Saturday, August 18, 2018

High Summer in Ohio, Roan Mountain Highlands, Native Plants....

Hi friends. Thanks to all of you who messaged because you miss our posts. We don't have as much time at the computer now, but we promise when we do to make it worth your while. Below are some exquisite summer sights we've lived this year. We hope you enjoy and that your summer is equally beautiful.

In July, we visited Western North Carolina and hiked 85 miles along the Appalachian Trail in the Roan Mountains Highlands area. There were Pipevine Swallowtails everywhere nectaring commonly on native lilies and Bottlebrush Buckeye. Sometimes we stood in place for long periods of time just to experience these beauties flitting about, living their life, while we observed and felt the tug of the  threads of life binding us together. (Don't let that sound hokey to you; I promise if you pay attention, you will feel it too.)

Our 7 day journey took us through thunderstorms and rain showers every day, which the forest quickly slurped up and used to grow many beautiful kin; the Purple Coral fungus stopped us both instantly.

The rain challenged our spirits at times, but once past the frustration the rain allowed for many child-like moments and deep appreciation for a spot of many giggles over super pruny feet.

Red efts walked about everywhere...some sections of trail hosted 20 or more in less than a few hundred feet. It was incredible! We must have passed hundreds and hundreds - seen and unseen.

The moist weather systems passing through gave us such intense moments of beauty; it's a true feat we finished this trail at all and didn't just park our butts down in awe.

To counter our dead car battery woes at the end of the hike, Steve made two cat friends at the Mountain Harbor Hostel. You can see his pals brightened his spirit...

Back on the home front, we work daily on chores and money making tasks, but we also work daily to spend more and more time observing the life around us everywhere. EVERYWHERE. (Have you watched this TED talk? Please do.)

Who is this fabulous spider tucked in to this most cozy of nests?

The Pandorus Sphinx moth...

and the Laurel Sphinx moth both delighted me with their presence in our greenhouse. (One of the serious problems with a high tunnel or greenhouse are the myriad beings that get trapped and hopelessly baffled by all the clear plastic and glass so we check ours daily here.) We feel so lucky to know this landscape we foster and live in gives these moths all they need to survive and reproduce.

The wild blackberries this year are phenomenal and so delicious. We eat and share and eat some more!

Visits from family and friends continue to delight our summer and we were so happy to see Steve's old and mighty canoe find a home with my sister and her family. We love this boat, but find our hiking shoes always call stronger - meaning this boat sat more on land than in the water so a boat's life is resurrected.

The growing season this year is different, as it is almost every year for us, so I just finished uppotting our native plants at the beginning of August. Wow! Our 4 chickens keep me constant company offering me many laughs and a heart full of love for these beautiful, affectionate birds.

Native plants are growing and hope to find a home with you wildscape makers in September. Check the website at the beginning of September or look for my email if you are on our mailing list at that time.

Thanks to Michelle and Nathaniel for the nursery and Eby photos and for your continued support! Here the infamous duo is at our place all decked out for their trip to Denali National Park where Michelle is the 2018 Artist in Residence.

We are so happy to live the life we do and to be on the path we are on. It's not always easy bucking the norm, but deep inside our spirits we know it's the right path for us...

Eby agrees!

Resources for when you have time:

Videos from our place:

Giant Swallowtail Caterpillars on Prickly Ash 

Giant Swallowtail Adult nectaring on Wild Bergamot

Wild Bergamot and Clearwing Moths

Orchard Tour 

Strawberry Pollination with Native Bees

Music I can't stop listening to:

Lord Huron Strange Trails full album

New Favorite Podcast:

Wild Ideas Worth Living

Fabulous holisitic doctor in Westerville, OH:

Dr. Kanodia