Other places for other times

Once I wrote a post about where I write (Where I write). There is photo of that spot in another post (Not that you were even wondering). Obviously it is a place that inspires me, but just because I have a favorite place doesn’t mean it is the only place I ever sit down at the keyboard (or with pen and paper).

One of the reasons we chose this house was because it had a very nice studio space already fixed up. I was doing some freelance photography at the time and one of our house hunting goals was to find a place that I could have set up to shoot on a permanent basis. I was tired of having to set up what were sometimes elaborate studio set-ups in our living room and then take them down at the end of the day whether I was shooting the following day or not.

My studio was originally a one car garage. I don’t know if it is as old as the house, but I bet it is close, and I enjoy romanticizing the idea of setting up my photo hut in a 1923 garage. As I mentioned, it is fixed up thanks to a previous owner who did a wonderful job finishing it out so that it has better insulation, less drafty windows, newer wiring and a more secure door than the rest of the place.

It also has two north facing windows that look out onto our back yard. The yard has evolved over the fifteen years we have lived here. We have replaced the St. Augustine lawn and more standard shrubs with wildflowers and other native plants and trees. There was one vegetable garden here (There were even tomatoes growing when we moved in — this was definitely the right place!) and I have added two more raised vegetable beds and an herb garden.

The studio is where I sit to write if I want to have a view of nature while I’m writing. It’s always been a good place to sit and plot changes to the yard and watch the birds and squirrels going about their daily routines.

For example, there is Turk’s cap right outside the window and this year it has given me an opportunity to observe hummingbirds going about their business from just a couple of feet away. For some reason I’m not as interested in trying to capture them with my camera any more and prefer to just observe them and revel in their near presence. It both invigorates me and gives me a calm sense of oneness with the nature that surrounds me—even in an urban setting.

Autumn is making its approach in fits and starts and the hummingbirds are moving south. I will miss the pleasant sounds of their faerie voices announcing their daily arrivals but I look forward to other residents and travelers who frequent my oasis of nature within the city.

Weird Image Wednesday [180905]

Animal Dexterity

Lone assailant or teamwork? I don’t think the hummingbirds did this.

At least the raccoon(s) was/were polite enough to carefully leave the bottom of the feeder sitting on the railing instead of callously tossing it aside. I’m very curious about the mechanics of this operation—whether it was the work of one dexterous individual carefully unscrewing the base at the limits or their reach, or whether there was some kind of support from a friend (hanging on? standing on shoulders?) to make the work easier.

Falling Into Summer

Even though we didn’t get the rain, things have cooled down and the air feels wonderful this morning.

Yesterday I felt a little hint of fall in the air as clouds rolled in and the temperature stayed lower than usual.

Today, with the clear clean sky and the birds singing, it feels more like spring or maybe what a summer morning would feel like someplace where the season is not so cruel. I hear there are such places, but my experience with them is so distant that I question my memory and their very existence.

Days like yesterday give me a little hope to help me make it through the month that starts tomorrow. August, the long hot month, makes me wonder what we are in for, having had such a merciless July. Then, of course there’s September too because I’ve learned that around here it’s a good idea to not expect too much of autumn until October.

At least I now have that little bit of hope and believe once again that fall does exist.