You feeling this too?

I think the Earth is being reborn. Read Lara/Trace Blog and maybe we will understand better what is happening. Be sure that staying positive in the midst of darkness is OK. As long as we remember to pray, meditate, see the beauty of nature, and go out into it daily to replenish our spirits, we will be OK. Don’t get lazy and forget to exercise. It is a time of trauma on many levels, but we can stay safe at home. Be thankful not to out where the air virus germs can reach you. Do things you love. I am making a bandolier bag by crewel work with wool thread. It is floral and someday hopefully it will be my herb collecting bag. Stay well.

SWEET MORNING

The air felt like an early fall morning. The sky was soft on inhaling the breathable, invisible substance of life. Walking sticks, a large brim hat adorned with dark blue tie-dye scarf, and sandals on my feet, I explored the morning. The Blue Jays called out a warning. Were they telling each other, watch out the crows are coming? And, that was the next sound that filled the sky. Beneath my feet, dew beads glistened on the underside of grass. The silent brown rabbit was still and huddled in the tall field grass being present.

I don’t need anything else to make the morning perfect. A reflection in prayer is sight, sound, and beauty. May you know the joy of nature where you walk in gratitude. Photo copyright Google Images

The Garden is Rich by Chinook Psalter

Pastor Melissa O’Brien posted this wonderful prayer on her Website for The Peru Church at https://www.theperuchurch.org/sunday-gathering

The garden is rich with diversity
With plants of a hundred families
In the space between the trees
With all the colours and fragrances.
Basil, mint and lavender,

Great Mystery keep my remembrance pure,
Raspberry, Apple, Rose,

Great Mystery fill my heart with love,
Dill, anise, tansy,

Holy winds blow in me.
Rhododendron, zinnia,

May my prayer be beautiful
May my remembrance O Great Mystery
be as incense to thee
In the sacred grove of eternity

As I smell and remember
The ancient forests of earth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Our Injustice Eyes are Opening

A poem, a prayer of the heart, is significant because my eyes are open, which is why I speak. I watched the inhumane news about a black man, George Floyd, treated as less than a human. He was suffering as he was dying on the cold pavement, at the hands of police officers. His cries were unheaded. It was at that moment, as he died, that I realized the injustice to Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, and anyone else that I haven’t mentioned. I knew it was going on, but this was the catalyst of change. We are still living the reality of Colonialism. White America is just living along with no thought of suffering humanity.

It is 2020, have we not come any further? There is no excuse now. I hope others like me, white and privileged to live in security, heard the cries spilled on the street. I hope our eyes are open to Americans being prejudice. 

Perhaps the Global Pandemic came to teach us that we need to awaken and change our behavior towards others that are not like us. No one should be beneath us. I could cry with the agony I feel for that poor man who died at the hands of injustice. I couldn’t say it any better. Here is a poem by Maya Angelou. The Poem was posted by Pastor Melissa O’Brien, at The Peru Church, Wednesday Prayer Service at https://www.theperuchurch.org

Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

My wish for you

Is that you continue

Continue

To be who and how you are

To astonish a mean world

With your acts of kindness

Continue

To allow humor to lighten the burden

Of your tender heart

Continue

In a society dark with cruelty

To let the people hear the grandeur

Of God in the peals of your laughter

Continue

To let your eloquence

Elevate the people to heights

They had only imagined

Continue

To remind the people that

Each is as good as the other

And that no one is beneath

Nor above you

Continue

To remember your own young years

And look with favor upon the lost

And the least and the lonely

Continue

To put the mantel of your protection

Around the bodies of

The young and defenseless

Continue

To take the hand of the despised

And diseased and walk proudly with them

In the high street

Some might see you and

Be encouraged to do likewise

Continue

To plant a public kiss of concern

On the cheek of the sick

And the aged and infirm

And count that as a

Natural action to be expected

Continue

To let gratitude be the pillow

Upon which you kneel to

Say your nightly prayer.

The video is graphic and disturbing. The reality of George Floyd losing his life is even more disturbing. Learn more at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/26/us/minneapolis-police-man-died.html

You feeling this too?

I like Lara’s writing and deep thoughts. I think the world needed resetting. Only mother nature can stop the madness we were headed to. Now everything is on hold. I find this new space tranquil. I am doing handiwork again after 50 years. I am planting a Victory Garden of native plants and crops such as potatoes. Setting the seed potatoes out tomorrow. I finally have enough time for me at 75 years of age. Be grateful we are slowed down in our tracks. We were going nowhere anyway, even if it felt like we were on Top of the World in a New York Minute. Now we are one with nature and it is sustainable. Be Grateful that this time was chosen so each of us might know silence and meditation.

Eating on the Wild Side

Recently I saw a recipe for pasta with chickpeas, tomato, and spinach. Instead of spinach, I added dandelion leaves. With a dandelion digger and carrying an aluminum chair to the flowering dandelion field, I dug up roots and leaves. The common bumblebee and European honeybee were at play in the field, gathering nectar, from the first flowers of spring.

At home, the flowers were placed in a container to enjoy for a day before they faded. The roots were separated for drying for winter medicinal tea. The leaves were chopped and fried in garlic olive oil that I made a while back. Talk about good.

