Nature’s wRest

Gold Leaf Landing

Everything

needs

a place

to

land.

 

 


grav·i·ty
/ˈɡravədē/
noun
The force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth,
or toward any other physical body having mass.

And a time to rest.

The frozen pond

bare branches

and ice encrusted grass.

Seasons Fading Like Leaves

It’s an off season

but natural in its own right.

There’s no familiar summer, winter, spring or fall anymore

except for dates on a calendar.

Can we explain it away,

simply say the weather is as diverse as people, places, life —

that to live, to be alive, is to change?

Reduce. Recycle. Reuse they say.

But the seasons?

I am a child of four seasons

picking springtime bouquets

chasing summer fireflies

rolling in leaves

and sledding til numb.

As I matured, adult responsibilities pushed childhood activities to the recesses of my mind.  But, I never dreamed the four seasons of my youth would become a distant memory, something to read about in history books of a time that once was.

As a child, leaves fell in September.

A few years ago they began in August.

This year, my yard was covered in July.

Thunderstorms previously endured in June and humidity that marked August are now daily occurrences commandeering the summer I use to know.  Look forward to.  Love.

The seasons have faded like leaves…

Is it a natural progression of time

the human disregard for the natural order of things

or Mother Nature’s retribution?

Spring and Autumn have silently been waving good-bye

but we were too busy, too greedy, too self-centered to notice.

Reduce.  Recycle.  Reuse.

Two seasons:  hot and cold.

two

Hot and cold.

All The Buzz About Bees

I hadn’t realized pollinator week is upon us but am acutely (and sadly) aware that most of the honey — even “organic,” is being reported to be contaminated with the glyphosate of Monsanto’s Roundup.
It’s pleasing to see more people interested in honeybee production but we need to do more — via planting and becoming more vocal — to help these bees stay busy and thrive.  I’ve reblogged this post “All the Buzz about Bees” to see what you can do at home to help them.

P.S. to this post…link to the EU “banning” bee-harming pesticides.  America can learn a lot from the EU’s approach to heathy living.

Giving Voice to My Astonishment

It’s a busy time of year for everyone: spring gardening, spring cleaning, graduations, end-of-year award ceremonies, holiday travel, and a whole lot of other happenings.

IMG_2831My photo of article in Midtown magazine. Photo of bee on flower by Matt Williams.

I’ve been busy working on several upcoming article assignments, and that’s the reason for my lack of writing a recent blog post. So, I thought I’d share an article I wrote for the current issue of Midtown magazine. It’s on a subject that’s near and dear to my heart, pollinators, specifically honeybees (Apis mellifera). Their numbers have been declining due to several reasons, most notably Varroa mite infestation. There is encouraging news, though. Some local beekeepers are starting to see an increase in their colonies. What can home gardeners do to help? Read more about it in my most recent article appearing in the May/June issue of Midtown…

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Fake Holidays

At five years old, my birthday was my favorite time of year.  In my young adult dating years, Valentine’s Day ranked #1.   Christmas anticipation didn’t last long as my dysfunctional family of origin turned a Norman Rockwell holiday into one of chaos, anger and disappointment.  No fun.  For years, I dreaded winter holidays when stores began displaying Christmas decorations in September.  If I could only jump to January 2nd.  What happened to living in the moment — for merchants, or for me?

As I’ve become more spiritual, Thanksgiving moved into top position for favorite holiday.  I prefer the lower key ambience and taking more time to reflect deeply on the people who have given special meaning to my life — a simple kindness, a confidante’, an excellent health care provider…

But this year, things changed.  It occurred to me that many of our holidays have been virtual holidays, perhaps the precursor to the internet’s fake news.  After all, no one knows for sure if Christ’s birthday was December 25thValentine’s Day is just as mysterious.  And Thanksgiving — well what am I giving thanks for if my ancestors came to America, killed the Native American Indians then stole their homeland only to destroy it?  That reality sickens me.

