Garden Moments; Perfect Pears and The Dog Days of Summer

A moment…I had one this morning. It was the best kind…the kind that just sneaks up on you in an ordinary day.

I noticed that the first Warren Pear looked like it was ready to eat. I took a bite, expecting a pleasant experience. But apparently, all the things necessary, for this pear and I to exist together at this moment, were in perfect alignment. The bite was transcendent…no really. I’d caught that particular fruit at it’s moment of perfection.


pears on tree

I love my Monterey and Asian pears, but this year I got my first Warren.


So, I did that thing we sometimes do at these moments. I involuntarily caught my breath and closed my eyes, letting the experience wash over me. That’s what life is all about of course – collecting as many moments as we can handle.


juicy cut pear

There’s just nothing like a perfectly smooth and juicy pear.


Maybe I’m feeling particularly sentimental, as I’ve spent time with  old friends recently and the naked ladies are here. You know, the Amaryllis belladonna, that bloom at the end of summer. – And summers end always makes me feel a little bitter-sweet and keenly aware of the passing of time.


white amarylis belladonna

The classic Amaryllis belladonna (aka “naked lady”) are fleshy pink, but I love the white ones I get from a local grower.


My dear friend buried his father this past week and he and his family shared poignant memories of a life well-lived. There was laughter from a “top ten” list and unexpected tears from a grandson’s reminiscing. My friend shared a letter he’d written a few years ago, intended for his future-self. The letter had been an attempt to mark a particular moment he’d had with his young son, to crystallize his feelings of love and fatherhood he’d felt during a bedtime ritual.  May we all pay as close attention to the important things in life.


white amaryllis belladonna up close

Fragrant and drought tolerant, the Naked Lady blooms in August on the central coast, a harbinger of summer’s end.


A garden, in particular, can create opportunities for moments –  not only for us, but others that share our garden. For example, I wonder if a bee feels bliss when it bumps into an extra-large load of pollen? Or does a bird notice when a fruit is perfectly ripe? I suspect it does because I got yelled at this week by a Scrub-Jay when I picked an apple that he had been taking a few pecks out of each day, maybe testing for the perfect sugar content.


Happy dog

Does a dog feel happy when the sun is out and the breeze is beautifully soft? They certainly seem to live in the moment.


So in the interest of increasing the odds for creating important moments, in a garden, and maybe beyond, here are a few suggestions;

-Include some seating so you’ll want to spend time in your garden.


garden chair with shadow

A comfortable chair is a nice thing, but even a simple place to sit keeps you in the garden longer.


-Be aware of whats happening around you.


doggy lookout

Sit back and observe the sights and sounds.


-Get out early .


dew on stipa

Drops of early morning dew, before the sun heats up the day.


-Observe closely.


doggy up close

Getting close might allow you to notice the insects and smaller inhabitants you share your garden with.


-Invite a friend.


doggy and kitty making friends

Spend time with someone you like, or, make-up with an old foe.


-Invite more friends …have a party.



Many games don’t take much space and encourage interaction.


-Add a fire pit and keep partying.


roasting marshmallows

Built-ins are great but an inexpensive firepit makes for flexible party seating.



-Make Art.


twig art joy

My current fave. Artist; Jay Hansen, age six. Mixed media. Twigs, chalk, tape and imagination on concrete.


-Sleep outside sometime.


doggy yawns after night outside

We slept outside to watch a meteor shower. The dog was confused but not as much as the raccoon that arrived at two in the morning.


-Notice who you share your garden with.


quail daddy on fence

Papa quail keeps a lookout and sounds the alarm if he senses danger.


quail familyon fence

This year I’ve counted 29 members of the quail covey, almost all grown up now.


-Take a moment to savor the passing of the season.


plate of pears


And remember this;

There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat – Ralph Waldo Emerson








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Categories: Enjoying the Garden


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4 Comments on “Garden Moments; Perfect Pears and The Dog Days of Summer”

  1. August 30, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

    Oh, Joy, what a delightful piece! Savoring moments is what it’s all about. Thank you.

  2. August 31, 2015 at 6:58 am #

    This is simply the most beautiful blog post…perfection in every way!
    Thank you for putting words and images together to form a blissful reminder…not all gardening has to be work.

  3. Laurence
    August 31, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

    And now your blissful bite and my quiet moment are secured, hung with care, fixed in place as we might hang cherished baubles on a Christmas tree. And then we step back and sigh with delight as we observe the elegant balance that they offer in the context of this blessing. Though this season passes and these moments recede, they shall ever be held by that which is within us eternal. Thank you for including us in your offering.

  4. September 1, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

    Joy, this was such a lovely post filled with heartwarming thoughts and visions. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the reminders. We all need to savor those moments.

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