Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Meet Joe Pye

I promised my friend Nan a few photos of the Joe Pye Weed growing wild on our property. The plant that I photographed is growing wild in my practically-dry creek bed, and is taller than I am (not hard; I'm not quite 5'2".) I understand that this plant is a host plant and food source to many types of butterflies, and am always glad for its proximity to my butterfly garden (planted along the creek bank.) I've also read that this wildflower was once used by Native Americans as a medicinal plant, for a variety of purposes. The white variety at the bottom, which is Boneset, was once classified in the same plant family, but some recent reading reveals that they are now classified separately. I think they look like cousins, and they grow happily together all over the wild edges of my property.

photos by Aisling, July 31, 2007, 1) close-up of Joy Pye Weed 2) Joe Pye Weed from a few feet away 3) Boneset growing near the Joe Pye Weed

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Thunder Moon

As I told my friend Nan, I've been running around trying to get a decent photo of the moon for several days. I started on Saturday, when the moon rose almost-full and beautifully orange over the stand of birch trees near the southeast corner of our property. I was working in the garden, but ran in the house for the camera. This photo is unfortunately blurry, but the one that I liked best will not load on Blogger correctly. My moon photos are never quite what I hope for, and apparently I am not alone in that sentiment. Sky and Telescope has some good advice for snapping photos of the moon.

My camp-fire girls resource refers to July's Full Moon as The Thunder Moon. If only this moon had brought with its rising, some much-needed thunder and rain.

Monday Muse - Meg and Dia

These two young singers are sisters. I love the way their pretty voices harmonize together. Some of Meg and Dia's music is edgier and more "modern" (which I also love), but I think their acoustic performances are brilliant. In the clip below, they are singing Roses.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Sunday Stroll in Insect Heaven

This morning, the grass was so dry that it crunched beneath my feet. Every few steps a grasshopper flew up in front of me, narrowly missing a bath in my coffee cup. Buzzing black flies shooed me out of the shady place near the Chinese Elm Tree. So, I decided to put my coffee in the house and snap my "Sunday Stroll" photos in the front garden for a change. There I found a monarch and plenty of bees, so they have a starring role in my photo shoot.

photos by Aisling, July 29, 2007 1) Bee on Baby Sun Coreopsis 2) Autumn Red Daylily (Hemerocallis) 3) Blazing Star/Liatris 4) A different bee on another Coreopsis blossom 5) Little Grapette Daylily 6) Volunteer Tomatoes growing in the front flower garden 7) A Monarch butterfly 8) The monarch again

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Poetry Thursday - A New Venture

I am going to try something new for the next few weeks in regard to Poetry Thursday. Some of you who have been reading my blog for a while may have read that I chose the nicknames for my family based on various styles of poetry. Over the next few weeks, I am going to try to present an example of each of those types of poetry, one each week. I decided to participate in Poetry Thursday mostly to give myself an incentive to write poetry more often, as I have in the past. In keeping with that, I plan to write these examples myself. I began by writing an aisling today, but I need to edit it and "live with it" for a few days before sharing it here. I hope that will be next week's Thursday post.

"Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar." ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley
photo of sunflower and honeybee by Aisling, July 26, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: What on Earth?

Is it a zombie finger? Is it a carrot-shaped balloon inflated by underground circus performers? Most likely, it is an unfamiliar mold or fungus. I have to send an inquiry to a naturalist, but if anyone knows what this is, please leave a hint in the comments! *grin*
photo by Aisling, July 23, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


“You must be a Lotus, unfolding its petals when the Sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it!” ~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba
I'm finding myself so busy with summer, with college assignments and children's activities, that I don't have much time to post here. Some adventures are coming to a close and new ones beinning. I'll write more about that as I have time!

photos by Aisling, July 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - A Beautiful Place to Live

photo by Aisling, July 17, 2007, Misumena vatia (Goldenrod Spider) on an Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In the Garden with Maude

"To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace." ~Milan Kundera

photos by Aisling, July 17, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday Muse: Maura O'Connell

I first heard Maura O'Connell, maybe about 15 years ago, on a Sunday Morning radio show that played an interesting blend of folk, rock and blues music. The song she was singing that morning was Shawn Colvin's Don't Know Why, and her voice and interpretation of the lyrics was incredible. In this clip, she does an amazing cover of Van Morrison's Crazy Love. If you've never heard her, please check it out! She also has a very informative website.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Poetry Thursday - Hidden Freshness

Lines From a Window

The morning,
brought the day to me
I received it with love
and never gave it back again
one ought
to keep a gift.
The noontime
baked the sidewalks
and the leaves.
I loved the noon
because it was so alone
with just
one thing to do.
But ah
the evening
blue and purple,
lovely and with hidden
freshness, brought from the day
new things.
The baked leaves stirred
frogs sang
the crickets stirred the air
and the whole choir of birds
how wonderful a world
where melody can sleep.

