‘Hagley Hybrid’ clematis clings to the south west corner of the house near the clothesline.  Their blooms are numerous and a pleasant greeting whenever I hang clothes out to dry.

hollyhocks

Hollyhocks cover much of the west side of the house.  My grandfather had a similar arrangement of these flowers in the home where I grew up.  I used to help him water them every evening in the summer.  I tend to only water them when the tops of the stems curl down a little.  The singles are already in bloom and will soon be followed by double blooms of deep burgundy and peach.

Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men and animals.  Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident, others are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock.

~ Henry Ward Beecher

Jessica at The Magical Mundane has also written a post revealing what’s in bloom in her yard this week.  This is the time of year when many flowers are at their most luscious in the Northern Hemisphere.  What flowers are blooming in your yard today?

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forgetmenotsBoth the sight and scent of flowers delight.  They’re often present at life’s important occasions:  weddings, funerals, birthdays and anniversaries.  They help cheer people up when they’re sick or sad and help us make celebrations more special.  They also trigger memories, and so, are often dried or pressed between leaves of a book for safe keeping.  Most perfumes are made from concentrated floral scents.  The slightest whiff of a familiar perfume can awaken a sleeping mountain of memories.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

~ William Shakespeare

Floral names for women have always been popular, among them:  Rosa, Daisy, Iris, Violet, Lily, Myrtle, Margarite and Jasmine.  Although most people love trees, they certainly don’t name their daughters Spruce or Maple.  Why do flowers have this special place in our lives? 

Could it be because the olfactory nerve that plays such an important role in our sense of smell is located right next to the part of our brain where memory is stored?  Or is there some more mysterious reason?  After all, shape and color define flowers as much as scent.

lilliesMy dad’s favorite flower was lily of the valley, which happens to be in bloom now in my flower beds. It’s almost impossible for me to look at these delicate white flowers without thinking of him.  These are also my friend Rose’s favorite flowers, so they also trigger thoughts of her too.  Oddly enough, I don’t think of Rose when I look at roses. 

Forget-me-nots are also in bloom.  They remind me of my grandparents who had the words ‘forget-me-not’ engraved in my grandmother’s wedding ring.  The flowers and phrase are now on their shared grave marker.  Queen Anne’s lace, sunflowers, daisies, carnations and gardenias all bring to mind a different person whom I know prefers that one flower over all others, yet  I’ve never thought of asking them why they’ve selected that particular one as their favorite.

wildvioletWith such a variety of blooms to choose from, it’s difficult to pick just one.  Though the scent of lilacs is wonderfully intoxicating, I think I’m pretty settled on wild violets.  I love their purplish blue color and the way they grow unobstrusively in the woods in spring time.   

Do you have a preference or know what your beloved’s favorites are?  

This post was inspired by Gerry’s recent floral posts at Torch Lake Views.

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