Almanac

June holds nothing back. Dripping with decadence, she drapes her frills and trimmings across limbs, stems and wild earth. She isn’t afraid to take up space, nor is she afraid to ask for more.

More beauty. More bramble. More texture. More color.

And nothing shy of the full spectrum.

Red poppies speckle sunny meadows. Orange tiger lilies brighten the foreground. Yellow swallowtail flit hither and yon.

Green — as in every sumptuous shade of it — shoots and sweeps across the landscape.

Blue chicory dances along roadsides. Indigo buntings flicker among the woodland fringe. Violet hydrangeas sweeten the lawn. 

“More is more is more,” she says, weaving among peach and coral roses; the first stunning wave of star-shaped clematis; a swell of multicolor zinnia.

The air is an amalgam of honeysuckle, lemon balm, basil and gardenia.

More fragrance? If it’s good enough for the hummingbirds, bring it on: Rivers of feathery bee balm, cascades of trumpet creeper, explosions of flowering salvia.

Bring on the music-makers, too. The buzzers and screamers. All who twitter, chirp and croon. Listen for the rattle call of the northern flicker. The coo of the pigeon. The lusty moan of the lonely bullfrog.

In the garden, the squash plants runneth over. Green tomatoes fatten on the vine. Salad greens reach for the rising sun.

Bring on your glorious wildness, June. Your luscious too-muchness. Your sultry, voluptuous summer.

No need to hold back.

 

June is bustin’ out all over.    — Oscar Hammerstein II

 

All That Glitters

According to Smithsonian Magazine, two of this year’s most “dazzling celestial events” happen this month, beginning with the first supermoon of the year on Tuesday, June 14.

What, you ask, is a supermoon? It’s when the moon is full at its perigee (aka, closest proximity to Earth). According to NASA, a supermoon can appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent more luminous than a full moon at its apogee (farthest point from Earth). As if June needed one more reason for us to swoon.

Next on the don’t-miss-it docket: five planets in rare alignment from June 19–27. Make that six if you’ve got a telescope and minimal light pollution. Just before sunrise, gaze toward the eastern sky for a chance to spot Mercury low on the horizon, then Venus (always the brightest planet), Mars, Jupiter (second brightest) and Saturn (high in the south) in a diagonal line visible to the naked eye. Those with proper optics may also spot Uranus — yep, that bright green speck — just above Venus.

Do look up. At the very least, you might catch some fireflies.

 

 

The Color Purple(ish)

It’s beet season. If their vibrant magenta color wasn’t reason enough to love them, consider that these earthy roots are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, folic acid and potassium. Even their greens are a superfood. And nothing says summer like a cold beetroot salad.

Boil them until tender. Once cool, peel them under cold running water, then cut into 2-inch cubes.

Toss them with olive oil, orange juice, cumin, salt, fresh mint and cilantro.

Admire your stained fingers . . . and enjoy.  PS

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