Dragonfly forest and other stories

Sympetrum olcinum dragonfly
Sympetrum olcinum dragonfly

Amelia, my niece was overhead saying to her brother and sister as they looked out the front door facing the expansive gardens and lawn, “It’s a dragonfly forest.” There were hundreds of dragonflies dive bombing mosquitoes and it did look like a dragonfly habitat.  We often see them by the masses at sunset around the pool area when we have our dinner out at the picnic table. Honestly, there are no mosquitoes because of the dragonfly patrol. No need to spray here. I did get a photo of the red or rust yellow-legged meadowhawk (Sympetrum olcinum). We saw a twelve-spotted skimmer (Libfellua pulchella). The skimmer has a white abdomen and several spaces on the wings that are clear, with darker accented markings. It is rather large and noticeable.

Looking in a field guide for vernal ponds, I learned that the eastern box turtle is of special concern in Massachusetts. I feel fortunate to have a shell that my dog Tia and I discovered near the pond that was on the back side of our property in Lusby, MD. In December 2000, I carried the shell with me when I moved to Wisconsin. Once I was there, I learned that the turtle was a significant part of Ojibwa culture in the Great Lakes region. There is no such thing as coincidence, seeing as I had moved to Indian Country and would be studying with the Ojibwa at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (LCOOCC). I graduated from LCOOCC in 2003. You can read about my journey to the Midwest online at http://www.tribalcollegejournal.org/archives/8298

I was granted a Creative Writing Award from Tribal College Journal where the article was published along with other tribal college authors. I am thrilled that the prestigious Journal published the  issue online for prosperity.

Amelia, my grand niece
Amelia, my grand niece

Continuing our woodland walk, Amelia and I saw many frogs. I saw a wood frog  that wears a black mask across its eyes and has a yellow line that distinguishes this particular frog species. Frogs were not all we saw. There was cucumber root . My sister Ronnie told me what it was. Here is a photo of the plant. The upper set of leaves were growing through the beautiful ferns that exist within the woodlands.

Cucumber root
Cucumber root

The plant is unique because it as two separate sets of leave with berries within the top array of leaves that form a circle around the plant stalk. Ronnie also pointed out running cedar that grows near the far boundary of the property near the frog pond. . I have to jog my memory re: medicinal plants and look up both running cedar and princess pine. Something is nagging me about one of them being a medicinal plant.

On the walk down Ashby West Road yesterday, I came across lady slipper leaves visibly growing near one of my favorite grandfather boulders. I was really taken aback. There are at least eight sets of visible plants growing along the side of the road. I drove down the hill yesterday and Ronnie was able to be my eyes as we passed the large glacier boulder. Ronnie, being a plant expert herself, was able to spot the lady slippers. I love them because they are part of the orchid family and hardy enough to grow in our northern climate.

ladyslipper

Water Ceremony September 27 in Minong, WI

Purple milkweed and Pond, Minong, WI
Purple milkweed and Pond, Minong, WI

Water Ceremony, September 27, 2011, 6 p.m.

 Weather permitting we will hold Water Ceremony outside in the Sand Dunes.
Afterwards we will dance in circle
around a rescued pine tree on the property at Hospitality House.

Before dancing, Jackie / Godarvi will teach us a simple chant that we will sing and dance to. Jackie says, “I’d like to read what qualities the names of God we’ll be chanting refer to and just give a brief statement or 2 about Siddha Yoga chanting.”  Description: “I would be happy to introduce you to a form of chanting that can induce the experience of the divinity within each of us, the source of universal Oneness. In the tradition I follow, Siddha Yoga (which originated in India), chanting is
a key spiritual practice. It can purify our surroundings, fill us with love and joy, free us from worry, bring us supreme contentment, and let us experience the divinity that lies inside. We chant different names for God, each evoking certain qualities of the one God.”

Community meal follows.

Please RSVP 715 466-5349. Thank you. Miigwetch!

Let’s share books that promote women’s advocacy to action.  Like a Tree by Jean Shinoda Bolen. How trees, women, and tree people can save the planet.

Animal totem: Turtle faces west September.

Beautiful intention:  Danka Brewer, Mother Earth Water Walkers,
“Maja awi mino niiban, sweet dreams May the Creator keep you safely in his loving arms and grant that we might rise and greet the dawning of a new day and each other spirits tomorrow. May The Dawning of a New Day bring you to a better place to start from and a bright path to travel tomorrow.”

August Deer Medicine: “When deer show up in your life it is time to be gentle with yourself and others. A new innocence and freshness is about to be awakened or born. There is going to be a gentle, enticing lure of new adventures. Ask yourself important questions.  Are you trying to force things? Are others? Are you being too critical and uncaring of yourself? When deer show up there is an opportunity to express gentle love that will open new doors to adventure for you.