Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tree Love Plus Native Plant Bed Maintenance

Amongst all the AZ Trail trip planning which we will share soon, we venture outdoors and bask in the sun any day it shines through the clouds. We especially love our outings when we discover bigger and older trees than we normally do. Here's a beautiful Swamp White Oak (Querqus bicolor) that captivated us for quite some time.



If you've not yet read The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, please do. It's fascinating and enlightening. We really have something special in our trees and it's so beyond time that we celebrate them - truly, hugely celebrate and respect their very long lives.


Here's a sign of another favorite tree:


Know it yet? The very stout branches look dead in the winter season, which is often indicative of these trees:


I bet you already know it, but if not - here is the pod of the magical....


Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioica)!

Here's another fun tree to guess that's in the Ebenaceae Family: super furrowed, blocky bark, often very darkly colored...


with incredibly tart, delicious fruits that people and wildlife love:


Did you guess Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)? Excellent. Every single time we find any of these trees, we get so filled with gratitude to live amongst these incredible beings.

Thanks to our friends that get out and explore these wild and magical natural spaces with us; you continue to open our experiences to new ideas and ways of seeing, thinking and expressing.



 

Finally, if you are midwinter and wondering what to do with your native plant beds, we made a little video to show you what we do here that works fantastically well. Thanks for asking!

video


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Front Porch Yellow Jacket Nest - Let's Pretend it's Summer!

Because it's gray and cold and January here in Ohio, we are dreaming a bit of summer (while also working to remain present in the moment!) and want to share a cool home that was made on our front porch this summer.


If you take a look at this felt bird house, you see the entrance looks a bit odd...


In fact, it's covered in paper made by a Yellow Jacket colony. They lived here all summer long and enchanted us with their paper making and social life. Since we never bothered them, they never bothered us. Win, win!


I made a quick video on this warm fall day in October. How I love seeing that warmth....I can almost feel it. (For better quality, check out the You Tube video here.)

video


Friday, January 6, 2017

Recycled Glass Suncatchers

I made time this winter to make recycled glass suncatchers from the glass trash dump we cleaned up on our property.


I love the history these suncatchers tell and their beautiful colors. The blue glass is an old Vicks VapoRub jar! I used a Thumbler's Tumbler to tumble the glass and a drill press with a diamond tipped hollow core bit to drill the glass in much the same way I drill rocks.


I collected grapevine from our property and cut them with pruners, drilled them with a larger drill press in Steve's shop, then strung the glass with natural hemp.


I used glass pieces, honey locust seeds, mescal bean seeds and rocks to tie off the hangers. There are so many possibilities for this creative project - I'm excited to make more in 2017!