I’ve long felt that Thanksgiving was the more solemn of holidays but now more deeply understand why.   No more “celebrating” fake holidays for me.  Expressing gratitude on any arbitrary day, and as many days as possible throughout the year are my days of thanks giving.  Now that’s something real, and worth celebrating.

100_2428 heart pie
Main ingredient of my apple pie? Love. Lots of it!

There’s a traditional Native American Seneca greeting I love any time of the year:  Na:weh Skennio

It means Thank you for being!  For all that you do and for who you are, I thank you for being. – Jamie Sams in The Fabric of the Future

And that makes any day of the year a real holiday in my heart.

Diversity: The Color of Life

Coming into the house, after what appears to be the last unseasonably warm October day, I glimpsed again at the magnificent colors punctuating the grey cloudy sky — burgundy flowering plums, orange maples, yellow-green birches, tanned leather oaks, fiery red sassafras — their leaves twirling in the wind then freckling the autumn ground.

 

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Curious, I look closer.

 

 

Round, oval, small, huge, striped, speckled, smooth, crimped, crumpled and curled.

 

Each one is distinctly beautiful in its own unique way.

 

I am convinced we were created to be different and our diversity is as fascinating as nature’s endless combinations.

10-25-17 055 tan and brown leaf couple

 

 

It is man who tied hatred to diversity. 10-24-17-leaves-114-heart-leaf.jpg

Not nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Beauty of Transformation

Dazzling green and metallic blue dragonflies transformed my summer to autumn.  Taking in the colorful, changing fall landscape yesterday amid September temps, I was mesmerized when a silvery gold dragonfly as sparkly as Christmas ribbons landed on my garden chair.  We both sat perfectly still for the next few minutes, its lipstick red mirrored dots on gossamer wings captivating me.

018 My dragonfly

Surely, clothing and fabric designers must get their ideas from nature I thought.  And then my view cast to the maple tree reflected in the pond, and the pathway illuminated from a myriad of golds, greens, browns, oranges and reds that painted the cherry, pear, oak, magnolia and unidentified trees.

cropped-100_1648-autumn-favorite-b1.jpg

 I felt awestruck that nature could be so endlessly beautiful, even while dying.

But, then I decided to look at it another way.  Just as the dragonfly transforms so does the tree.  It may shed leaves until it stands stark and bare but there is a regenerative undercurrent; it is not approaching death, it is transforming, preparing for another season, for another time, for the vitality of Spring.

My view of the seasons reflecting life — birth (spring), prime of life (summer), mid-life (autumn) and end of life (winter) — has also transformed.  No longer do I see only one life cycle.  Nature is teaching me more about life and what I use to call death.  More and more, I am convinced the end is not the end per se.  Life, for us, for trees, for seeds has many cycles.  I’d much prefer to think I’ll continue to grow and evolve than to die back and out.  The roses return.  Perennials too.  Trees grow new leaves and bloom in the spring.  Again and again and again.

Who’s to Say?

Sometimes things don’t work out as we planned.  Sometimes, oftentimes, gifts appear in unexpected places or they don’t look like what we envisioned.  We think it should be something else and too quickly pass it by.

10-15-17 045 Moms cat

When I was very young — about five or six, I desperately wanted a kitten. What kid doesn’t at that age?  For my seventh birthday my Mom gave me a white fluffy cat with wide-surprise eyes curled up in its three-inch green basket.   Yes, I said “three-inch” basket.  It was a tiny tchotchke.  Feeling terribly disappointed, I didn’t understand my Mom’s cat allergy.  Decades later, I still have that tiny memento; its white fur deteriorated with time.

 

This week I nearly trampled over a viola.  How odd, I thought, that it jumped from the flower pot to the other side of the sidewalk.  Oftentimes, I’ve planted something in one place only to have it pop up somewhere else like the mound of irises that left the garden plot to live on the pond bank.  Who’s to say they were better off in the garden? Who’s to say a gift is not a gift?  I don’t dismiss things so easily anymore.10-15-17 031 blue viola

Have you ever had your heart set on something but too quickly passed off what was presented because it did not look the way you thought it should?  Please do tell.