Richard Powers makes a salient point – there is a little evil in each of us when we are not able to perceive the miraculous…. August is the season of abundance – and the most ordinary day borders on the miraculous if we can pay attention to the gifts offered… around here I had that sort of day … trees bursting with fruit milkweed pods greening up turkey mamas parading their young ones -fire on the mountain in the form of blooms and best of all baby robins getting ready to fledge. I have been following this family for most of two months and mama trusts me enough to peer within inches of her babies – I am so honored – and yes joyful…
This has been a poignant turning because someone I really cared about and corresponded with has died. Light and Dark – dance as one.
Richards Powers says link enough trees together and the forest grows aware.
In my world every living tree embodies awareness. Early morning after rain at the brook pool bathing and watching fish… come back into the house through maze of hummingbirds and Red Deer appears around the corner in front of the door. In all these years I have never had a deer that acted more like a dog than a wild animal – this animal greets me with obvious pleasure – hummingbird frenzy requires many quarts of food each day note where they live – why in the Phoebe tree where virtually no predator can get to them – it’s climbing into the house! that crabapple – and she too greets me at dawn.
AUGUEST 3 FIRST CATERPILLAR!!!
The most exciting thing that happened to me yesterday was that during my early morning walk ( 2 mile run) around here I discovered baby monarch!! You can’t tell from pictures but this little guy is only about an inch and a half long – first instar- so excited because I planned to raise one I brought him to the yard in a pail with surrounding milkweed and let him be – two hours later GONE – by this time I had discovered new research that is indicating that raising monarchs by hand may interfere with their ability to migrate – rechecked new research and there was more – oh I had made a horrible mistake I thought and now I lost him -once again reminded of how little humans know about nature I felt so sad… and then last night I am coming back from a walk with the dogs checking milkweed on my road ( have it everywhere) and there was an identical caterpillar munching leaves exactly the same size!!!! It had to be him – he could smell the milkweed and had traveled though the prickly lawn and trees to find a safer home than I could provide – I took a picture and then stepped back but when I went to take another he dropped out of sight!!!! “ Enough of her!” the message was clear – I’m another predator, though an unwitting one. From now on I shall err on the side of caution and let my friends be… hoping for a positive outcome for these 5000 mile travelers.
I have raised many of these creatures over the course of my lifetime not knowing that I was putting them at risk… now I do. I am always learning the sane lesson : let nature be S/he knows how to care for her own – my job is to give thanks. Visit to MLT pollinator garden highlights Mexican Sunflowers – Monarchs love them – this bunch needs all the nourishment it can get to make that long journey south – blessings to them all – – watching fish the mirror of the sky I can hear the brook running now – it’s supposed to be hot so I’ll be walking early and NOT removing any caterpillars from their milkweed homes – I have learned my lesson!
On days like this monsoons bring no relief and nature is still…the ponds are made of glass with floating porcelain lilies – fall asters and September goldenrod are in full bloom a month early – my apple tree along with all the other fruit trees are losing leaves – a long term survival tool – all around me disintegration – daily haunts to my brook pool are a necessity – sinking into clear waters I walk up the hill naked drying by air!
This is the world we have created I remind myself with a heavy heart.
Because I have been present. Oh so present to the joys of spring and summer I can let go -Hope has back problems and my beloved vet gives her acupuncture that brings her back to childhood – a joy to behold in an aging dog.
I remind myself that nature will endure even as the apples fall too early – the earth will be different in ways I can’t imagine but s/ he will endure as I have. A daily joy is walking up and down my road without neighbors with bullying dogs or tree killers both gone. Is it-my imagination that the trees are rejoicing as I I take each step? They are recovering from a holocaust as I am – thriving – how can it be that so much cruel destruction of leaf and crown could heal so quickly once the perpetrator leaves?- my road has once again become a joyful place where trees sing and I treasure each living being.
“knowing that you love the earth changes you…but when you feel the earth loves you in return that feeling transforms relationship…into a sacred bond”
Robin Wall Kimmerer
This has been my life experience – the earth has changed me and every day that I am alive that change continues….
