Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Gifts of Life

This spring has been an odd one and a challenging one in so very many ways, but those ways don't need more reflection or discussion...it was enough to live them, to mourn them, to cry because of them, to love them. Let's all acknowledge what's good in our lives and what moves us forward in joy.

One of those for us is the generosity of friends. A conference long ago crossed our paths with Stanley Stine's and he surprisingly gifted us 20 native Willow (Salix sp.) cuttings to increase the biodiversity of this piece of land. Willows are spectacular plants in themselves and offer so much to wildlife in so many different ways; definitely one of the "superfoods in the garden". You can see the happiness in Steve's face as we planted these marvels; plants just have this magic about them.

The endurance feat of bird migration was a true gift for our spirits this spring. The warblers were all around us, on the day pictured, feeding quickly and efficiently on any and all available foods. The temperatures were so chilly, but their persistence and resiliency made us smile and offered a good kick in the pants.

The fine greenery of Mother Earth is returning and we spend as much time as possible immersing ourselves in the gifts of the sun, warmth, and insects. We love that our humble abode is starting to appear part of the land around us. 



The American Persimmons are leafing out and we are grateful for their slowness and their protection from these back and forth springs; they fit as our spirit tree in more ways than one and we didn't even know. It's like they found us...


The Small Carpenter Bees inspire our hearts and minds too; they are here and thriving. Watch the relationship of Goldenrod pith and nesting bees we just saw here on this little patch of Earth.

Our land restoration is well on her own way. Now, we just get to watch the magic unfold and that means less hands on management is needed. For those of you that have followed us for a long time, you know that means it is time to get back to hiking in a BIG WAY. We swapped out all our old campers and 220,000+ mile cars for this new to us stripped down truck that allows us to go back to the beginning.

2021: 


2007:




My, how time flies. My, my, my. Best get on with living! ;)

This song is it, right here, right now. I think Tift Merritt tapped into the spirit of the planet with this one. Music for both of us is the best piece of humanity and this song might very well be my life song. I have many chapter songs, but this one, LIFE. I'm sure many of you know it. Turn it on, look out the window, go sit on the Earth, close your eyes, whatever you can do, wherever you are, to hear this. Do you feel the same?

We love you all. Thank you for following along with us and sharing with us. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Winter Fireflies, Sunshine and Life on the Farm

And just like that, it's spring. The birds we so recently watched soaring south are soaring north. The maple sap is running or finishing up. Frogs and salamanders moved to the vernal pools in the first warm rains and I hear the frog songs as I type. Winter Fireflies are basking on the warmed south side of trees and we are savoring every last delicious minute of the season of rebirth.


Ellychnia corrusca are pretty fascinating fireflies. You must read about them; they will make your life richer if you know them and it sure makes for a fun end of winter scavenger hunt. So far we've seen them on 10 species of trees at Mohican State Park/Forest: black oak, white oak, pignut hickory, sugar maple, black cherry, red elm, red oak, American beech, tulip tree, Pinus sp.


The raccoons and deer are moving about, I assume, grateful for the retreat of the deep snow that blanketed the Earth for quite some time this winter. We loved watching the fluffy white stuff fall and we loved watching it melt and smell the thawing earth. 



A Gray Catbird spent the winter here up until the day before the last big snow storm when the food ran out. Poor timing isn't it? You know what that means....yep, planting more, more, more!

I'm spending time putting thoughts on paper and then the computer and Steve made me a repurposed table to handle my chaos. I love it. Garage sale legs and an old bulb crate we used for winter produce came together just right. There is so much stuff already in existence, isn't there? A little creativity is all that's needed...

Our little Oreo (aka Wuk) helps me on occasion...

and celebrated with me on my first deer shed. 

Steve and I handled cat chaos with cat gates and now we can breathe again and the oppressed cat (Minnie Pearl) eats and drinks without fear. Can you hear the long exhale? It's been rouuuuggghhhhhh.


Bird houses didn't work well here so we finally threw the towel in and that's also a great, great relief. (Sometimes, we just have to quit fighting a path that isn't changing or improving.) We will continue, as always, to promote snags and natural tree holes.

Woodland sedges are reunited with our little woodland and it made us so happy to have our hands back in the soil, to enrich a beat up fence row and to accept the generosity of these plants to grow.

Thanks to some coordination with a neighbor of ours, the road trash is picked up on our stretch for the time being. This is what Steve and I picked in a couple of hours! Hmmm. 

The dove covey makes us smile every single time. Flighty birds, they are and we get it. They've spent a large portion of this winter here and we are going to miss them when we stop feeding the birds this spring, but we need the birds to disperse for their own health. We also feel conflicted about the bird seed bags (see above). What do you all do with them?


Richard Louv put into words what we feel when we are in the magic of the planet. That's who we are. The rest of it, who knows what that is. That's not our essence and what a gift to know it.

Soundtrack:

MILCK - Quiet

Joseph - White Flag