Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Sprouts

My mind has been occupied lately with bad/sad things happening in the
world. Overseeing bits of the news, all the drama, all the pain. Locally
a young mother has been abducted. I so wish I could help these people.
I wish every child, every body in this whole world could be loved and
be safe. This world is hard to take sometimes don't you think? This is
why this passage from Jiddu Krishnamurti spoke to my heart today.

"An old dream is dead and a new one is being born, as a flower that pushes through the solid earth. A new vision is coming into being and a greater consciousness is being unfolded .... A new strength, born of suffering, is pulsating in the veins and a new sympathy and understanding is being born of past suffering – a greater desire to see others suffer less, and, if they must suffer, to see that they bear it nobly and come out of it without too many scars. I have wept, but I do not want others to weep; but if they do, I know what it means."

To us humans all change is hard. I wish we could be like the plants and take it all in stride. It seems really cold right now. It teased us with spring for a day or two then it took it all away! brrrrr.... doesn't help the wood pile ran out, winter was not suppose to be so long! Wood needs to dry out for a season before it burns well. Cutting down a tree now wouldn't do us any good. So keeping a fire is hard with wet, green or scrap wood. Yet, it feels good in a way to scour the yard for what we can find, cleaning up a bit! Even burning old bee boxes.

The daffadils are blooming but they look huddled as if they are trying to bend in out of the cold. I feel like we are in the witching hour and I will be glad when we have a new moon.

I am suppose to be making raspberry tarts for Abby's wedding shower. So, I will go and warm up the kitchen with the cookstove and if there is a chance of light coming in it will be there where the window faces south. I picked a bouquet of forsythia and daffadils and the crackles are having their convention in our silver maple tree. I pray for all of us, Pray for me. Love, Love

Lea broke in the new apron Celeste made her. She made the most beautiful apple pies. But then she has won first place at the county fair for two years in a row. Lucky us. Yum!....

She is on her cell phone in the picture. LOL

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It Really IS Spring!

The honeybees are very busy on the snowdrops and here come the daffodils. Coltsfoot can be found in every, little wet ditch lifting itself up on stems which look to me like delicate fawn legs. It is really, truly spring!

We went back down to Lake Romona on Clear Creek and this time it was the peepers and the wood frogs that got our attention. Boy were they loud! Jim was the first to notice the first butterfly of spring, the Mourning Cloak, on some mountian laurel. This amazing, fuzzy looking butterfly flutters to life sometimes before spring is officially here. It can do this because it over wintered as a hibernating adult.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Wonders of Nature


"Every day, you have to wade through
a relentless surge of soul-less facts.
The experience tends to shut down your sense of wonder.
Every day, you're over-exposed to narratives that have
been sucked free of delight and mystery.
That's why you have to make such strenuous
efforts to keep your world enchanted."

Rob Brezsny

I Love Rob Brezsny and I could not agree more. I crave to be enchanted.
I want to wonder, nature brings me these.

Rob's website

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Search for Skunk Cabbage

We took off and went down to Clear Creek, up the hill to the pond park to hike down to the lake that has a long inlet area where we hoped to find Skunk Cabbage in the shallows.

Prettier names for this unusual plant are Meadow Cabbage, Suntull and Swamp Cabbage. I think the name Swamp Cabbage suits it best as that is the enviroment this native plant grows in.

It was good to see green. Ever since the snow has left
the earth the fields and
lawn that I cast my eyes on everyday have remained a tan/yellow
color and I
have been yearning for the sight of green. The horsetail( rushes)
all along Clear Creek seemed blue-green.

The moss in the forest was deep emerald-green.

The Eastern Hemlocks were my favorite green and even the lake appeared a dark,
solemn, waiting green as we descended the hill towards it.

Jim commented that it was like the lake had never
really gone to sleep all winter. A pair of White-Breasted Nuthatch sang and
chattered as they flitted here and there from the tops of the tulip poplar

Rising from the water, the first wildflower to bloom
in Ohio, the insignificant Skunk Cabbage, seems pre-historic. This plant is not
pretty like a bluebell or a spring beauty, this plant is.... well... this plant
is different. This flowering capsule can produce its own heat. This is the
plant's secret to blooming first. I have read this wonder of swampy areas can
generate temperatures up to 30 degrees over the surrounding air temperature and
it does this while growing in cold water, often while surrounded by snow and

 A plant that is like an animal, a
mammal, in that it can generate heat,
how unusual is that? As I look at it I half
expect it to lift its hood and start shuffling about,
muttering. A colony of
Swamp Cabbage looks all the world to me like a gathering of
miniature, hooded monks huddled together, their heads down, meditating and mediating.

Yet, the longer I sit and let the lapping sound of the lake as it moves and
quivers wash over me and the longer I let the sweet sunshine and the cool
hemlock cleaned air soak into my face and the longer I sit there and absorb
Skunk Cabbage the more I would not be surprised if this specimen is not a plant
at all. Instead I have come to feel it is the source of much, past lore and
folktales of tiny gnomes and sprites that live and wander about in the woods
and hidden places. I am quite sure when I leave a congregation of Skunk Cabbage
I hear them whispering together and drooping from their frozen postures that
they adhered to while I was in their midst. When we people turn our backs they
go about their duties being Gnomes and keeping the wild ways prospering.

If you want to learn more about Swamp Cabbage Craig Holdrege has beautiful drawings and insights into the plant here,

Everyone is ready for spring, and daffodils. It is that time of year again. The skunks are on their mating journeys, the horse is losing her winter coat and the honeybees are adventuring from the hives to gather on the early spring blooms of the Maple, the Pussy Willow, the Alder, the Skunk Cabbage and the Honey Locust, to name just a few.