Picture taken through the window – monsoon rains so heavy it almost looks like snow! Love my porch! I walk early these days – the air this morning is unbearably sweet and I am so grateful for my woods and paths that keep me shaded as I walk. Too hot to go elsewhere and too much happening here with monarchs. I never know who I’ll find- they do move around a bit but so far no one has been eaten – 5th instar caterpillar is ready to pupate but where? My next challenge!
Yesterday I found more monarch caterpillars – so happy to see my little one feasting on a pod – it turns out he likes the home he found and now when I visit him he doesn’t drop out of sight ! That drop by the way is planned – he spins a tiny rope to slip away.
Monsoons keep the water flowing and for this I am extremely grateful.
Oh this blessed earth!
(August 7th – 72 degrees at 6AM – Monsooning blesses the water but brings no relief – going into 4th week of unbearable heat – worst summer ever – and this after such a sweet beginning)
Robin Wall Kimmerer says “ that to become native to a place we must learn to speak its language” –
a lesson I have been learning ever since I moved here.
Every day offers me an opportunity to learn a little more about the language spoken on this land…lately it’s been about monarchs – although I have raised them outdoors it wasn’t until I learned through new research that hand raising might be detrimental to migration – so this year instead of focusing on one caterpillar I am letting the insects and the land teach me how to enjoy this miraculous process without interfering at all! I have learned that babies drop by spinning skeins of silk to escape predators and that monarchs do not need full sun to thrive.. every day I find a few more around preferred milkweed plants in various stages of growth – yesterday finally a chrysalis with tiny gold dots …Finding even one is a joy – and I have the feeling that my attitude is helping to.create all these sightings. Last night I even found two that appeared to be conversing under the same leaf – those feelers were waving back and forth with enthusiasm…. Not all chrysalis capsules produce a butterfly I learned years ago so I am hoping that I will get to witness one “transformation” a word used so casually by people who in fact have no concept of what genuine transformation is about – a literal changing of forms – death is a transformation – so is birth and occasionally we have conversion experiences as humans but animal know what real transformation is all about… perhaps we should follow their lead. Red Deer has more apples than she can eat – they were so heavy on the tree the branch broke – to many extremes for these poor trees.
August 8 72 degrees 6 AM I’m starting to get anxious about winter…. Too many fall chores that I am going to have to struggle to get done.
To paraphrase ROBIN WALL KIMMERER ‘as we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us’
These words came to me yesterday when a limb of my apple tree was torn from her trunk. Too heavy with apples she bowed over others and I feared the worst. I called my dear friend and professional arborist in a panic – I have known him since he was 19 and he’s 45 now – he loves and is as sensitive to trees as I am having come from a long line of tree cutters that stretch back generations – every tree on hundreds of acres cut sustainably and now he is so well known in the state that people call him and his large crew to do an enormous amount of work. Last year he won a prestigious prize for his impeccable judgement and work – as always I am thrilled to see him but he knew how much my apple tree meant to me and she was in trouble. He cut carefully and cleanly no power tools used at all – too invasive he said – climbing the tree with care and by the end of my trimming – whoops her trimming – he pronounced her healthy and safe – some earlier cutting by a young boy had created some issues. I was overjoyed and Red Deer had a feast! Thank goodness for friends like this one. He took every downed branch to a different spot to feed the animals – always thinking of the others – any wonder I love him?. As he said yesterday we are kindred spirits whose friendship has endured over time. He is one of the finest most perceptive naturalists I know!
Dips in the brook were a must and today clouds- I am so sick of sun – day after day so so boring.
Back to Robin’s remark – I had the strongest sense as we were cutting that the tree and Sheldon and I were in a three way conversation without words and that the tree was happy – projection? I doubt it – there was a strange buzz in the air that we both picked up on and commented about – Trees know when we love them! And healing them heals us – if only we could listen….a good day indeed!
Bird Migration has begun. Last night 132,400 birds flew over this one county.
PLEASE, LIGHTS OUT AT DUSK TO DAWN…. this is just the beginning and it is so important for the migrating birds, especially the first migrants to not be confused and thrown off course by these obscenely bright lights…
This morning the yellow bellied cuckoo who lives right down by the brook – a bird I have never seen – awakened me at 5:30 AM – he is still singing along with Red Deer (who has wiped out every fallen apple from under my tree). Until this year, I didn’t even know cuckoos lived here. His call is poignant and sweetly repetitive… I think there are two conversing ignoring the single gun shot that just rang out – some idiot shooting at some potential victim.
