Today I plan to go out to the Sundial Community Garden and start planting the cool crop seedlings. My sister is dropping off some white rosa rugosa. I am planting thorny plants on the outside of fence to deter the public, including children, from climbing over the fence.Image

It is my hope that we can encourage a youth garden where we can teach children how to grow their own vegetables that they would be proud to bring home to their mothers.


Flute of the forest comes calling

Recently, there was a very shy bird that came calling one morning when I was doing a meditation walk down the hilly driveway. Standing in a level spot and practicing Tia chi , I heard the bird’s thrilling voice. Besides the loon and robin, this bird is my absolute favorite, even though I had never seen my winged friend. Later in the day, my sister Ronnie and I drove to various farms and private home settings, near her estate Winter Hill Farm, Fitchburg, MA. We went  food shopping.  It was surprising to learn that many country folks are raising free range chickens, either on their private property or  small farms. What a great way to go shopping, two sisters driving down dirt and country roads in search of sustenance.

One such farm had a stand. Near the stand were two darling and different species of rabbits in a hutch. I fell in love. Recyclable rabbit poo for organic gardening, a gardener’s delight. We continued our wandering and traveled to Winchendron ,to visit another farmers stand. The little outdoor three walled shelter had the most beautiful display of fresh garden flowers, vegetables, and fruit. I called Livvy Tarleton, owner, the next day and asked about the basil I bought. No, Sunset View Farm does not use any pesticides. I wish you could have seen the beautiful sunny gardens in the background. The neighbors are on vacation. My sister has permission to pick from their garden while the family are away. Ronnie mentioned that Phil has basil; I may be able to make more pesto next week. I can hardly wait; I could live on it. Mornings I take a medicinal walk through the gardens in front of the house.

The 1820’s colonial house has an original stone walkway and door wide aged brick stoop with steps. The front gardens have extensive phlox, lobelia, fragrant lily, wild bergamot and other plants growing along the pathway. A hummingbird came to visit the bergomot; two small rust colored spynx moths nectared on colorful phlox. That evening, while looking out the side porch windows,  I noticed the moon, nearly full. I just had to walk outside and be with her. It was a perfect still night and I bathed in the moonlight. This opportunity only comes a few times in the year and this was one of these special nights.

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

Orchid Mystique – Nature’s Triumph

Orange orchid
Orange orchid

I was in Washington, DC, the first week in April 2012. One of my favorite flowers is the orchid. Orchids were on exhibit. I felt privileged to be drowned in the beauty and fragrance of orchids. All time slipped away. I even forgot my companion who was with me and had to page her. I just sort of wandered off.

The annual orchid exhibit, in collaboration with Smithsonian Gardens, features orchids from around the globe.

A visit to tranquility
A visit to tranquility

Some of the orchid gardens exhibit the tranquil setting evocative of Japanese gardens.

Near the refection pool, I felt overwhelmed by the beauty that surrounded me. Inticing fragrances wafted the air and drew me in.

Then a walk in the Japanese garden was a moment of introspection. How could I have moved from a few blocks away from my favorite United States Botanical Garden to far away Calvert County, MD in December 1994? It was a time when my husband’s federal career moved to the suburbs and it was no longer feasible to live in the city.

How I missed seeing and swelling the intoxicating blossoms.  There was a time when I saw orchids in the wild, when I lived in South America in the 1970s.

I used to see this orchid on trees in Venezuela and Colombia when I lived there in the 1970s.
I used to see this orchid on trees in Venezuela and Colombia when I lived there in the 1970s.

Princess Diana is remembered with orchids. There is an orchid named for her.

Princess Diana Red Baron Orchid
Princess Diana Red Baron Orchid

This orchid is called Red Baron for the princess who gave her heart to humanity.

Time is so fleeting. Tears well up as I remember how blessed I was to live the life I dreamed. Since I was a child, I wanted to go to South America. As a young woman I did. I found work abroad so that I could live there.

Like this orchid, I am fading too. I turn 67 years old on April 30.  Going back to DC reminded me that I really did  live the life I wanted to experience. Nothing lasts forever, my grandmother always told me. Why our spirits feel so young in an aging body is beyond my understanding.  I am grateful for everything. Even the bad times taught me something valuable. I am writing more in this later years because I know this is a way of staying connected.

Be well insectamonarca friends where ever you are.