A Walk on the Wild Side

China my pal

China my pal

It is a balmy May day today. I took the bus out to Winter Hill Farm, Ashby West Road, Fitchburg. No one was home. Good plan. I had the farm to myself for a few hours. Let China, 11 year old cat out. She loves it when I come and wants to pal around with me.  A mourning cloak butterfly flew into lilac and a yellow tiger swallowtail was seen flitting about on flowers in the front yard. It is only May and the swallowtails are here. This is early.



Picked up my bamboo poles, a pail with fresh composted earth and aged manure, a trowel and my seeds. And out to the Wild Butterfly Habitat I went.  Removed some blackberry bramble and cleared a small area. Put plastic down, I hated to, but I didn’t have any newspaper. Instead I put my composed  soil on top and firmly planted seeds. My hope is that the seeds will germinate and I will be able to transplant them to a better soil preparation that I will undertake over the next few weeks.

I came back to the barn and pulled up a lawn chair to sit on and ate my bagel with cream cheese and chives and drank from a bottle of water. A short while later my brother in law came out of the house. He had arrived home from work when I was up in the woods.

Jack offered me a ride on the ATV and I hitched a ride back up to the woods. This time I was headed to Frog Pond. He left me where the trail forked because there are too many rocks and boulders to cross over. Then I headed out by foot and found the trail that leads to the pond.


Lobilia cardinalis

Lobilia cardinalis

There with memories of the past in Lusby, So. MD, and my friend Audrey Scharmen, a writer and plant friend, I planted beloved Lobilia cardinalis. The cardinal plant likes to have her feet wet and head in the sun. I planted her in the peat moss and decayed leaf compost. I hope they make it. I have waited so long  to have another encounter with one of my favorite plants that still clings to my memories of beautiful things in my life.


  1. Akasa WolfSong said,

    May 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Morning Blessings Dearest Grandmother Mary Ellen! 🙂
    I wish I could have walked along side of you carrying your poles or your bucket and then getting down to the work of planting. As it is, I will live vicariously with you. 🙂 It sounds like you had a very productive day. Your lobelia is one of my favorites too…all of that fire element shows your passion for the plant sisters and brothers. And…LadySlippers oh my! My heart fairly swoons…who could not love this beauty?
    I’ve not seen anything but cabbage butterflies so far around here…and no takers on the Hummer feeder yet either but I hold out hope that one or two will find me in my new abode. I just count my blessings for all the winged-ones coming and two days ago a rather large chipmunk who came for a visit…of course I had to throw out some bread chunks for him and now he has been making his afternoon visits. I need to get to the store for some cracked corn for the creatures.
    Your yellow tiger swallowtail must have a cousin in these parts, but I’ve not seen one yet this year…and I will have to look up the mourning cloaked butterfly…not sure if I know the species or not? It is lovely to learn and grow no matter my age.
    Have a gorgeous day Grandmother and thank you for sharing with us!
    Mitakuye Oyasin,

  2. January 14, 2018 at 2:18 am

    I know it is a few years since I have seen your writing Akasa WolfSong. I am living at Wesley Retirement Community in Saratoga Springs, NY. I have chronic illness and the community I live in is all inclusive with assisted living, nursing home, and day services, and even my doctors are here. i am grateful and enjoying a life of writing, still scattering seeds for a pollinator habitat, on 36 acres which surrounds the campus with woods, wetlands, open areas and more gardens than I can count. I hope you are doing well. Let me know how you are and what you are up to.

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