Thursday, June 16, 2016

Evening blaze












Lately I've taken to walking through the house and the backyard in the evenings, partly for some fresh air after the hectic dinner-baths-bedtime portion of the day, but also because the light levels are simply unbelievable as we approach the summer solstice. It's very hot now; records may even be broken over the next few days as we endure a serious heatwave in the Southwest. Evenings cool down fairly quickly, though, which is the best thing about a hot, dry climate. We're sleeping well, which is good because when the sun rises in the morning, it might as well be piercing our eyes. Bad language is sometimes used upon greeting the day. Goodness, that early morning sun. 

The evening light is more pleasant, a diluted version of the purer early light. Just before sunset, on these hot, dry evenings, the light pours into the western windows of the house, casting rainbows on walls and furniture. I try to close the blinds on that side of the house in mid-afternoon, to keep the sun out and the rooms cool for bedtime. It works, barely. Once the children are in bed, I head outside to deadhead flowers, put away stray toys or lawn furniture and some nights, amble around with my camera, checking plant progress and watching the light change.

It's just slightly less than baking hot outside by evening, but it's quiet. My evening strolls in the backyard are a calming finish to the busy summer's day. The daylight hours will soon begin their slow and steady wane, but there is still so much summer ahead. In the evening, I reflect on my day and plan the next one, thinking about the good things in summer - hot sunshine and sudden storms, line-dried laundry, cold glasses, swimming days, library days, reading under a tree, making ice cream, salad for dinner, flowers in a jar on the kitchen table every single day.

36 comments:

  1. I just finished re-reading Wrinkle In Time (for the 10th+ time!) and it reminded me of you, the New Mexico and science, government part. a very good book.... I can imagine that this sort of sun is difficult. But it will get better soon. We have the 'roll up' blinds and they do help with the heat mid-day here. Hope this evening is peaceful for you!

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    1. I love A Wrinkle in Time! I haven't read it in years but we did listen to it in audiobook format a couple of years ago. We should do that again soon.

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  2. You remind me of that air .. that dry clean air .. My grandfather had the most fabulous flower gardens growing in their home in Tucson. I never could figure out how he managed it in that heat and dryness .. I heart Arizona ..

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  3. We've had unseasonably cool weather this week but that is supposed to change next week. I'm so grateful that we don't have the humidity that our family in the Midwest is enduring this week in addition to the heat. I love your photos Jennifer. The rainbows are wonderful. Have a lovely weekend my sweet friend.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  4. I love the evening light too. I just came in from a walk outside, just as the night rolled in. Beautiful!

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  5. Such pretty pictures! I love the evening light too.

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  6. We have a hill behind the house that gets the last rays of sunshine of the day -- sometimes there are slate gray cloudy skies behind sunlit trees on the top of that hill.. pretty stunning. Is that a hibiscus bud I see? And the Mimosa.. I adore those! Is it yours? Lucky! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. Yes, that's my mimosa. We have two of them, a large one in the backyard and a small one on the side by the kids' bedrooms. That photo is of the large one. It's absolutely covered in flowers right now, so pretty.

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  7. Your climate sounds much like ours in the hot summer, Jennifer, when evening is the time of respite. I too like to go out walking in the evening air. Your photos are lovely and if I lived closer I'd like a piece of your pink geranium - mine has disappeared somehow, and they are all red this year. Don't know how that happened...

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  8. Absolutely lovely photos you've captured. It's getting very hot where we're currently living as well. It's been challenging as the temperatures don't normally reach such highs until late July or early August. Hope you're having a lovely week! :)

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  9. I love the evenings in the garden, everything seems to smell better. I can't imagine how you cope in the intense heat, but I would be like you leaving activities til late in the day. Hope it cools slightly for you soon. B x

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  10. Looks beautiful Jennifer. (There was an amazing photograph of your neck of the woods in the Guardian newspaper today of the wildfire approaching the Manzano mountains, south-east of Albuquerque.) Here in the south-east of the UK we see fleeting glimpses of sun but overall it has been rain, rain and more rain. On the bright side I'm picking a colander of strawberries every day so already I've made jam and ice cream galore. Mimosa reminds me of the South of France. How lovely it thrives for you too.

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. The fire is not too far from here. Fortunately we are safe from the fire but we have been dealing with the smoke and ash. Today, the wind is in our favor, which is a relief. I hope they can get the fires under control soon.

