The outdoor news this week has to be the lunar eclipse. Wow! It was so impressive. We hauled out lawn chairs, pillows and blankets. Talk about getting in touch with one’s place in the universe. Hopefully, we will be around in 18 years to enjoy it again.

In 1986, we talked about waking up in the middle of the night to go down to South Beach for a no-so-impressive view of Halley’s Comet. I recall there was quite a bit of cloud cover that night which hindered the viewing. Will I get another chance at age 115?

The day after the eclipse I tried to appreciate the wonders of nature around me. I enjoyed watching a flock of Eastern mountain bluebirds frolicking in a puddle formed by the garden sprinkler. There is an inordinate number of goldfinches feeding on my spent sunflower heads. They drop enough seed to insure next year’s crop. I have not seeded them myself in several years.

I sat on a five-gallon bucket and picked nearly a half bushel of green beans. This was my recent planting of Providers. I think it has been way less than two months since they went into the ground. They are simply perfect — no bugs, and young and tender. Violet learned to love them this year. I like how children’s tastes change as they mature. She’s a very good sport and will try everything. We do not allow food criticism in our family. We say, “Don’t yuck my yum!”

It’s sad that goldenrod gets a bad name. It is absolutely gorgeous along the roadsides and in the open fields. I have several clumps in my perennial beds and never weed them out. I believe ragweed is the culprit that causes allergic reactions.

My friend Sharlee gave me a slab of collards that had reseeded in her garden. I painstakingly separated them and am hoping for a late fall crop. Since ordering sides of them at the Scottish Bakehouse I’ve become quite fond of them. The bakehouse does a great job of cooking thin strips of them ever so slightly. I dislike them cooked endlessly with vinegar. Those remind me of a canned spinach — not a favorite.

I went on a search for some reseeded lettuce in my own garden with no luck. I had planted a couple packages of them but they never germinated. It is notoriously slow but I guess it’s time to abandon hope.

The four-inch pots of asters available right now at some of the nurseries are a great find. They will come back next year only taller and nicer.

The rapidity of new growth is truly astonishing in areas weeded of peach leaf, bellflower, mugwort and wild morning glory. I actually thought I retrieved every root — oh well, such is life.

There sure are a lot of flies this time of year. The truck is full of them by day’s end. Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn told an interviewer about growing up without window screens. They laughed at the memory of flapping towels around to drive the flies outside if company was arriving. I am the queen of digression.

The big news in the political world this week is the surprise stepping down of John Boehner from his position of Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as giving up his congressional seat. I guess he has finally had it with the uncompromising faction of the Tea Party caucus. I hate to say, I went all tender about him after his experience with the Pope.

I was impressed that the President was able to speak highly of him as opposed to some of the Republican presidential candidates.