~ Sister Mary Faith, O.S.B.

photo by Haiku, Cannes Lily, July 9, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - The Colors of Summer

Purple-leafed Plum Tree, Blue Sky, White Clouds, Green Earth.

photo by Aisling, July 11, 2007

Monday, July 09, 2007

Monday Muse: Terra Naomi

I'm thrilled that there are still musical artists emerging who can inspire me. My daughter, Senryu, introduced me to this young singer/songwriter whose voice is unique and haunting (Senryu describes it as "dusky") and whose lyrics are hopeful and meaningful. There are other versions of this song (one of just Terra and her guitar in a quiet room) on Youtube. She also has a myspace site if you are interested in learning more about her. Terra Naomi says of the video below, "I asked people from around the world to film themselves answering the question "what would you do/want if anything were possible?" in three words or less. "

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Sunday Stroll - Rain from a Late Morning Storm

Even the intense heat of the day - the kind of heat that keeps everyone indoors and kindles tempers - was not enough to dry all of the rain from a late morning storm from the earth and flowers in the garden. I walked the trail for a while, lingering in the shade near the moon garden. Tiny butterflies and buzzing insects kept me company, while the hot wind lifted the tree branches, changing the pattern of light that fell across the garden.

photos by Aisling, July 8, 2007 1) White Phlox, cultivar David, just coming into bloom 2) An "Easter" lily, still holding the rain from a late morning storm 3) a butterfly on the blue scabiosa (pincushion flower.) 4) Echinacea (purple cone flower) 5) Orange Day Lily

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Poetry Thursday - Heart Melodies

There are songs and poems that sing themselves to me, when I need comfort or lifting-up. This is one of those...

The Dream Keeper
Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamers,
Bring me all of your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.

~ Langston Hughes

photos by Aisling, July 5, 2007 1) Arctic Daisies and the Summer Sky 2)larkspur .) 3) blue butterfly delphinium

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Just a quick note to my Rockin' Girls...

I forgot to say in my post earlier that all of my five nominees can add the Rockin' Girl Blogger button to their blog (if they want to!) and nominate 5 other Rockin' Girl Bloggers! I think "nominee" is the wrong word here, but I don't know a better word. Maybe "honorees"... ? Anyway, there isn't an "ultimate" winner. Every girl whose blog rocks is a winner, right? *grin*

Monday, July 02, 2007

Who me?

My long-time friend Grace, who has a lovely blog herself, has nominated me for a Rockin' Girl Blogger "award." I so appreciate her kind words about my blog and my friendship. Now, I have the difficult task of picking 5 nominees of my own, from among the many I read and admire. I have decided to consider some of the newer blogs which did not yet exist, or of which I was unaware, back when I made my Thinking Blogger Award nominations. All of these blogs "rock" in my opinion, but for different reasons. Many of my favorite blogs are gentle and thoughtful, rather than edgy, so the word "rock" may seem inappropriate. However, these all have impact and charm and intelligence, and so, to me, they totally rock!

Lesley, of An English Country Garden, has so much depth in her narratives about her gardens and her life in the rural England. Her posts are punctuated with her own photos of her gardens, as well as images of fine art and excerpts of well-written articles. She informs and inspires through what she chooses to include in her blog (for film buffs, her Film Diary is a must-read also.)

Catherine Mary, of ::atelier::, provides an oasis of elegant, zen-like calm in the blogging world. She uses lovely images and alternates between sparse, stream-lined prose, and lovely stream-of-consciousness insights. Reading this blog, so full contemplation and imagery, is part of my morning ritual. Like my coffee, and a barefoot walk through the gardens, I wouldn't miss it!

Robbin at Cedar Chest of Dreams is a new blogging friend. Her site is an interesting, eclectic blend of subjects: Native American wisdom and memories, intertwined with daydreams and everyday worries. The way she writes reminds me of listening in as someone "thinks out loud." She is sharing her life experience, her moments of wisdom, humor and doubt, seeming to trust that readers will find something meaningful in her words. I always do!

I've known Lizzie at
Kindred Spirits through email groups for several years and am always amazed by her gift as a storyteller. When she shares a story from her life, you are likely to find yourself chuckling or sniffling at the end; often both at the same time. Blogging has brought a more visual element to her stories, which are now accompanied by pretty images. Her ideas about decorating, crafting and human nature are lovely and insightful.

Katie, aka
Simple Katie, doesn't post quite as often as some of the bloggers whose writing I read each morning, but when she does it is just right: a glimpse of home-canned food, images from the garden, her thoughts on living simply. Even the look of the blog, recently "face-lifted", is simple, uncluttered, and just right.

In case you're curious (as I was) this all started when Roberta decided to start something! I had to track her down, reading backward through nominated blogs. I started by checking the blogger who had nominated Grace, then the one who had nominated that blogger, and so on, back to the beginning. On the way, I found some great blogs to read. I'll be back to visit some of them soon! Fun idea, Roberta!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Once in a Blue Moon

I know, the moon above is orange not blue, but this is the moon that rose the night before the full moon. As the second full moon of June, it earns (by some definitions) the label of a "blue moon." Here is a good explantion.

Almost as rare as a blue moon is having me write two blog posts in one day, but I did! I didn't want to ignore the moon, which was shining and silver and pouring in all of the uncovered windows last night, though I don't have one of my old-fashioned Camp-Girl moon names to correspond to it.

A Sunday Stroll...

photos by Aisling, 7/1/2007, 1) The ubiquitous Stella d'oro Lilies are blooming in the butterfly garden. 2) This is the oh-so-pretty Monte Negro Lily picked out by Sijo at the nursery several years ago. 3) Feverfew and lavender are blooming sweetly in the herb bed 4)This Dark Pink Yarrow stands out vividly against the other side of the lavender 5) This delicate pink rose is known as "the fairy." 6) The rose that was grafted on to this root died back the first year, and since then, this lovely coral/red rose has bloomed, gorgeously and fragrantly each year.