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Just Outside My Door

July 19, 2011
By Elaine G. Cole, Correspondent
The linden, in the fervors of July,

Hums with a louder concert. When the wind

Sweeps the broad forest in its summer prime.

As when some master hand exulting sweeps

The keys of some great organ, ye give forth

The music of the woodland depths, a hymn

Of gladness and of thanks.

Bryant wrote those words describing the month of July and though my words aren’t as poetic, I note some special days and things that have happened or will take place, this month. The first being the Fourth of July holiday which has already past but there are many more.

For instance, a variety of flowers have burst into bloom everywhere. My New Dawn Rambler Roses on the backyard fence are at their peak, the pink and white astilbes, the Shasta Daisies and colorful lilies have created a magnificent picture in my perennial bed. Although the Mock Orange in the north border is fast going by, it too has been lovely. My gardens are small compared to many others in our area, but I really enjoy them. If one walks I am also enjoying the many wild flowers that I see as I walk along a country road. Roadsides and vacant fields are covered with Butter and Eggs, daisies, wild morning glories and geraniums, but that’s not all July brings.

I’m also enjoying the bird fledglings that visit our feeders. It’s easy to spot them, even if they are nearly as large as their parents, because they cannot fly as well. They quiver and often call as they try to land on a feeder. After being successful,one will often still open its mouth and cry for its parent to feed it.

Still another thing that July brings us is special days, one of which, the 4th of July, is already past. Recently however, I discovered that in yesteryear there were celebrations held in July that I never heard of. In fact, George William Douglas wrote the book“American Book of Days,” which was published in 1937. It was comprised of special days for every day of the year. Most of them are not celebrated nowadays, but a few are in certain areas. The battle of Gettysburg, which began on July 1, 1863 and ended after three days of intense fighting. The founding on the Republican Party took place in Jackson, Michigan July 6, 1854 and surprisingly even the destruction of the Bastille in Paris on July 14, 1789 was celebrated in the United States on the first anniversary of the event.

One special day that is still celebrated today is St. Swithin’s Day. The festival occurs on July 15t according to the Anglical Church calendar. It is associated with weather signs much like of Groundhog Day. There’s an old rhyme that speaks of it which says the saint with the weather is as follows:

St. Swithin’s Day if thou dost rain,

For forty days it will remain;

St. Swithin’s Day, if thou be fair,

For forty days it will rain nae mair.

I’m pretty sure that prediction is just an old time saying but you might want to check it out tomorrow!


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