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  11. This is a lovely, lovely post. I felt as if I was by your side walking around with you in your place. Thank you.

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  12. Gorgeous light, although it sounds scorchingly hot. We are a little lacking in warmth and sunshine here at the moment! I hope the wildfire is under control, they are scary things. Your flowers are looking pretty, and that looks like a good crop of apples this year. Wishing you and yours a good weekend. CJ xx

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  13. It reminds me of being in the Mediterranean when the days are too hot to do anything but swim and everyone sleeps in the afternoon and goes out to dinner very late in the evening to enjoy the cooler air. I hope it cools down for you but remains sunny, so you can make the most of your outdoors. It's raining hard here, with thunder... Sam x

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  14. Your garden is a place to delight in. Looking at your photos is always such a joy. You capture the details so beautifully Jennifer.We also have some very hot days here, hope next week it will normalize.
    Wishing you and your family a fabulous summer
    Olympia

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  15. You certainly have captured some beautiful pictures. I do wonder if I would be able to cope with the heat and humidity, but I would certainly love the beauty.

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  16. Summer sounds just perfect in your part of the world. I hope you manage to stay cool this weekend -- we're getting news reports of your heatwave and it sounds awful!

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  17. It sounds lovely, well, probably not that heat but definitely the evening light. We could do with some warmer days but I don't like it too hot. I love the time of day your write about, everything winding down, it's like a long sigh.

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  18. Phew, that sounds hot. As Sarah said above, our sunny spells are few and far between at the moment here in the UK. But still, the rain is refreshing and has everything growing lush and green, so musn't complain. You're pictures are lovely, I'm seeing so many beautiful colours about on blogs right now :)

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  19. i like the early morning light as well as evening, it's what's in between I don't enjoy. Hope it doesn't get too hot for you this weekend. You're lucky it cools down at night, that's the advantage a desert setting has over a swamp.

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    1. Yes, it's one of the best things about the desert - clear, cool nights that are decent for sleeping!

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  20. You write beautifully my friend. Happy Summer.
    Meredith

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    1. That is so kind of you to say, Meredith. Thank you.

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  21. We could do with some of your heat here. Our central heating came on this evening! Aaaaargh!

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  22. Beautiful photos, I love the light rainbow reflecting on your hand xx

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  23. What a lovely, peaceful post. I can just imagine you having a quiet evening potter round the garden. I don't envy you the fierce heat but we could do with just a little bit of it here at the moment. I shall think of you later when I'm doing a quiet bit of dead heading. xx

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  24. I often head out in to my garden on summer evenings too, when the work inside is (mostly) done, tomwater the plants, amd have a little poke about amongst the plants. It is such a restful,way to end the day. X

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  25. Sounds like the best part of the day. We don't have sun on our back yard/garden in the evening or afternoon so we rarely sit outside at night but our rooms on the front of the house are so bright and warm with the sash windows up letting in a breeze at night. You certainly have all the weather extremes in your part of the world. Jo x

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  26. Your beautiful narrative and photos brought to mind my joy in living in the Rocky Mountains near Denver for a little over two years...high and dry with thunderstorms rolling through from time to time in this season of the year. I do not do well in hot humid weather, and find hot dry weather easier to appreciate. In northern CA we experienced smoke and ash from forest fires and were anxious about whether the fire would reach us. I too, hope the fire near you is brought under control soon and that no one is harmed by it. xx

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  27. I always think I want more heat but in reality I don't cope with it very well. That said, there is something lovely about the cooler evening after a hot day. I'm hoping for a bit more sun this week, but not too much!
    Jillxo

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  28. It sound like a perfect end to the day Jennifer, I don't know how you can stand the heat during the day, mind you I would welcome just a bit more heat here in the mostly cloudy cool days of north east coast of England have a great weekend. :) xx

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  29. Hey Jennifer,
    I love the thought of you walking through your house and garden after the tea/bath/bed madness. I do it too. I stop and start and notice the little things around me. You have described it perfectly. The cooling breeze (although our weather is much milder than yours), the appreciation of what you have and plans for the days ahead. I shall think of you as I wander around this evening.
    Leanne xx

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  30. You paint such a picture with your words! And your photos have captured that effect so well. I know what you mean, I love the soft orange glow of the evening light here right now, and the way it shines through the upstairs windows in our house is mesmerising. xx

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