Midsummer ~ In the Marina

South Shore Harbor Marina ~ League City, Texas


bubbling and eager
water ascends to the sky
seeking perspective



The metallic drone of cicadas; desiccated and drooping crops; fish sinking toward cooler water even as rising temperatures slow life’s pace for body and mind: such is the arrival of midsummer on the Texas coast.

It’s a season suited for lighter fare, and so I’m offering a small series of images matched with poetry: tokens of a season I love.

Both the photo and haiku are mine.

Comments are welcome, always

61 thoughts on “Midsummer ~ In the Marina

    1. As it happens, Jim, the South Shore area has a hotel and conference center, a fitness center, and — a great golf course! You’d fit right in, although we might have more heat and humidity than you’d appreciate just now.

      Your haiku is great, as is the picture it paints. I envy those blue skies. I really wanted to try and see the ISS tonight, but no joy. Maybe next time.

      1. Thanks. It was about as good of a weather day as we get here. The ISS is due directly overhead tonight at 10:05. It is to be very bright. I have a note to remind me.

    1. Isn’t it great, Melissa? I’ve never seen another cloud form in exactly that way. The vertical cloud looks so chimney-like, I’ve always thought of the photo as “The Cloud Factory.”

    1. It’s a fact, Cindy. The atmosphere can become quite atmospheric, especially at sunrise and sunset. There are surprises galore, even in our own backyards — which this is, quite literally. I took the photo from my apartment balcony.

    1. Gallivanta, I confess the Blue Moon didn’t even rise into my consciousness. I suspect any sighting would have been intermittent, at best, because of the clouds, but I’m glad you had the opportunity to see it.

      I noticed the article referenced Elvis’s version of the song, “Blue Moon.” Too bad they didn’t send the youngsters off to hear this, instead.

    1. I knew you’d like it, Martha. I went over to the Cloud Appreciation Society to see if I could find anything like it. There were plenty of buiding cumulus, of course, but I didn’t see anything quite so small and discrete.

      Of course, I only browsed about ten pages out of their 385, or whatever. This one formed fast. I do love having a window that lets me see such things.

  1. Love the haiku. And that amazing photo, if not in that colour, I’d say it looks very similar to the twister clouds hovering over our city last week. Indeed, I had to go down to my basement with an emergency bag, prepared impromptu … with water and chocolates. ;)

    1. I saw the news reports and some videos of that tornado, Arti. I thought about you, but for some reason thought you were out of town at the time. I have a friend who says, “Storms will come and storms will go, but chocolate is forever.”

      Even though it was long and slender, this was a very well-behaved cloud, and soon gone. The sun was almost below the horizon, so it was one of those times when everything conspired to produce a truly memorable sight. I hope you have such well-behaved clouds the rest of the year!

  2. Very nice! I love the image and your narrative of Nature’s behaviour as result of temperatures rising and heat’s encapsulation of the environment. Beautifully written.

      1. I find it fascinating also. I read there was a blue moon tonight, but that it was not actually blue. A truly blue-colored moon, which isn’t actually called a blue moon, actually is a rarity and is usually the product of a volcano or wildfire sending particles into the air. The particles only allow blue light to filter through, according to NASA. The modern definition of a blue moon just means an extra full moon, whether one month has two full moons or one quarter of a year, or season, has four instead of three. Still fascinating how light paints colors through the atmosphere.

  3. Lovely, Linda! You know, I think Mother Nature just might be smarter than we humans. At least *she* knows when to knock it off, to kick back, to rest! The hazy days of summer seem perfect for just that, don’t they?

    What a fascinating photo — so many beautiful colors. Sadly, we don’t see too many of those here. Of course, by the time the sun drops that low, it’s practically hidden behind the trees, so perhaps I need to find a better viewing place!

    1. Now you’ve done it, Debbie. I’ll be hearing this for the rest of the night! I do like the piano roll, though.There was a place in Galveston that had a player piano — maybe still does. You could put in a quarter and get music in return. It was such fun.

