WPC: Fray

A white egret wades in a pond along the Colonial Parkway this afternoon.

A white egret wades in a pond along the Colonial Parkway this afternoon.  A frayed fringe of grasses frames the pond.

 

“Frayed” is an excellent word to describe the end of August. 

After a long, hot, eventful summer, we may all feel a bit frayed around the edges.

 

Rose of Sharon flowers are still lovely, though the leaves are a bit frayed.

Rose of Sharon flowers are still lovely, though the leaves are a bit frayed.

 

The garden certainly looks a bit frayed after withstanding many weeks of heat and thunderstorms, hungry insects and hungry deer.

And the grasses blooming now along the roadsides offer a “frayed” fringe to all vistas.

 

August 22, 2014 Parkway 058

“Fray” itself is an interesting word.

Coming to us from middle English, it means that something is worn down, or worn out, to the point of beginning to come apart.

My jeans are nearly always frayed somewhere.

I was raised when it was fashionable to fray them in spots on purpose, which definitely frayed my mother’s nerves.

The first of the reblooming Iris sends up a bud against the old and frayed Comfrey foliage which has lasted the summer.

The first of the reblooming Iris sends up a bud against the old and frayed Comfrey foliage, which has lasted the summer.

 

But to become “frayed” implies that one has been in the thick of the action.

We might choose to “join the fray” as we add our voice to stand up for a good cause; or a bad one, as the case might be.

 

Losing the fray can mean ending up as someone else's dinner in the garden.

Losing the fray can mean ending up as someone else’s dinner in the garden.

 

In our garden, we are in the midst of an ongoing fray with hungry Bambis who steal in through the fences at night  to eat our “shrubberies.”

 

Frayed Oakleaf Hydrangea, grazed last night by the deer.

Frayed Oakleaf Hydrangea, grazed last night by the deer.

 

I found two “deer resistant” Oakleaf Hydrangeas “frayed” this morning; their beautiful leaves gone overnight into the maws of gourmet deer.

 

The other Hydrangea nibbled last night is also sadly frayed.

The other Hydrangea nibbled last night is also sadly frayed.

 

I’m often reminded that if I continue to plant, they will continue to come; which frays my expectations for a beautiful, lush garden.  But only a little…

 

August 22, 2014 Parkway 044

As we drove out to Jamestown this afternoon to visit our favorite vegetable stand for some of the last of this summer’s tomatoes, and some of the first of this year’s apple crop; we watched the frayed edges of storm clouds dip ever lower in the sky.

We waited, as for Gadot, for the promised thunderstorm which never came.

 

August 22, 2014 Parkway 063

But continuing on to the historic island itself, we noticed a creature running across the lawn near the causeway.

We had spotted it a few times before, always from a distance, and were happily surprised to find it out in the open today where we could photograph it.

 

The fox who came out near Jamestown  Island this afternoon.

The fox who came out near Jamestown Island this afternoon.

 

It was a fox.  A somewhat old and painfully thin fox, with a frayed tail and dull looking coat.

 

August 22, 2014 Parkway 074

And it had found something lying in the grass it  could eat.  It’s hunger must have fed its courage, and it stayed out in the open, despite our company and the passing traffic.

We are sorry to find the fox looking so thin with autumn coming quickly on.

 

August 22, 2014 Parkway 081

But that is the way of things in the wild.  Things remain a bit frayed around the edges year round, especially here at the last gasp of summer.

 

Osprey Eagle on the James River today.

Osprey Eagle on the James River today.

 

The elements of sun and wind, rain and lightening work their will on forest, field, and garden alike.

But what is frayed today, is often renewed with fresh growth of leaves and flowers soon enough.

August 22, 2014 Parkway 089

 

Whether its own new growth, or that of a conquering vine; it matters little.

Nature always wins, in the end.

 

Autumn Clematis scrambles over shrubs and trees on the river bank.  Its sweet fragrance fills the air with perfume.

Autumn Clematis scrambles over shrubs and trees on the river bank. Its sweet fragrance fills the air with perfume.

 

Getting “frayed” is only a stop along the path of re-newal. 

It is the way of things….

 

August 22, 2014 Parkway 076

 

Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Fray

 

With love, to a favorite aunt who let me know she cares enough to follow my ramblings here…..

 

Sweet Autumn Clematis, awash in sweet perfume.

Sweet Autumn Clematis, awash in sweet perfume.

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

8 responses to “WPC: Fray

  1. A wonderful journey around the word ‘fray’. It has made me think about fraying in the natural world, and also feeling frayed. It made me think about butterflies one sometimes sees with frayed and tattered wings after a long season.

    • 🙂 An interesting word to explore. Yes, I thought of those poor butterflies, too. And the abandoned nests one sometimes finds this time of year. Thank you for spending time with me in the garden today 😉 Best wishes, WG

  2. wow all these shotz are very Kewl 🙂 ……… *(*@*@*)***~~~ !!!!!!!!

  3. WG, this is a beautiful post. Lovely interpretations of frayed. I’m with you on the jeans. Mine were so long the hems were always frayed much to my mother’s chagrin. Also, the poor fox. You’re right – he is the definition of frayed. Poor old guy. Ah well, that’s nature and the cycle of life for you, I guess.

    • We probably had matching jeans, Barbara. I used to embroider over the holes to extend the wear so long as possible. I just hope the fox is basically healthy- if emaciated- and isn’t a danger there near the Glass House. Hope you two are having a good weekend. WG

  4. Sweet words; cool thoughts; nice story. 🙂
    “Fray-ay-ay-ay!” Sounds like something a horse would say.
    Trees say, “We don’t rust. We unravel, twist, and petrify.”

    If it doesn’t fray, don’t eat it.

    Peace and luvz, Keith
    Happy Friday! All’s well that starts well.

    • Thank you, Keith 😉 Hope you and yours have a stellar weekend. Since you’re so optimistic about the fate of trees, I won’t tell you about my friends’ trees, which frayed from the inside courtesy of a colony of Carpenter ants. Lets just say they have more sunlight in their garden these days…. Stay green and growing, I say 😉 Best wishes, WG

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