Monthly Archives: May 2013

Considering the lily in the field

IMG_0734   In my garden this must surely be the lily of the field — fleur de lis — Iris.

I love all the variety of my garden and wild-land but there is something about the tall bearded iris, so elegant and stately and truly arrayed in great beauty. Lavenders, blues and a sweet yellow bloom here. The day I open the curtains and see their amazing blooms open is a wonder-day.   IMG_0747 I really try to consider all that lives around me, even the color and variety of leaves and bird song and sometimes I could burst with the wonderment of it all. I hope never to grow tired of the seeing and hope to see more; my camera helps me to do that, magnifying amazing details.

Hosta leaves

My garden tending seems so trivial, so unimportant compared to the great delight my eyes feed my soul from this harvest of beauty.

Sitting at the kitchen table now, I look out and catch sight of one leaf which turns joyfully, dancing on a breeze only it feels; its companions still. I understand its tiny heart.



Talking Pets in the Peaceable Kingdom

telling myself a story today, just because I need to smile through the tears

a story  for “The Best grand-Cat Ever”

Sasha! Sasha! Hello! Hello!

I knew you were coming today!

Oh, you look so beautiful! Yes, you! Go on, do a stretch or two, shake yourself out and you’ll find you are better than you can remember!

I’m Ada! We met once…but that is all behind us!

Welcome! Welcome to your new home in the peaceable kingdom! You are going to love it here! Ada

I know! I know! I talk in exclamation points! The others just smile and ask me to settle down but I know they really like all my exuberance!!!

I can see that you are a most regal animal – Maine Coon is it? Or Norwegian Forest Cat?

Oh, let me just settle down here and tuck in a paw for a chat; hovering over you will never do.

You know, dear Sasha (and you are a dear!) it is a grand and important responsibility to have a person to look after and you did an excellent job, a very excellent job with Our Girl. Yes, Our Girl. I’ve called all her pet family to greet you.

{Now this is a slight thing, but here everyone is peaceable so a few things to remember in the early time in the kingdom:

  1. no biting
  2. let old stuff be forgotten
  3. control the urge for excessive sniffing

 That will do for now}

Well! Well! I see everyone is in a hurry to greet you!  Now, now, everyone, let’s wait and be honorable here –

Sasha, this is Coal. She is First Pet and while quite a large dog, she is very gentle and you will enjoy all her stories about Our Girl’s first years! We never tire of hearing them!

 Then, this is Strawberry (remember the rules now) Yes, she is a Guinea Pig. (Yes, a kind of rodent.)  She’s quite an inquisitive sort and always up for games. I know you are a playful animal yourself so you can know you will have fun together! Sasha bubbles

Oh, oh! Here he comes, you can always hear him…Max, Max, slow down now, quiet now!  Max was always a misunderstood animal in the house but he has quite forgiven all that and is so happy now that everyone understands that he is a sheepdog and needed to herd and nip heels. He has given up nipping and just loves to spend most of his time with the sheep; such interesting creatures!

Yes, yes, he has remarkable fur! Your fur is quite remarkable too, if I may say so Sasha… so beautiful, rather straight and with such variety of color. Lovely to pet, I’m sure.

Me, I’m a curly girl as you can see and I can tell that we both like to put our best paw forward, carefully groomed! 

My own story is simple. Our Girl thought a poodle would be a wimpy kind of dog, but, I think I won her over! I was actually more the home dog, Mom & Dad’s, but I like to think she was My Girl until you came along, Sasha. What great timing! What adventures you will have to tell us – cross country travels, life with adopted kittens, moving about… oh yes, we’ve heard bits from sweet Maggie cat and Merlin too.  Here they are, your old housemates and so happy to see you! (So much happy meowing does a heart good!)

Now, we all want you to know that we love you and appreciate you as Our Girls’ dearly beloved Sasha, “The Best Cat Ever”. I hope we are not making you uncomfortable with our doggie creeping and everyone cuddling around…but well, you see, we all do want to sniff you a little. You still carry her scent you know and we like to remember.

Gosh, what a great life we had with Our Best Girl.

She’ll remember you forever; that’s what our people do.Sasha


And now Elaine from a master storyteller, Dr Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

(She always does that crying thing, Sasha. You should have seen her writing in the coffee shop, quite a sight…come on, Mom get a grip! Love ya! Ada)


Luxury ignored


Many years ago a young visitor to our home excitedly pointed out that we had morels!

It  never crossed my mind to eat a mushroom from the wild and certainly not one that looked like it was turned inside out! Her mother assured me that we had the real thing and gathered them all with my permission.

On-line videos show turkey hunters searching for and harvesting morels — either as a wonderful consolation prize or tasty side dish to the turkey. And I find there are many recipes for them. But I leave mine for the wildlife.



We live in the country with acreage around. Birds are, in general, a blessed part of life adding mostly cheery song, some flashes of color and insect protection to the yard. We use bird feeders to supplement diets and provide our own entertainment from those who visit.   (Today I saw the first Hummingbird for the season!)

I’ve never kept an official bird list but I do know many of our visitors. Some of the more interesting ones belong to the woodpecker family: Northern Flicker, Red-bellied Woodpecker,  the little Downy Woodpecker and the large Pileated Woodpecker. This last one was an uncommon and thrilling visitor who demolished some aging stumps for us a few years ago.

The Cornell lab of Ornithology is a wonderful resource for identifying birds and learning about their lives. They also have several nest cams. I watched Red-tailed Hawks and  Great Blue Herons today. But back to my story…

We have several old and large Leatherleaf Viburnum near the house. Very early this spring, I noticed that some of the stalks sported brown leaves, a bad sign in an evergreen.Sapsucker visit 1   As more brown leaves appeared we inspected the shrubs and saw neatly arranged holes and rectangular gouges. We took a section to a garden center and the manager identified the damage as the work of a sapsucker, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker!   IMG_0453    Isn’t this amazing! The rectangular holes are called sapwells and I learned that these woodpeckers have specialized brush tipped tongues to lap up the sap and and any insects that might be in it. They also feed on the inner part of the tree or woody shrub. If the holes girdle the branch or trunk, it is likely that it will die. We have a bit of work ahead of us pruning and clearing away the calling cards left by our visitors – shy visitors I never saw!

109_0954   Leatherleaf Viburnum bloom

April views and musings


I found that blog conversion and learning this new thing felt a bit like I was pushing through my own darkness and into new light. But construction has begun and changes will come in time!

There is always much to do in the spring gardens. Picking up, raking, digging, pruning, planning, all wonderful activities for reflection.


So much beauty and vibrant color after the dull of winter almost hurts the eye while it refreshes the soul.  It slowed my anxiousness and Cousin Cele came to mind. We met through the “magic” of internet research. Cele had a great deal of family history to share with me. At our first meeting she brought a book she had created from her mother’s family complete with photographs. I was rather amazed and told her I needed to take a class in the photo editing program she used. Her reply surprised me – “Classes are all well and good but sometimes you just have to get in there and do it.” Cele was 87 at that time. Whether for gardening or blogging or cleaning house, “sometimes you just have to get in there and do it” is good advice!


A walk in the rain to drink in the fleeting wonder of spring blossoms. I never tire of it!