Seeding up is evident everywhere as is the lengthening darkness I collected pictures of some of the seeding up plants. Gosh there are so many… the first scarlet maple leaves are scattered across the forest floor.
It’s so nice to hear the brook running…
Last night I found three more monarch caterpillars… so the numbers are diminishing – two chrysalis adorn old sticks… lime green with gilded gold leaf – the most skilled artist in the world is nature –
RE MONARCHS – FIRST APPEARED IN Greenwood AROUND END OF JULY. I FOUND MY FIRST ONE HERE ON AUGUST 3TH AND SINCE THEN I HAVE FOUND MANY – ONE IN CHRYSALIS SINCE 8/6 (FOUND ACROSS THE ROAD), THE OTHER BECAME ONE 8/9 (TAKEN FROM Greenwood). DON’T INTEND TO TAKE ANY FROM HERE – JUST PLANT MILKWEED UP AROUND THE CIRCLE. VERY EXCITING – HOPE I END UP WITH BUTTERFLIES.
HEAT WAVE WITH HORRIBLE HUMIDITY DURING CATRPILAR EXPLOSION _ HOW DOES THAT FACROR IN?
COOL DAMP WEATHER to get wood in 4 day marathon and its over for this year…
– THUNDERSTORMS drop buckets of rain – HUMIDITY OFF THE WALL. EVERY SINGLE DAY BUT MOST OF WOOD IS EITHER IN OR UNDER COVER.
ROBIN WALL KIMMERER says that the world is a place of belongings (acquisition of stuff) or a place of belonging to… I am struck by a grief deeper than the deepest river when I read these words. How did western culture become so capitalistic where more cars, trucks, traveling, buying buying buying buying became the ‘end goal’?
This of course is how we destroy the earth whose trees and creatures are disappearing at an alarming rate. Four percent of non human creatures are left in the entire world.
I live in a place of “belonging to” – and am graced with wild animals that come and go – knowing how grateful I am to belong to some land that has me woven into the tapestry of the whole.
Yesterday Red Deer wiped out fallen apples – I used a broom to bring down more and now these are gone too! At dawn chortling awakened me and I got to see the 16 turkeys that live here picking up tidbits as they circled the house – there is one little guy who is smaller than the other 10 babies. So far this family has only lost one. Surprise for me on the butterfly weed. Two quarter inch monarchs appeared on the leaves – birthed by a too young mother too far from milkweed their only food source? (8/10) I moved them to milkweed and last night on our walk I saw them both mouthparts crunching leaves – still more caterpillars! One giant still hasn’t pupated – so far I have two capsules – I hear from the land trust that there are a couple of capsules on plants in their garden so folks will get to see how beautiful these are – I’m guessing another week for mine? Just don’t know.
All my wood is in for winter – nice and dry and stacked here and in the garage. I had real help this year so the work went fast with good conversation – we moved 3 and a half cords of wood!!!! And it was cloudy and cool! Next cages for vulnerable trees…. I like getting fall chores done early so I am free to roam come fall.
Meet “Little Deer” in the flesh on the First Harvest moon! There is a Cherokee story that speaks to Little Deer as a spokesperson and advocate for all the animals. Yesterday around 2 PM after I had used a broom to drop more some more apples down from the tree for his mother, Red Deer, – Mom must have been watching because she trotted right up the hill almost instantly – no surprise there – – and lo- just behind her came this absolutely gorgeous fawn that she has kept hidden from me for months! Baffling in view of how friendly she is – one day she almost came in the door!
Both were relaxed and enjoyed a feast.
Later a lovely rain that has the brook sounding a song – water over stone – the frogs were all croaking as the dogs and I sat on the porch listening to the rain falling in the porch metal roof – a lovely night!
Yesterday more caterpillars on the butterfly weed which I moved to milkweed. That’s five in all so far on butterfly weed a quarter of an inch long they must just have hatched but where in my wild Red Deer munched garden? Yet one more mystery – oh how grateful I am that all of Life is one Great Mystery! This morning Red Deer is here alone and cuckoo is singing away across the brook.
