Moonglow

It is getting cooler in New England. Last night I choose to sleep on a couch in the living room instead of the open air  screened in porch. During the time of dreams, I awoke to the moon caressing me in light. I was thrilled to be loved by the moon. She was illuminating the front property and her healing light came right through the front windows. It reminded me of a story by Ray Bradbury. There was a girl who lived in a city, a place like Brooklyn. She was very ill. On a full moon night she somehow got her bed out to the street, where she could sleep with the healing light of the moon. I have always loved this story. When young I was always drawn to sleeping outside on full moon night when the sky was clear. Moonglow has always attracted me. When I sleep in moonlight, I always feel restored and I can sense happiness and well-being.

Day Journeys:

Jack and Ronnie placed an Aldo Leopold bench under a large maple tree out in the abandoned botanical gardens. It is near a trail through the woods. From here I can rest, meditate, and observe nature all around me. I see Joe Pye weed and other favorite native plants and trees. The gardens are going back to the wild. I can reclaim  some of these beds in time to introduce a butterfly garden, especially for the monarch butterfly. The changing flourishing beds provide landscape beauty where once botanical gardens abounded.

We took a ride to New Hampshire. Pinch me, it is only 9 miles away. At one time, my husband and I lived in Manchester, for a short stint. It is even more rural that central MA where my sister lives. There are state parks and hidden places everywhere to discover. I can hardly wait to make day trips. I love it because there are large mountains; I will be living once again near mountains and hilly areas.  I was raised in the foothills of the Adirondack mountains of Upper New York State. I can hardly wait to get to know the pristine rivers,  ponds, abundant lakes and water reservoirs once again in MA and NH. We stopped at the Cathedral of the Pines. It is a magnificent memorial that was founded by Dr. Douglas and Sibyl Sloane. Their son Sanderson Sloane and wife Margaret were to build a home there after World War II, but Sandy Sloane was killed when the B-17 bomber he was flying was shot down over Koblenz, Germany, in 1944. The memorial backdrop is a stunning view of Mount Monadnock. This mountain has  been climbed by more people than any other mountain in the world. The Cathedral was founded as an interfaith organization that is open and welcoming to all.

Later in the day, I took a stroll into the back woods, 40 acres, at my sister’s. There  are trails that lead into a pristine forest. A few years ago, central Massachusetts was struck by a blow down storm. It did extensive damage to the forest. Jack and Ronnie are slowly making a dent in cleaning up the trails. Along the weathered trodden way, I became reacquainted with a pine grove that I experienced in my youth. I used to sit within the younger white pine grove then and tune into the sounds of trees as they spoke to one another. The Pine needle soft ground was inviting; at times my friends would join me here in quiet reflection. I am not sure if they  sensed  the natural world around them. I hoped that they did. This is the world I knew, loved, and  lived in.

While out there this season, I discovered princess pine growing along the pathway and nearby woods. Another word for this special plant is running cedar.

UPDATE: My sister Ronnie told me today that running cedar or ground cedar is a different plant species that princess pine.

There is lots of hemlock trees and partridge-berry carpets the forest floor as a ground cover. The forest is shaded and high in moisture. I am looking for a boulder that is shaped like a table top. I hope to find one already placed at an elevated level; I want to use it as an alter for my rocks and special things. Sometimes I have noticed them on top of the stone fence that runs throughout the forest. They were placed there by property owners long, long ago. Then there are deposited glacier boulders throughout the forest. Some of these are so large that no human could move them. It is thrilling to discover them as I learn the forest once again.

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

After the thunder

Over  the last few days I have witnessed the moon go from full moon glow to cloud cover to thunder storms with crashing thunder overhead. One night in particular I saw my father’s hydrangea lit up where Ronnie has a grotto to our Blessed Mother. It was pure white blossoms that pulsated in light.  Jack Hohos, brother-in-law, loves hummingbirds. I heard him ask Ronnie, my sister, if she had seen any hummers? It was then I started to pay attention and witnessing when I did see hummers. Then I told Jack where I saw the bird and what plant, shrub, or tree it was around.

I have been hearing little tree frogs. There was even a frog species that I didn’t recognize by voice. I have entered a more Zen way of Being. I love starting the morning off with ceremony. I find this slower pace restorative and contemplative. Recently while walking down a trail by the barn, I spotted a flat boulder on top of a stone wall fence. I was reminded that a similar setting could be found that I could claim as an outside alter for my rocks that I will now move from WI. Before this discovery, I wondered what I would do with beloved rocks from Great Lakes glacial bedrock, near Duluth, MN; sacred small rocks from Bear Butte near Lakota tribe; Pipestone from a sacred Ojibwa site on Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation, Great Lakes tribe in Hayward, WI. Jerry Smith, traditional medicine man, graciously permitted me to go along on a day bus trip with tribal youth group. Jerry teaches many about sacred Ojibwa culture. Again while on the trail coming back up the hill, I noticed what I believe to be Turkey tail mushrooms growing on a tree on front property. They did have a white bottom. I will need to look more closely to properly ID this mushroom species. Reason I am looking for it is that it is a cancer treatment. Learn about Paul Stamets, mycologist, Fungi Perfecta at http://www.fungi.com/ We were both speakers at Tesuque Pueblo in few years ago. You can learn more about the pueblo people at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesuque,_New_Mexico

I am amazed by the delicious taste of garden fresh fruits and vegetables, in forested central MA, near Fitchburg. As close as I can presently research, a theory is starting to evolve. I am not a scientist; rather I am a citizen scientist and researcher in my own chosen field, which is monarch butterfly and food safety issues. Central MA has a heavy canopy of luscious extended forest, with  giant glacial boulders that have lots of lichen on them. The lichen helps  desolve minerals in boulders, which then slowly leach into the earth; add compost of decaying tree leaves, and you have very rich nutritional soil. I am almost finished reading Patrick Moore’s forestry book Green Spirit Trees are the Answer. Moore’s book is outstanding. I am understanding forestry better because of his expertise and ability to write to the average citizen. Sandy soil in northwest WI, Washburn County, does not have the ability to offer much flavor simply because sandy soil does not hold water or nutrients. Of course, I compost and have added aged manure through the years, but still there is a definite difference between the taste of garden fresh vegetables and fruits. Massachusetts wins hand over in flavor.

Another passion I have is to publish monarch butterfly books. Visit http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Mary+Ellen+Ryall to see published books. Sure wish I knew how to make the link active. If someone out there knows how, please send comment. Thanks!

Another difference between MA and my beloved independent WI life is Massachusetts has banned smoking. I wish I could say the same for WI. There,  I am exposed to second hand smoke. A bar is next to the Visitors Center on Main Street in Shell Lake. Bars have built three walled shelters to their buildings. Smokers can bring their drinks out there and smoke their brains out. Unfortunately I have COPD and I smoked once. I know it is hard to give up, this addiction is harder to break than heroin. At Winter Hill Farm, where my sister created a botanical paradise, the air is fragrant from herbs, woods and flowers. I haven’t smelled such sweet air since the 1980s, when I lived on East Coast and could travel to MA or Upper New York State.

The continuing saga of journeying in the natural world.

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

%d bloggers like this: