If I had to pick a colour that best epitomized summer, I would have to say yellow. There is something deliciously tantalizing about yellow. It’s bright and happy, and in the summer, I am happiest. Yellow makes me think about all the best things that make summer so special: warm, lazy days with family, a good book in the garden, and golden sunsets on the beach.
I have tons of photos with pink. It is, after all, my favourite colour. But it’s always nice to share something new.
Last year, I missed a lot of the flowers in my garden. I went to my parents with Little Guy for March Break and came home in June! We thought it was safer to be out of the city, which it probably was, and that this Covid-thing would be under control quickly, which it was not!
It’s still not over, but the flowers don’t seem to care and this year I enjoyed them as much as possible!
It’s only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis. – Margaret Wander Bonnano
Evening at the river. As the sun slowly sinks toward the horizon, it’s warm glows barely kisses the tops of the trees. The birds begin to settle, only a few singing nursery rhymes to their little ones tucked safely in their nests.
Below the bridge, hidden in the foliage, a bullfrog trumpets twice, and then falls silent.
Overhead, a few wispy clouds continue their journey east. The river continues it’s journey too, winding first south, then west, and winding again. It will thunder over the waterfall downstream, before winding its way toward a larger body of water far past the town. Like time, the river never ceases to slip away.
But here, though I know it is moving, it appears still. The surface is like glass, capturing a perfect moment with cloud and tree. As the surface darkens with the setting sun, the smaller plants floating on the surface begin to look more like stars, and the clouds, distant galaxies. I feel very small in a great big world.
I turn and head for home. It will soon be time to sing my own evening song, before I slip away.
Sometimes the night was beautiful Sometimes the sky was so far away Sometimes it seemed to stoop so close You could touch it but your heart would break
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
This is certainly the case for growing and harvesting tea leaves, and tea masters know the seasons can have an impact of flavour!
Tea comes from the plant, Camellia Sinensis. Tea trees are almost constantly in a state of germination, which is affected by climate and weather. Green tea flavour and aroma is the most affected by weather and climate changes. Too wet or dry, fluctuating temperatures, and frost can affect the quantity and quality of all the types of leaves and buds. Typically germination slows during the winter months (Dec-Feb), so most harvesting takes place bi-annually: Spring and Fall. Some areas are able to harvest 2 or 3 times.
Fresh leaves and buds harvested in the Spring are highly valued because they have had more daylight and more time to grow and absorb nutrients. It provides the tea with lighter flavour profile and sweet floral notes. Buds are picked along with two to four leaves, depending on the tree type, tree age, and the season. Older trees are more established and resilient, so more leaves will be picked. Those leaves are generally richer in flavour. Green and white teas are ordinarily harvested in the Spring and require minimal processing.
Larger farms will also harvest in summer, particularly those who provide tea leaves for mass distribution. These leaves grow quickly and provide a bolder flavour than those harvested in the Spring. But they also have little natural sweetness so are normally used as a base for flavoured teas.
While black, darjeeling and some white teas are harvested in Fall, it is the optimal season for Oolong tea. Oolong tea is neither green or black tea, and is processed differently. Tea masters can extract different flavours and aromas with the same leaves by adjusting that process. I will be discussing Oolong tea in another post. Tea harvested in the Fall has a fuller body and richer colour than Spring teas, and contains stronger floral or malty notes.
Regardless of the season…
…or at least tea!
Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm… what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.
I never realized before that so many of my pets were homeless before we took them in.
My first cat was Arthur Fluffarelli, or Fluffy, a regal long-haired tom with a mean disposition. Then Mouse, the sweetest tortie who was my best friend all through high school. She would watch for me in the window and always seemed to know when I needed cuddles. And later Phoebe, also a tortie, but a feral terror!
Big Guy started with a goldfish named Phil, then Black & Decker…and then too many fish to count. We adopted the Gr. 2 class pets, two brown gerbils, who we named Oscar and Felix. They were an odd couple! Big Guy’s hamster, Jack FM (after his favourite radio station), came from a pet store, but the next 3 were adopted for Little Guy: Rockstar, Guinea and Chloe.
Guinea and Rockstar were inseparable sisters. Their owner got sick and couldn’t keep them, so we adopted them. Guinea was small, black and white, and bullied Rockstar, a butterscotch tousled mess.
Rockstar was terrified of everything but always looked like she was smiling!
Cee Neuner’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Animals, a challenge I can do from my very own backyard. Sometimes these creatures are just as entertaining and endearing to watch as the ones at the zoo. I could probably say the same about some of my neighbours.