Robin Wall Kimmerer tells us that paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the Living World, receiving ( her/his – I refuse to “it” nature) gifts with open eyes and open hearts”.
Early morning walk through my predominantly hemlock forest has me enthralled by such beauty and bounty- just after a rain the scent is beyond description and the ground soft and spongy with rich duff. Some of my hemlocks are more than 200 years old – (have counted rings of downed trees) even sustainable loggers didn’t have much use for hemlocks because the grain wasn’t straight. Lucky forest and luckily me to be witness. 200 years is still young for hemlocks – that if left to grow reach 500 years the oldest trees in the east. Today of course we take them too- chip them and turn them into mulch that helps to spread Woolley Adelgid. Such greed and stupidity. But so far my little patch of forest is a cathedral of peace – in the open spaces left by downed trees who become seed beds for new life are growing wildflowers and, sprouting mushrooms and long runners of various club mosses becoming more complex every single year. It saddens me to have to have mechanical eyes pointed in every direction both in front and behind me but I have learned the hard way that neighbors are not to be trusted…. Hemlocks protect the streams keeping the fish cool even in the heat they are a foundational species helping to create diversity, stop flooding – could go on here but what I love is craning my neck to see those crowns against deep blue sky. In my favorite forest these trees are so old I can’t see the tops!! (8/13 first hint of fall – chilly yesterday and this morning! NWwind! Yes!
Robin Wall Kimmerrer talks about the” grammar of animacy” when I first heard these words a couple of years ago when reading Braiding Sweetgrass I realized that I had been doing this for so many years with my writing in regards to animals and plants. I never “it” an animate being – either using pronouns he she or s/he to describe or discuss a living being believing that to do so was participating in the subjugation of non human beings as “ less than” – it’s easy to take down a maple with a chainsaw if it’s an “it” not so easy when the tree is a she .. unless of course you had a deranged neighbor like the one I did who hacked trees to pieces because of his insane hatred for me… barring insanity giving personhood to any other species creates a relationship of equals where there was none…. Oh how I love these cool cool mornings and sunny days when the heat has broken – we can’t complain we only had a month of it – from cicadas to crickets just another indication of the changing season – I spent the afternoon seeding – although not gardening per say I collect pods and scatter whatever is ready to re – seed itself in places where it has the best chances to grow. Little Deer and mom were here at 5:30 munching apples -yesterday she was within inches of Hope who just couldn’t’ stand the invasion through the screen and barked!!! Red Deer just backed away – found only one caterpillar yesterday – the ones hatching into the next monarch butterflies will be making the journey south, – Lily b became depressed after I stopped feeding his birds so yesterday I put up one feeder just outside his window and this morning he is enthralled by early morning activity – birds have to have regular stimulation and I was worried because Lily was staying in his roost – even pig squirrel is better than no one! Thick mist covers the mountain with her pearl white shawl and the waters flow…
Yesterday was our Mahoosuc Land Trust Monarch Festival – the numbers of visitors were staggering – what a success – someone took this picture of me at our bird table during a bizarrely quiet moment! We were so busy all day that on my break I had two choices – see other exhibits or go on a bird walk – I chose the latter and learned new information on thrushes. How I love these walks. MLT has merged with other organizations and so conserved land is growing – some folks really do care- the rest of the pictures I took befitted starting work in the fantastic pollinator garden that I am unable to stay away from for more than about 10 days! So chilly I had to close windows and doors around 3 AM when I awakened – love this touch of fall weather and now the leaves are shining outside my window silver green and gold. When I got home a beautiful wildflower bouquet was waiting for me – someone had been here checking mechanical eyes -and left me a present that included a new bat house!!!!
There is no freedom
There are only ancient prophecies that scry the seeds of time and say which will grow and which will not.
I leave the reader to make what s/he will of such words.
The clue of course lies in patterns – there are hidden patterns everywhere like the ones on Queen Anne’s Lace. Or my favorite “ bee “ hydrangea or bee balm or the multitude of monarch caterpillars each one delicately striped. (I’ve lost count of how many I have found what this might mean who knows)
The key for humans is to discern the meaning behind the patterns we live – willingly or not. Once we understand that patterns and proteins create all living things the story becomes one of fascination and wonder but freedom may be more of an illusion than we know – or want to know.
