Daylight stretches closer to 8pm these days. It’s nearly June and the heat and humidity has already become stifling. When the temperature stays close to 90, I prefer to take the dog later in the evening. The air cools and the light becomes flat and even. I’ve begun to mark the days with produce. 3 pints of strawberries, a pint of peas, spring onions, asparagus, spinach. Soon it will peaches, tomatoes, zucchini.
Freesia in Engle’s Milk Bottle.
Over the crisp scent of fresh vegetables and the salty odor of raw meat, I smelled the freesia before I saw. It found me at the farmer’s market, while I was debating which type of lettuce to buy. Brilliantly white and heavy with it’s sweetness, I bought a bouquet of it along with my lettuce and kale for the week. I found a home for it in a Engle’s Milk Bottle, purchased at a antique store in central PA. While I do have a penchant for clear glass containers, milk bottles typically don’t register for me. This one, however, is special.
My grandfather, on my mother’s side, ran Engle Dairy’s for 25 years outside of Sunbury, Pennsylvania. I know where the farm is, I’ve driven past it a few times and can picture the land around it. He milked every single one of his cows by hand, every morning. He stopped farming when the state changed regulations for milking, forcing all dairy farmers to use milking machines.
When I find Engle’s Milk bottles, it’s like finding a fractured piece of family history.
Walking home from the Phoenixville post office one clear, warm late November afternoon, I noticed these lovely, freshly green tendrils growing from the cracks of a concrete wall. I had seen similar weeds growing in other walls around town but not with such zest. Fascinated by it’s structure and it’s color, I was unsure how to photograph such a fleeting creature. I adore it’s tiny purple flowers and the way it grew, seemingly from nothing. Weeds, such smart plants, adapting to their surroundings, finding ways to grow against all odds.