Steve and I were talking the other day and I said "I just love magic." This totally confused him because he knows I'm not a huge fan of magic shows that involve disappearing people, disappearing and reappearing objects etc. Why? I don't know. Maybe I'm a dud, but anyways - I had to clarify and said, "I love REAL magic." What is real magic? To me, it's fireflies, frog and insect song, the emergence of butterflies and moths, migration, trees from a tiny seed (any plant from a seed, I mean seriously), life, LOVE, the smell of Common Milkweed in full bloom and on and on I could easily go, but let's stop on Glades.
Glades are these dry, magical openings in the forest. (Really, if you've never been you must go. Let me show you why.) South facing slopes with shallow bedrock makes for a super hot place to grow that's often inhospitable to most trees so plants that can tolerate hot and dry grow there...think prairie plants. Here's a peak at the glade from the surrounding forest....
We emerged from the forest to witness this (pinch me, please!):
Yes, that is real magic folks: Pale Coneflower (Echinacea pallida) in full, perfect bloom, humming bees, fluttering butterflies, singing indigo buntings; it only gets better when shared with people you love. Here's Steve, me and our dear friend Beth - the Land Steward of these Harrison County Glades by job and by heart. She is a huge part of why these places are so well cared for and is completely bad *** in my opinion. She and Steve work harder than most everyone I know except for Steve and my Dads. More magic...two people giving so much of themselves for others and this beautiful land. Thank you both from the deepest part of my heart! As they both move onto new career & life paths, I know that new magic is in the making and I'm so excited to see where it leads. Congratulations to you both!
Not yet in bloom while we visited, Short Green Milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora) thrives in these glades. Look at that awesome umbel flower structure and it's a milkweed - of course we love it!
As we transitioned back into the woods...
we saw the super cool Climbing Milkvine (Gonolobus obliquus or Matelea obliqua), another member of the mikweed family.
Chestnut oaks shared their magical form and gift of shade with us and ...
with creatures like this beautiful mushroom (Michelle my mushroom guru - thoughts?).
Pure soul feeding MAGIC.