Posts Tagged ‘susan wittig albert’

            “To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” George Santayana

            The above quote fit my blog, but the one below made me laugh.  I couldn’t decide which one to post with my column, so I’m sharing both.

            “A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing and the lawn mower is broken.”—James Dent.

The sage brush in an area adjacent to the Lake Walcott campground is beginning to think it’s already autumn. — Photo by .Pat Bean

Summer Comes, Summer Goes

The brown-headed cowbirds that earlier thronged my bird feeders have already migrated elsewhere — Sketch by Pat Bean

            I can’t believe my summer at Lake Walcott State Park in Southern Idaho is coming to an end. But then they do say time flies when you’re having fun.This green, manicured park that sits beside the lake and the Snake River is an oasis in a dry high desert region that this year has been plagued by wildfires. While it was a hotter summer here than last, it was still heaven compared to central and south Texas weather, where I usually spend the winters. There, they not only have the heat but high humidity as well.

I have three children in those regions who frequently remind me how lucky I am not to be there.

But the house sparrows, as noted from the ones feeding beneath my bird feeder just this morning, are still sticking around. — Photo by Pat Bean

Last year when I arrived at the park, it was still winter and the trees were bare. This year, on the exact same day, May 15th, it was 90 degrees when I arrived and the trees were already full of leaves. It cooled off, however, and it was almost July before I had to start using my RV’s air conditioner daily.

Now, I’m seeing signs of fall creep into the park. Many of the park’s birds, like the colorful Bullock’s orioles and the American goldfinch are already migrating south. Most robins, as well. Instead of seeing dozens of these birds on my walks through the park, I’m now lucky to see one.

Book Report: Travels with Maggie, 41,820 re-edited words. Not much progress but I’m hoping to spend all afternoon working on the book. I decided to blog earlier today and clear my decks. A young blogger asked today what was the best writing advice his readers had ever received. I told him, it’s “Write! Write! Write!”  

The wondering wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

          Bean’s Pat: Lifescapes: The Texas Hill Country http://dld.bz/bJNbr The sounds of summer. This is a blog for nature lovers written by Susan Wittig Albert, author of the China Bayles mystery series written for herb and plant lovers. .

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“Flowers are those little colorful beacons of the sun from which we get sunshine when dark somber skies blanket our thoughts.” – Dodinsky

Travels With Maggie

Echinacea, or purple cone flowers. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Echinacea is more than a pretty flower. It’s also a popular herbal health supplements. My fictional friend, China Bayles, or her creator Susan Wittig Albert, could tell you a lot more about it. In fact they probably do in one of Albert’s cozy mysteries, which I’ve been reading the past year.

China gave up her depressing life as a former criminal defense lawyer to run a quaint herbal boutique in the fictional town of Pecan Springs. The rural city is located in the Edwards Plateau landscape not too far from Austin, where for one reason or another, China’s always getting involved with dead bodies.

I read Albert’s books because I’ve come to know and care about her characters, because I love her descriptions of the hill-country landscape, and because she’s more into the who-done-it genre of Agatha Christie than the detailed blood and gore of so many of today’s murder mysteries.

I want to be able to figure out who the murderer is in a mystery book before I’m told, and to do so without upchucking my lunch.


This bee was enjoying the echinacea as much as me. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I also read Albert’s books – the current one being No. 13, “Dead Man’s Bones” – because plants fascinate me, and I want to learn all about them and their names.

But this day, one in which I was working in the entrance kiosk at Lake Walcott State Park, where I’m a volunteer campground host, I was simply into the purple cone flower’s beauty.

Echinacea plants were blooming all around me. They were at their peak, deep pink in color with petals all still attached – and I wasn’t the only one attracted to them.

Bees were busy exploring their tastiness while I drank in their beauty. The bees were particularly interested in the flower’s large cone, so much so that they ignored my presence when I got close to them with my camera.

I think I got some pretty good shots? What do you think?

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