Love these clear pre – dawn mornings with crickets singing “all is well” at this moment in time…
Another Theory in physics ( Steady State theory) that is also based on the same premise of red shift tells us that instead of the
Universe racing further and further apart – the theory that is accepted ‘truth ‘- from nothing to everything as Powers states Big Bang- May be more about our human projections than actuality. In this equally valid theory the universe is being born and reborn again. When I first read about this idea it made so much more sense to me than nothing to everything because nature doesn’t work that way – cycles of becoming define natural ways of being in the world. I was also struck by the fact that this is what indigenous people think too…. Why do we not hear about this?…. cause BIG BANG IS ‘TRUTH’. People seem to need a concrete belief system even if science by nature is always in flux and truths are always changing….Food for thought
What follows is a visual feast Red and Little Deer and clouds here and an evening visit to the pollinator garden and surrounding paths – oh such beauty ! The deep purple flower that fascinates me so because it looks so strange comes from Korea and is not a verbena as I was told. Some flowers come from far away.- and that dragonfly!!!! And the goldenrod…. Oh such beauty… caterpillars everywhere there too and chrysalis’s hanging from the fence. Here my population continues to expand with only common milkweed and butterfly weed! What a year for monarchs! Enjoy!!!!
Chrysalides is the plural – I looked it up.
I am recognizing personhood in nature when I give thanks for this long slow rain that has been falling since yesterday afternoon soaking a thirsty earth clearing the waters, and calling up the sounds of frogs!! The big green frog was croaking with such enthusiasm last night that I could hear him from the bedroom on the other side of the house. This is the rain that turns the earth green again – almost emerald with lime accents. Rain like this is a gift beyond price. This summer we have had too much ‘male’ rain – thunder and lightning – colorful dramatic deluges – that don’t nourish the earth the way this ‘female’ rain does. These indigenous descriptions ‘fit’ the kind of rain that falls -we are respecting and giving personhood to the powers of both. I sleep and wake and sleep again to this soothing sound – each tree stretches her needles or palms opening them to the sky…. I spent a couple of hours rain walking yesterday hunting for more caterpillars – every time I think the little ones are gone I find a wee monarch under a leaf! A miracle year for caterpillars. I just had to take a picture of the gift I received from working at the festival – generous folks. The tee shirts were being sold and I am the only person I know that despises tee shirts – but not this one! I promptly cut the arms and neck away and now I have a new dress of sorts for hot summer days or a tunic. The picture is sort of weird but I had a hard time – don’t know how to work a timer!
Every morning now spider webs adorn the house and grass and the little oak acorn I planted three years ago is a healthy little tree about 2 feet high! Amazing Nature!
Inside and outside reflections of one another after a nourishing rain – equality and diversity dominate the sharing of Lily B’s feeder… all regulars and cardinals chirping for food at dusk!…one real treat was seeing three kinds of warblers in my apple tree picking off the predators that are munching through leaves but every time I tried to get a picture one flew away – these little birds move so fast it’s no wonder it’s so hard to see them or capture them on film! Migration is underway so these will be in flight before long… Twenty plus more monarch caterpillars yesterday and a chrysalis…so many teeny babies! Bright yellow poplar leaf and hobble bush full of berries promise that fall is coming – this morning a symphony of crickets – but cicadas are my weather report – when they sing I know it’s going to heat up.
I do think there is a relationship between weather changes and the collective mind that includes humans – all this instability and so many extremes seem to mirror what’s happening in our culture and others across the planet. Climate change isn’t just about what we have done to the planet it’s what is happening to humans too… the human mind has become as polluted as the body of the earth – we are all connected…… I always thought it was about me being connected to the weather in a weird way – so much I thought was me now I see I just had a window into what was coming through my BODY that I ignored… David Abram talks about the weather being related to the human mind – and how our senses know… he is definitely attached to body.
****It is not a question of first getting enlightened or healed as our androcentric culture obsesses over and then maybe taking action – first we work to heal the earth and only then will the earth heal us….