      And here’s something that proves you do have great sunsets in your part of the country. It was fun to watch. The same water tower keeps appearing, so she clearly was stalking the sunsets on her home turf. They are elusive critters. One minute they’re blazing away, and the next, they’re gone.

      I’ve got the same problem you have, but in reverse. Sunrises are hard for me to see because of buildings, trees, and so on. If I want to see a sunrise, I need to get out and about, and find myself a better viewing spot!

  4. What a sky! In a way a bit frightening and probably more appropriately awesome. I was hoping to catch the almost full moon last night but we were locked in with clouds after a brief but profuse storm. This morning the night’s heat was cooled at dawn and there was lots of fog.
    I like that the brightness of the sky has cast the marina in shadow so the colors and shapes can be the focal point without distraction.

    1. If you imagine the sun setting about 50 degrees to the west (I’m facing north-ish), the arrangement of the colors becomes more understandable.. The sun already was behind horizon-level clouds, so the last rays were hitting the higher clouds. As I recall, it was the color that caught my eye. I didn’t notice the structure until after taking the photo.

      Even if you had fog this morning, I’ll bet you have a fine moon photo on your page. I hope so. But if it was too cloudy for a good moon photo, you’ve still said the magic word: “cooled.” That would be nice. Some rain would be nice, too. I’m almost out of stored rainwater for my plants.

    1. No storm on the horizon here, Kayti. Our skies just do this in the summer: the most vibrant colors you can imagine. Usually, if there’s a storm associated with colors like this, the storm already is gone. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight, and all that.

      It’s such fun to watch clouds bubble up in the summer. If it’s hot and humid enough, the cumulus will build to tremendous heights, rain themselves out, and disappear over the space of a half-hour. It may rain over a spot no larger than a good-sized parking lot, or on one side of the street, but not the other. Scattered showers, indeed!

    1. We do have wonderful skies, Jeanie. On the other hand, you have that fabulous ditch, and the lake, and all of that — every place has its virtues.

      Have you been down to the ditch this year, or has there been too much traveling, too much lake time, and so on? I was going to say that maybe it’s been too hot, but then I checked your current conditions. 76 degrees and 53% humidity? Count your blessings, my dear.

      1. Not so much ditch as usual — I’ve been spending more time at the pool when I’ve been home and some back trouble is affecting walks that are too long. The swimming is very therapeutic. And yes, I’ve been gone a lot with the lake and Canada coming up. Rick left for his ride today. I posted his route and blog links on my current post.

        It’s a lovely day today — and I count those blessings at every moment!

        1. I went right over to take a look. What a thrill that must be for him — though I understand your worries. On the other hand, after your Christmas in July post, I can’t help but think of that time you’ll have to get a head start on your projects!

  5. These are each lovely jewels, haiku and photograph both. While I haven’t commented on the last one (visiting frail elderly has kept me out of touch), I saw it, and the photograph, particularly, stayed in my mind’s eye and guided me on my way.

    1. Frail and elderly are enough of a concern, Susan. I hope “unwell” isn’t part of the equation, and that your time spent visiting was good.

      Your comment about the previous photo staying in mind and guiding you on your way reminded me that not all stars that guide journeys shine at night. Our sun is a star, too, and especially for seafarers has been a constant guide.

      What I didn’t know (but found on a NOVA page) is that “the quarters we know today as east and west the Phoenicians knew as Asu (sunrise) and Ereb (sunset): labels that live on in the names Asia and Europe.” I think it’s a little more complicated (and a little less certain) than that, but it’s interesting, nonetheless.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the paired photos and poetry. The next will be the last, but also a jumping-off point for other projects.

    1. Like you, Catherine, I love a horizon, and the Big Skies of the American West. I’ve always thought of the sky as a palette, and the clouds as images created for our delight. Granted, there are clouds that aren’t so delightful, and that bring anxiety rather than peace — but that sort of admixture is the very essence of life.

