The Moon Came To say Goodnight

I work up at 6:30 am. It felt like the full moon had come to say goodnight. She was  full in the early morning sky appearing in a bright ball of yellow. I got up, lit a candle, and ceremoniously started to practice Tai chi. I wanted to honor her. Doing push pull, I gently bid her goodnight as she slipped behind the hills of Fitchburg.

full moon

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.

Transformation

Greetings Insectamonarca friends,

Today, Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This evening at sunset, the sun was filtering through the forest and the fragrance of woods, herbs, and flowers including scented geraniums was impregnating the air. I stood in a grassy area before the gardens by the pool and started to practice Justine Stone’s Tai chi form as I opened up to communicating with sounds of forest and happy buzzing insects. At nights I have been sleeping on the back screened patio. I love falling asleep to sounds of wind, rain and insects blessing me. A few days ago China the cat was attached by a feral  cat. She had gotten outside and has a shoulder injury. It is amazing but she and I are recuperating together. I have learned to slow down and do mindful walking to re-center my blood pressure. China is limping around on three legs. She teaches me about importance of rest. We have become fast friends.

My sister, Ann Veronica Ryall-Hohos, nickname Ronnie, has been creating a botanical paradise on 40 acres of protected watershed area in rural MA hills, near Fitchburg,  MA, during her lifetime. The old homestead dates from 1820s. The house is Colonial with shaker cedar and a hoop roof.  I had no idea of how extensive her plant knowledge ancestral connections would take her in creating a magnificent natural biodiversity environment. While Ronnie was busy co-creating her natural heaven at home, I was out in the world with my side of the shared plant knowledge DNA sharing my life’s work with the world, documenting field guides for butterflies and other pollinators and prairie restoration and other pollinators. I have come full circle and I am once again home after a life time  of travel and environmental education commitment. Two of my books are published My Name is Butterfly and Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book. The children’s environmental education books are available on Amazon.

I don’t have the life expectancy to complete in-depth documentation of my sister’s tremendous contribution to wild landscaping. I will do regular meditation and medicinal walks among the plants and record observations of native plants, vegetable gardens, berry and grape, herbal medicinal and culinary discoveries here. At the same time, I will record new insect pollinators including the monarch butterfly and bird discoveries. I always love a natural world mystery and I wasn’t disappointed today. This morning, I walked down the hilly driveway to build my leg muscles. I am recovering from a degenerative health breakdown of my immune system. It is complicated. On the positive side I can handle what is coming my way knowing  that I am not on dialysis or suffering with cancer at this time in my life. Anything other than these two categories I am grateful to say that Grace is guiding me in acceptance of impending health issues and end of life quality of life issues and independence.

There is enough time to share about the hoary vervain, fireweed,wild and domestic grapes, common mullein, four -leaf clover, heal all, and wild bergamot, lambs quarter, false indigo and possibly Culver’s root that I witnessed this morning. I saw a new species of moth. Two pink tinged moths with vanella body and white fringe around outside back wings. They were sleeping in an evening primrose flower.  Of course I need to verify the species. I don’t have my WI field guides with me and will fill in details that I find through the Internet and hopefully a visit to the library, as time permits.

UPDATE: The small and delicate pink moth is a primrose moth (Schinia florida). This was a new moth species discovery for me. I am thrilled. How appropriate. There they were sleeping in a evening primrose flower, so sweet.

I also witnessed two new small bird species, one with a yellow head the other with a yellow breast. No, they are not American finches (wild canary). Again, I am thrilled to already doing my field work here and discovering new species of plant, bird or insect. I am sure there will be wonderous surprises along the way.  I also gathered Lambs quarter and a broccoli leaf and added the greens to an organic garden fresh tomato sandwich for lunch.  Want to lower your cholesterol? Instead of using egg rich mayonnaise, try adding a spoonful of room temperature Chobani Greek yogurt. This yogurt has natural probiotics and a mix of live cultures that keep the good flora working in the digestive system. It is absolutely critical to add living culture yogurt to the diet if one is on antibiotics and other medications. I arrived in MA with a Lyme’s disease. I was bite in WI but it didn’t register because I didn’t have the classic symptoms of aching joints. Having fibromyalgia can at times camoflage symptoms. I am on antibiotics for 21 days.

I gathered wild bergamot and common mullein which are respiratory herbs. I drink a tea of these herbs for COPD. I added heal all, a general tonic and four-leaf clover which is rich in vitamin B. This was my morning medicinal tea. This evening I am making a medicinal tea of cedar leaf, a healing herb for body, mind and spirit, centering and balance. This is a well known herb used by Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa plant people of the Great Lakes region of WI. I am adding a few leaves of energizing peppermint to this mix. I found out that I need catnip a sedative or chamomoile for evenings, not an energizer, otherwise I can’t fall asleep. Since this writing, I have found Solomon’s seal which I have been looking for in WI. I am so thankful that the plants are here to greet me. It feels like old friends are welcoming me home. Early morning between 4 am and 7 am, the barred owl comes calling. I do not hear a return salutation so perhaps the owl is alone  at this time.

Be well Insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

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