Robin Wall Kimmerer – scientist/ author
Bringing the harvest in is a gift offered by all of nature – the very least that we can do is to reciprocate with the deepest gratitude.
And with birds migrating — 25,000 last night in Oxford County alone we can TURN OUR LIGHTS OFF at dusk and leave them off until dawn.
A morning like this one is a jewel – heavy dew 48 degrees and clear clear sweet air bathes late summer green… the picture of the hummingbird tree shows a fraction of what must be a thousand apples – maybe more hang from her branches – my two feeders are inches away from the tree and the hummingbirds never leave this protection except to feed on bee balm. I must have almost a hundred hummingbirds – 4 quarts a day – the most ever.
Last night a real treat – foxes yipping in the field – I’ve seen scat and glimpses at dawn or dusk but this yipping was hilarious – my old animal paths are being used – but some killers remain shooting at whatever crosses their paths. Red deer and Little Deer munched apples so noisily they woke me up at 4:30 AM! I could barely see them under our bedroom window! I love hearing the apples hit the ground at night. It’s almost as if the tree is getting ready to gift these deer. And maybe she is!
SOMETHING STOLE ONE OF MY BUTTERFLIES –THE CHRYSALIS JUST GONE – TONIGHT I BRING the other IN…..
(8/20 – ‘The Gathering In’ – just one day later than last year – elderberry bounty on Gore Road – little ripe elsewhere – have another week written morning of 21st)
“Plants are an integral way to reweave the connection between land and people. A place becomes home when it sustains you, when it feeds body and spirit… ”.
Robin Wall Kimmerer scientist/ author
Yesterday I spent gathering in. Going to the places where medicine still grows wild. Always my relationship to the land is strengthened by these forays into marsh and blackberry canes wild roses – scratches are part of the story as I choose clumps of ripe purple berries never worrying about taking too many because not one elderberry ripens her berries at the same time! There are always plenty left to spread next years bounty and to feed the birds…when my basket is full and I am exhausted from the heat of the noonday star I come home, take a bath in the brook pool watch fish peering at my feet and return to the cabin refreshed. Winnowing takes thours of work. I finished this batch at dusk just in time to walk the dogs into the coming cricket filled night scanning the clear horizon my eyes tuned to tree spires… I have been in this slow still place all afternoon as I sat on the porch – my fingers busy my mind still. I am part of what is, and it is enough.
Today I bottle my bounty to see how much more I need to gather for myself and others. Medicine for the next year …as I picked each cluster I gave thanks for the wild places that still support these bushes and of course for the berries themselves….pictures of my gathering Passamaquoddy basket , and the turkeys hiding in the ferns yesterday morning! All sixteen birds whose heads were barely visible! I asked the turkeys to leave me a feather and one did! This morning the cardinals are chirping long before dawn as Red Deer munched fallen apples … last night she was snorting just outside the cabin at something and when I went outside to see ( she acts like a warning system!) she was staring at the most beautiful gray fox stamping her foot in protest. He left!
Emergence magazine tells us that the latest heat wave broke all records in Maine and that the Great Tree Migration is underway although for trees it takes generations – to escape heat predation etc the trees are moving north. It is projected that within less than a hundred years black ash, sugar maples paper birch and red spruce will be gone … pictured is a miracle tree – one that survived being cut to a stump by a crazy person seven years ago…somehow this red pine survived and re- grew three small trunks and became a whole tree – with all the bad news about the loss of trees – the heartbreak – when I look at this tree that lines my road I believe that trees of some kind will survive the holocaust bearing down on them – not trees I know and love but trees of some kind – our most ancient elders. We may be gone but they will live on. Picture of what once was a popular trout brook now barely any water flows. Also pictured is my old fashioned hydrangea the only one that bees adore. Yesterday I stood under her listening to the wild hum of bees – six kinds and hummingbirds who also find the nectar sweet… fritillaries and monarchs along with other butterflies also feed on this tree – and speaking of fritillaries don’t forget to let your violets grow – because they are the only plant on which this butterfly lays her eggs! Please don’t mow them down!!!! This morning the cardinals awakened me a little after 5 AM – they want food! And the 16 turkeys are milling about the feeder under Lily b’s window – yesterdays bottled medicine – oh the color! All that work was worth it – one more run should give me all I need. The night before last 48 thousand birds migrated south over Oxford County alone. Here I see less male hummingbirds although feeding frenzy continues unabated. Unlike most migrants hummingbirds migrate by day…rain predicted for today and this morning it feels like it. Oh the turkeys are chortling – such enthusiastic conversation is now occurring under my bedroom window as turkeys peck at fallen apples – Red Deer left none but more just fell down with a few hundred to come.