The Global Pandemic reminds me to return to my roots in herbalism, environmental education, master gardening, and wild foraging. I love returning to my roots. Thank you, Mother Nature, who provides for us.

Grimm Fairy Tales — Fabulous Realms

Beetle and Butterfly Pollinator Talk at Saratoga Community Garden

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Speaker Mary Ellen Ryall, Environmental Educator
Saratoga Community Garden at Wesley Retirement Community

BEETLES:

Fossil records show that beetles were abundant during the Mesozoic meh·suh·zow·uhk period (about 200 million years before present). Beetles were flower visitors of the earliest angiosperms such as Magnolia and rose. Source: https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/animals/beetles.shtml

Beetle pollinators are attracted to flowers by the bright orange color. The beetles not only pollinate the flowers, but they mate while inside the flowers. A mutant version of the plant with red flowers becomes more common with the passage of time. A particular variant of the beetle prefers the red flowers to the orange flowers. Over time, these two beetle variants diverge from each other to such an extent that interbreeding is no longer possible. What kind of speciation has occurred in this example, and what has driven it? Sympatric speciation, habitat differentiation.

Source: https://www.coursehero.com/file/p52khgvh/Beetle-pollinators-of-a-particular-plant-are-attracted-to-its-flowers-by-their/

Ladybug is the official State Insect of Massachusetts

The ladybug was adopted as the official state insect or insect emblem of Massachusetts in 1974 (thanks to a campaign that began with a second-grade class in the town of Franklin). Because this insect benefits agriculture and delights children everywhere, Ohio, New York, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Delaware also designate the ladybug as an official state symbol.

A ladybug can consume up to 60 aphids per day, and will also eat a variety of other harmful insects and larvae (including scales, mealybugs, leafhoppers, mites, and different types of soft-bodied insects), as well as pollen and nectar.

Also called lady beetle, ladybird, or lady fly, the most common variety of ladybug found in Massachusetts is the two-spotted lady beetle (Adalia bipunctata).

Sources: https://statesymbolsusa.org/symbol-official-item/massachusetts/state-insect/ladybug

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDu1yTb9NdI
Save the New York nine-spotted Ladybug

The nine-spotted Ladybug of New York is also in decline at https://statesymbolsusa.org/symbol-official-item/new-york/state-insect/nine-spotted-ladybug

Puerto Rican Insects are declining.

The date includes pollinators. 2 degrees Celcius has already impacted 60 percent of the insect animal pollinators. If it happens in the tropics, think what is happening here. How many bees and butterflies have you seen of late?

https://news.rpi.edu/content/2018/10/15/two-degrees-decimated-puerto-rico%E2%80%99s-insect-populations

BUTTERFLIES

Some common butterflies that you will find in the New York State area include Cabbage White, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Monarch, and Pearl Cresent and Painted Lady.

Pearl Cresent:

Host plant for Pearl Cresent: Several species of smooth-leaved true asters such as New England Aster. The species overwinters in the third instar caterpillar stage.

This spring, May 2, the Pearl Cresent was here when the lilacs bloomed. The butterflies look for native plants as the host plant, including the New England Aster, to reproduce and to obtain nectar. I didn’t see any asters because it was early. Lilac is not native, but first, which usually happens before native plants are out and flourishing. There are two broods, one in May and the other in August. Source: https://libguides.nybg.org/c.php?g=654973&p=4597781

Cabbage White:

Cabbage white butterfly: Reproduces on Brasilia plants such as cabbage, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts. Yesterday, I saw the Cabbage white butterfly in someone’s garden plot. The butterfly was laying eggs between the leaves of a Brasilia plant. Check the leaves and lightly wash the plant leaves gently with soap and water, and gently hose down afterward.

Painted Lady and the Monarch Butterfly

Summer 2018 – The Saratoga Community Garden was abundant with Painted Lady. The butterfly, along with the Monarch butterfly arrived around the same time. It was migration time toward the end of August.

The Painted lady overwinters in the southern United States. The Monarch journies back home to the Oyamel fir forest in Mexico. Last year both species were drawn to the brightly colored zinnia flowers. The Monarch butterflies flew right to the red zinnia, which they can see.

Monarch Butterfly Update.

The butterfly has seen a significant rise in the winter species surviving the winter. It is estimated that over 100,000 Monarchs are on their way back up north. With the winter habitat down t less than 20 acres, it is remarkable that the Monarch can still turn around their 10 percent survival rate, at least at the moment. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife are watching the numbers to determine if the Monarch is now an endangered species.

Update: Endangered Species List
What’s next
May 24, 2019
Listing decision deadline extended
December 15, 2020
Listing decision is due

Video of meadow for pollinators

Visited a yard meadow created two years ago that is offering life to native plants, pollinators, and birds at https://www.amazon.com/photos/shared/rZQ0WjaJQZqJo7rl2cSUkw.dF5ocdDBtMfGjeXdY9vqU-

Defining Speculative Fiction – DIY MFA

I am starting to tool up for writing a historical nonfiction book on my ancestors.I think this site may be of assistance.

The Neophyte Writer

Knowing your genre is key for getting your book into reader’s hands. Melanie Marttila breaks down speculative fiction definitions!

Source: Defining Speculative Fiction – DIY MFA

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