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
Today I ventured a little farther down the road that goes by my sister’s old farmstead. It is a steep hill; each day I venture a little more down the road. This way I am able to test my breathing and build endurance in hill climbing to return home. The forest was loudly making her presence known today. Acorns were dropping on the forest floor. How mighty the old oak trees are with maple tree companions.
I am always amazed to observe plants along the way. There is lots of poison ivy growing in the ditch area and I saw darling jewel weed growing near the ivy. The sweet flower is the antidote to poison ivy. You rub it on infected areas and it clears up itchy skin patches. How do remedy plants know where to grow where poisonous plants exist? Do plants communicate? I believe they do. Plants release chemicals and essential oils. Trees are known to communicate when they are about to be attacked by predator bugs. They release chemicals that warn a companion tree colony that danger is headed their way. I suspect that all plant colonies have this chemical defense mechanism. How good of the jewel weed to come and grow near the poison ivy.
A few days ago I received a call from Mike Carpenter, caretaker, Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, WI. We had planted a three sisters garden at the habitat. It was growing profusely when I left WI on July 11. Well, it was growing so well that deer thought we had planted it just for them. Mike mentioned that the deer were coming in a night, making beds and sleeping at the habitat. They didn’t have to go far to forage. Deer have helped themselves to all the squash and baby pumpkins. Hungry critters have also eaten all the beans except a handful.
I think Mike made the gardens extra inviting by feeding the plants with fish juice all summer. He’s a fisherman and doesn’t throw anything out. I never saw our vegetable garden looking so good. Mike said he wants to put up a night hunter’s motion camera so we can see who lives in the habitat at night.
Yesterday afternoon I took the mail out to the Aldo Leopold bench which is under a maple tree and near a trail in the woods. This is my own secret garden now. I was content to sit there and read the mail.
Looking up I could see Joe Pye weed, one of my favorites. I love the story that goes something like this. Long ago a group of people who came over the big water from Europe became ill. A Native American came to their rescue and gave them a tea to drink. The pilgrims got better. One of the sick asked him, what is the name of that plant? The Native American said, “Joe Pye Weed.” You see that was his name. I can just imagine Joe Pye walking away after saying this.
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.