  6. Cloud factory (great phrase – lovely image), Blue Moon, howling, and haiku. Perfect summer fare. They are doing a controlled burn in the wetlands today – the smoke cloud was quite a wall just after 7. With dust, smoke, moon, clouds – quite a sky show!

    1. Just before sunset last night, some of the “threads” of smoke still were hanging around. I’m sure you smelled the smoke this morning, coming in on that NE wind. I think it was Eric Berger who posted a radar image of the plume yesterday. We’re lucky it stayed south of us.

      As clear as it is now, we ought to be able to see the ISS tonight: 9:04 pm, with a six-minute pass from WSW to NNE horizon. Heads up!

        1. I was! In fact, I was up and coffeed so early that, when I went out and discovered what had happened, I went to work — just for the pure joy of not sweating into my varnish. It didn’t last long, but it was nice. The boaters seemed to have gotten stirred up, too. The channel was full.

    1. It is different, Yvonne. In fact, it was so different, I never had seen anything like it. That’s one of the things I enjoy about the sky — the apparently infinite number of possible combinations of color and cloud. I think the real photographers could have done something even better with it, but at least I managed a capture.

  7. While the etheree seem to have gone to deeper water to escape the heat, you seem to have cast into a passing school of haiku. Since you are into stringently syllabicated poetry, have you tried “tanka?”

    1. I haven’t, WOL, although I’ve bumped up against them from time to time in others’ blogs. For whatever reason, I’ve never been tempted in that direction. One day that may change — who knows?

      I love that image of “a passing school of haiku.” “Plashing” would do, too.

    1. It’s interesting how many people saw the cloud as a little “edgy” — perhaps presaging a storm. It wasn’t stormish at all. It bubbled up, and then faded away, and for a brief moment did stun me with its beauty. That’s one of the things I appreciate about photography. Even if we can’t hold on to a moment, we can remember it.

      I’m glad you like it, and its little poem.

    1. They certainly were in a League City of their own.

      The photo’s been sitting in my files for some time: just waiting. One day, a photo of New Zealand clouds led to the thought that “a cloud’s just water, with aspirations.” The next thing I knew, I had a haiku.

  8. End of day makes such a great canvas! The colors and cloud formations are beautiful! Makes me wish I were getting over to the beach early morning for sunrise or late day for the reflected light on the clouds! How I hate getting up early….well, until I am out there at least when beauty splashes away the pain of getting there.

    1. I’d love to make a beach run myself, although I’m not going anywhere — prairie, beach, or refuge — until this heat breaks. The light has been bad, too. It’s so harsh: almost brittle. At least in September, even if it stays hot, the lowering sun makes the light more bearable.

      I love early morning, but I’m a bit like you. I can be reluctant, until I’m there. That’s one reason I so enjoy staying at the beach. If I don’t have an hour or more to drive before I get to where I want to be, it’s much nicer. Coffee and surf is a great combination, and it’s always the best beachcombing when most people stlil are asleep.

  9. Sometimes a Haiku says it best: evocative, succinct, and yet generous. I chose to use the genre of Haiku during my recent pilgrimage for utilitarian purposes (blogging off of my phone), yet I came to see that it opened me up to something different in reflecting on nature. I suppose it pushed me to get at the essence of an event, or image. Lovely photo as well!

    1. I hope there will be a post or two about your experiences. I’m still a little fuzzy about exactly what you were up to, or what sort of pilgrimage it was.

      What I don’t have any question about are those haiku. They were evocative and compelling. Sometimes, haiku feel to me like a door into an experience, rather tha a report about an experience. I like them.

      I’m glad you like my cloud, too. I suspect you saw some good ones on your trip.

    1. I’m so glad you like it, Otto. Sometimes, when I’m pondering serious matters, like what it will be like when I’m 90 years old and can’t get out and about so easily, I remind myself that there are wonderful sights to be seen from my window.

      Everyone is smiling here, now. We’ve had two days of lovely rain, the temperatures are down, and the ducks are quacking in sheer bliss. Summer’s good, at last!

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