What is magic? In the deepest sense,magic is an experience of finding oneself alive within an earth that is alive!
Yesterday morning chortling and who should arrive but about 30 male turkeys who hung around all morning bathing resting an scratching – where did they come from? The night before gun blasts from stupid neighbor up the hill probably brought them in ( glad I’m not paying for the bullets!)- same with the new deer with her twins. Male impotence hiding behind a gun – ugh- this is power? What a joke – no wonder I have so many animals here.
this morning my sixteen mothers and young are back working the feeder eating apple leftovers all the while in deep conversation. Cardinals are now coming in at 7:30 PM. All barrels brimming from long sweet rain with more to come… that quiet soaking warm rain which fell all night long – so soothing with more to come. Meanwhile in cool weather I moved some plants and then watched the rain clouds thicken the sky in layers – oh the air was sweet but not as sweet as now – all the leaves on trees are shining. How I love late summer greening….the brook is singing.
Forest walk in the rain with me hearing Robin Wall Kimmerer s words “ How can we become better students of plants” By SEEING them for the miraculous beings they are – bending kneeling to close in on detail like the tiny toads that have just been born. A protected forest is a gift beyond measure Breathing in terpenes pinenes ionized sweetened air leaves me with a sense of well being I find no where else – is it any wonder that this is my cathedral? More rain and eventually I fall asleep to the sounds bouncing off the snow roof and didn’t wake up until 1 AM! Abrams is right the truly magical is simply being where one is communing with one’s relatives most who tower over my head – some barely specks hopping across rich moist duff – two days of rain and the world is singing a song of gratitude in late summer… sadly southern maine is in a drought – last year it was northern Maine here in the mountains rain but never enough for me – this round was both light and heavy – no wild thunderstorms that steal precious water rain crickets cicadas – it’s enough
In some Native languages the term for plant translates into those that take care of us
Robin Wall Kimmerer scientist/ author
Yesterday while gathering my last basket of elderberries it was these words that came to mind… such bounty and nourishment – how satisfying to wild craft with such gratitude… an early morning walk through my woods shows me how mosses, the first colonizers of dry land send roots ahead to attach themselves to stone. The second picture show the tiniest and deadliest mushrooms sprouting – some the size of a pinheaded – you can guess who they are…. Turkeys turkeys turkeys and Red Deer peering in the window as I was engaged in some task or another.
This morning the dogs and I were watching her eat her apples at first light when the bully up the hill let off a volley of gunshots – stupid impotent excuse for a man – bullies are fear driven – no wonder they have to shoot guns to feel like men – so different from the respectful hunters that I meet in the forest – not here- no hunting here please! But families who love the woods the way I do respecting her ways…
Lots of mountain mist – love the way it settles over the forest..and oh the sweetness of the air!
These last two should be reversed… and I also wrote about 25th’s talk about artist Jane Kim – highlight for me was sitting next to Mary and Larry – Larry hugged me. Wow.
“Gratitude is most powerful as a response to the Earth because it provides an opening to reciprocity – to the act of giving back”.
Robin Wall Kimmerer scientist and author
Early morning walk up through my woods after the rain – the earth feels like velvet under my feet – such astonishing beauty – later off to the pollinator garden – I can’t stay away from that place – Monarchs everywhere and oh those Mexican Sunflowers – friends in NM please grow them if you have a drip system! Very few caterpillars – same here – something is getting mine. Then off for the final round of berrying – today is process day…I think Red Deer has been here all night – every time I woke up crunching! And of course she’s here now feasting… the most solitary deer I know – most are in the field but she lives right here – Little Deer often comes alone too.
