Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Stroll - Storm Watch

Looking up, we saw the clouds gather,
as we followed the mossy trail,
down into the cedar swamp.

Geum rivale (water avens)

There we made new discoveries,

and looked at old favorites
from a new perspective.


Wild Grape

The air felt electric
as insistent thunder
murmured of the storm's approach. 

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you new discoveries.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday Snapshot - Morning Peace

Lying on my belly at the edge of the swamp,

I see a small spotted friend.
I hear birds chirping merrily,
and over my shoulder,
the low deep tones of a bullfrog.
Nearby, another frog dives into the water,
with a percussive splash.

I smell the faint musk of the swamp,
and the green, fresh scent of the forest all around.

I taste the morning, and it is a full sensory experience.

In this place,
low and slow,
face to face with nature,
I feel the deep peace of early morning.

Where ever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you peace.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Apple Blossom Rain

It has been a cool, slow spring, yet it is nearly time to turn the page of calendar again.  Tiny white berries are forming on the strawberries, one of the summer's early crops.  Each day brings the discovery of another variety of wildflower blooming,  Meanwhile, the petals are falling from the wild apple trees in the forest.  As I walked in the woods today, the petals fell down around me, smelling of wild roses and spring rain.

Wild Euphorbia (?)

Corallorhiza striata (Striped Coral Root)
As the wild grasses set seed, we strive to get the seeds and seedlings in the ground for this year's garden.  We are busy dodging rain storms and are encumbered by heavy sweatshirts and winter caps, instead of the wide brimmed straw hats we usually (forget to) wear at this time of year.

Everything seems to strive to grow and multiply in the Spring.  This old apple tree has set new stems in growth all along its gnarled and leaning trunk.  Moss and lichen compete with the tender apple leaves, in a little garden springing from rough bark instead of soft earth.  There is so much growing in every square foot of the woods.  I can't even begin to catalog all the species of moss, lichen, grasses, and the like, but every year, I try to learn more.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you joy.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - Meet the Locals

Leopard Frog

Dusky Slug


Tetranychus urticae (Red Spider Mite)

Six Spotted Tiger Beetle

Wild Wolf Boy (Our Siberian Husky, Micah)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Stroll - Seymour & Audrey Visit Micah

 "Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen."
– Orhan Pamuk

"Thanks for sharing your water.  What's next?"

"Thanks for sharing your bone.  What's next?"

" A hill?!  Yyyyeeeeesssssssss!"

"Can we get in the water?  Can we? Can we?"

"Thanks for spending the day with me!  I can see you feel as tired and happy as I do!"

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you good company.

Speaking of good company, 
you may enjoy a visit with Steve Out on the Prairie to see roses blooming.

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Little Quote and A Little Note

Viola Pubescens (Downy Yellow Violet)

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

These have been busy days, these days of middle Spring.  We have begun to plant the garden, beginning with crops that can withstand a bit of cold.  Onions are in and set potatoes have been tucked into the soil with the assistance of an old fashioned potato planter, borrowed from a friend. Some herb seeds have been sprinkled on the soil, and a few other herbs transplanted.  Our new tea garden is taking shape!  
Cardamine diphylla (Crinkleroot)

I have had one or two speaking engagements a week since the first week of May and have loved the interaction with other gardeners, or those who are exploring the idea of becoming gardeners!  After speaking at a lovely local library this afternoon, I came home and tromped through the woods with Micah, returning to the house just in time to connect with a beekeeping friend who came to give us advice on our, now sadly empty, hives.  We need those pollinators!


Wild flowers are springing up in the woods and the dandelions are flourishing.  We have been eating asparagus and herbs from the garden and are looking forward to the abundance of fresh produce that the months ahead will bring.  These activities - the walks, the ephemeral wild blossoms, the asparagus - all say "Spring" to me with such beautiful clarity.  What does your ideal version of Spring look like?

Antennaria Plantaginifolia (Plantain Leaved Pussytoes)

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you joy.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Sunday Stroll - Mother's Day

"Mother Nature has the power to please,
to comfort, to calm,
and to nurture one's soul."

~ Anthony Douglas Williams

On Sunday afternoon, 
my Mother's Day Gang and I headed out
 to the Shale Bluffs on a nearby beach 
for  a long walk and some beach combing.

Aquilegia canadensis
We found the elegant leaves of wild columbine pushing up through the shale.

Arabidopsis lyrata

Nearby, tiny rockcress flowers hovered above the sand in soft white clouds.

The creek emptied into Lake Michigan quietly,

as the sun warmed our happy faces.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you happiness.

If you have a minute, please go look at the beautiful kites on 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - Ground Level

Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Wild Violet (Viola odorata) 

Dandelion and honeybee (Taraxacum officinales & Apis mellifera)

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Sunday Stroll - Prayer Flags

Nature will bear the closest inspection. 
She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, 
and take an insect view of its plain. 
Henry David Thoreau

A few leaves of silver-green
appear in the tangled branches of ancient apple trees,
near a clearing in the heart of the woods.
As we walk by,
the leaves and I are shivering in the morning air.
I pull my hands up into the sleeves of my bulky sweater, 
but my canine companion is comfortable in his fur coat.

It appears that the sand-cherry trees have burst into flame,
Their bitter fruit are only pleasing to birds,
but their prayer-flag leaves are a celebration.

Beneath a tall maple,
I stand and listen to the wind.
I am still,
but the green maple flowers are dancing.

Red twigged dogwood stems

echo the scarlet tones of these showy leaves.
The delicate blossoms blush as they are held up to the light.

Some trees hide their lemon-lime bouquets of foliage in the shade,

while others stretch their branches out like an offering to the meadow.

In the wetlands, the perfect blue of the sky,
is reflected by the shallow water.
Micah likes to wade in, 
dragging his belly in the fragrant muck,
but I prefer to stand at the edge
and listen to the chattering of the birds
and the fluttering of the leaves.

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I wish you serenity.

Steve strolled too!  Check out the Sunny Delights at Out on the Prairie.

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