Putting the book down

What I like best about reading in the garden is being distracted by everything around me.

After initially startling all of the wildlife, they get used to having me around.  This quiet reader, whose only movement is an occasional turning of the page.

So, everyone returns, and I find my gaze moving from the page to the world around me.

It’s time to put the book down and look around.



Hello there, wild rabbit who eats my plants.



A lovely rose, with its sweet, delicate scent.



The adorably annoying chipmunk who visits the bird feeder, stuffing his little cheeks with seed as quickly as he can.



The lilies trumpeting the arrival of summer.



And this lovely couple who kept me company for a long time.



I must say, I do admire her coiffure, don’t you?



91 thoughts on “Putting the book down

    • That’s so true, Carrie. It’s hard to be pulled away from a good story but the scent of a rose or a pair of cardinals are hard to ignore. Thank you, as always, for the tweet.

  1. I am always easily distracted…I love that your book is about the intense concentration and focus on one bird and then you found all sorts of nature right in front of you when you looked up. (Did that make sense? I’m not sure it did. Oh well.)

    • It made complete sense! There’s a hawk that lives in the woods behind my garden and I would have loved to see him while reading this book but alas he is being shy these days and watching me from a hidden perch.

  2. I know all these animals…. Beautifully photographed! Hope you enjoy that great activity which is reading in your own garden, today….

  3. It takes a lot to tear one away from a book but yes nature does it, it’s such a wonderful natural soundtrack as well, whether reading or just taking pleasure in the world around me. I wish there was such wildlife around here as you have, don’t be surprised if you have a bunch of us guys knocking on your door because we desire some peaceful musing.

  4. Love the chipmunk. My girls and I have a feeder in our backyard but we only seem to attract squirrels. Good for entertainment, but not quite as cute as the chipmunk 🙂

    • I used to have an issue with squirrels but they don’t like this type of feeder it seems. I’ve somewhat solved the ‘chipmunk eating all of the birdseed issue’ by putting some seed on the ground for him. He’s cute but greedy!

  5. Nice long lens work. I saw some Goldfinches on a long walk today and thought about carrying something to read in future. No connection with the book btw. Do you have any nature pocket-spotter type books?

    • I have a couple of birding books but am not very good at using them as I rarely remember details and the birds that do visit the garden are already familiar to me. I’d love to be able to recognize birds by their song but that eludes me. Goldfinch are lovely.

  6. I love watching and listening to the birds while reading. We had a couple cardinals hang around for a while and they kept looking like they were kissing, but the male was probably feeding the female. The female here didn’t have a hairdo like that though! Then there’s a squirrel that lives in the rhododendrons. He comes out early in the morning and actually looks like he’s in a daze at first, like he needs some tea or coffee. I love that rascally chipmunk. Have fun with all your characters!

  7. Your backyard is full of wonderful surprises! Do you ever get any hummingbirds passing through?

    This morning while I was reading, I saw a kestrel perched on an old television antenna that my neighbors have not bothered to take down. He looked marvelous up there. He might have been a youngster, but I was a bit too far away to tell for sure.

    • A kestrel, how wonderful!
      We do get hummingbirds (they have just started arriving a couple of weeks ago but they move too fast for me to get take photos of!). I plant flowers that they will like to encourage them to stop by the garden. Amazing little birds, aren’t they?

  8. Yes, listening and watching. What it’s all about. I arrived at Highlights Summer Camp late last night. This morning, I took a walk and recorded the sounds of birds. So varied, so loud. Love it! Maybe I’ll see if I can figure out the different birds by their calls. Cheers!

  9. Letizia what a dazzling display of nature you have in your reading room. beautiful photos and yes sometimes we do have to put the book down and open our eyes to value the world around us. Happy hunting in your garden.

    • My reading room, I like that you call it that. I never thought of my garden as a reading room but it certainly is at times. You always have a wonderful way of viewing and putting ideas.

  10. I always find it hard to concentrate on reading when there is so much beauty around. This is the case even in our apartment where we have a wonderful view. And of course Baffi must have been otherwise occupied for things to have been so quiet!! 🙂

    • Haha! Baffi was sleeping by my side. After a tour of the garden where she frightens everything in her path, she’ll settle down for a long nap and everyone resumes their activities.

      I can imagine that the view from your flat must be wonderfully distracting from your reading at times 🙂

  11. Lovely photos!
    I do the same thing when I read in my mum’s yard. The book soon gets put away and I sit there listening to, and watching, all the things around me. It’s very relaxing.

  12. Nicely captured Letizia. Those are nice and peaceful creatures and flowers, not oversized bugs and aggressive, spiky plants which I see on certain blogs 🙂 I’d still rather all nature kept its distance while I’m reading apart from the sea outside my window.

  13. What kinds of birds are they – they’re beautiful!!

    I have to admit I’m the kind of reader who, once I’ve started reading, won’t hear, see, or otherwise notice anything going on around me. Clearly I’m missing out! (although we don’t have bunnies or chipmunks in Hong Kong, sadly)

  14. Thanks, Letizia, for another wonderful reminder that the world around us needn’t be loud to draw attention, and we can truly unplug from our electronics while still being kept fully engaged. Happy, peaceful reading, and please say “hi” to your friends for me.

  15. I’m having one of those senior moments in thinking I had commented. I believe these lovely friends of yours are happy to have you in their space. Really nice photos, Letizia of a lovely summer garden. 🌻

  16. I love writing or reading outside. Birds singing or arguing or just jib-jabbing is the best natural sound to me. That rabbit looks like he knows he’s been spotted. 🙂 Enjoy this amazing weather!

  17. What a delightful setting in which to read your books…and I want to read H is for Hawk too, so I would love to know what you thought of it! Gorgeous photos, the best kind of distraction any day of the week 😉

  18. Is nature the commercial break to the reading, or is the reading the commercial break to nature? I’m not sure which. But for me, lunch seems to trump them both.

    I love your photos. Just goes to show that whether your eyes are up on nature or down in a book, there’s plenty to see. I don’t want to miss it.

    • That’s so frustrating! One year a frost came two days after my magnolia bloomed and I had to wait until the following year to see the flowers again. I guess that’s why nature is so beautiful- it’s fleeting as you point out.

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