Pictures on a rainy day – my nasturtiums love the cooler nights and come into their own in September… labor intensive winnowing of elderberries continues and rain sweetened air accompanied Hope and I to the clinic for an afternoon visit with Uncle Gary our vet who calls Hope his little princess!! Beautiful view of rain and thick mist from Gary’s window. Seeding up butterfly weed – love those pods
“Youth hunters will get a jump start on the 2022 bear season this weekend. The unofficial start to Maine’s fall hunting season is right around the corner. The bear hunting season in Maine starts on August 29. Youth hunters will get a jump start on the season, August 27, on Youth Bear Hunting Day.”
In Maine we make sure that the young are inducted early into bear slaughter by kicking off the three month bear season today.
These shy and normally peaceful animals have been cast as killers and we perpetuate the myth. Most of the bears that will be shot with their heads in a bait can will be under two years old. First year cubs will lose their mothers and may not be able to survive on their own. Females do not bring cubs to bait areas. Most will need up as trophies on the walls of peoples’ homes.
Four percent on non – human species remain on the earth. We seem intent upon eradicating them all.
What happened to the Native American custom of honoring Bear as Healer????
Here’s a statistic for you: 27 million guns are owned by Americans. Gun related deaths are the third leading cause of HUMAN deaths in this country.
Once I had bears on this land – no more – all have been shot out. I never thought I would say this but I am actually grateful that I will not be losing personal friends this fall.
Unfortunately Dr Lynn Rogers Bear biologist, and friend who runs the North American Bear Center and WRI – a bear research station in Ely Minnesota will probably not be so fortunate. His wild bears are often hunted with a vengeance. Pictured are bears I know personally – bears that are allowed to come and go – free – for eleven months of the year. Minnesota has a hunting season that lasts one month.
Picture of a baby toad found in the woods. Here in my toad pond none hatched this spring the first time ever…we all need toads and frogs – they let us know how polluted our air water and soil have become. Their scarcity indicates that we are all in trouble. If they can’t breathe either can we – it just takes longer to kill a human than a toad.
Yesterday I witnessed a troubling exchange between a dog, his owner and a cornered toad. The dog was after the toad and the man encouraged him. “ Good boy!”
Distressed I mentioned that toads exude toxins that can harm a dog even if the dog just mouths the amphibian. Encounters like this one are potentially dangerous for both animals. Clearly this man was ignorant…
For anyone who is interested in details please see internet…
Thick mist obscured the mountains early this morning.
“Paying attention is a form of reciprocity…”
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Until I read these words I never thought of my attention to nature as being a form of reciprocity but of course it is….giving back by being fully present is a gift without parallel for only then are we truly “seen” – this is as true for nature as it is for humans…
Yesterday another caterpillar day – this time comparing notes with someone else trying to make sense out of our present monarch influx – many many caterpillars – I researched a couple of academic articles yesterday and learned that new studies are being done on caterpillar predators not considered such a threat until recently. This validated my own perceptions – caterpillars yes chrysalids yes, but hatching? I’m not having much luck here. I found a chrysalis that was being sucked up by an ant or spider not sure which. It’s just too soon to draw conclusions I am just keeping close track.. turkeys and more turkeys and I have around 34 now coming in two groups – this male was hot! They meander through the ferns down to the brook take a bath and lay around on the lawn … it was muggy and hot yesterday and I could smell the storm coming in. Last night after walking the dogs I just had to keep walking up and down my road – animals appearing from the edges of the road to peer at me deer grouse and another fox- all this while I am soaking in the sweet moisture and being serenaded by crickets – oh my peaceful road – I never thought it would be like this again
When the rain came it was that lovely soaking rain and it is still falling…I can never get enough!END OF HOTTEST MUGGIEST AUGUST I EVER REMEMBER – AIR CONDITIONER ON ALMOST THE ENTRIE MONTH – EXCITEMENT OVER MONARCH CATERPILLARS TURNS DARK AS I SUSPECT DESTRUCTOR INSECTS ARE KILLING THE BABIES – YESTERDAY I READ ARTICLES CONFIRMING THIS THREAT IN ADDITION TO THE OTHERS. EVEN THE SHRYSALIS I DISCOVERED IN MY JAR HAD BEEN ATTACKED BY SOMETHING – 3 CHRYSALIDS DEAD – NO BUTTERFLIES EMERGE.