Queen Anne’s Lace Adorns a Ragged Grass Clump at a Wal-Mart Parking Lot

Inspiration often arrives in non-conventional ways. Stepping from my car, donning mask and gloves to shop in the new normal, I found the sight of this Queen Anne’s Lace plant oddly cheering.

It’s a survivor, amid a clump of straggly grass, its bloom one of the most perfect I’ve seen from this type of wildflower. A species I love, no matter how common.

View from the Gas Pump – Storm Clouds Retreat Following a Late Afternoon Weather Event

Glancing up from the gas pump, I was intrigued by the sight of these retreating storm clouds, artistically arranged, just for my enjoyment, or so it seemed.

Always a weather buff, I used to be quite fond of storms, though sometimes today, they scare me. At different life stages, the same prompts trigger varying emotions, depending, I suppose upon how vulnerable we are feeling.

If they aren’t damaging, I’ve always thought thunderstorms quite fascinating.

Another Lovely After Storm Sky

This southern view highlighted by artistically sculpted clouds of pink and light bluish gray was calming after a particularly severe storm this summer.

Nature has many ways of showing her two sides, just as we do. Duality seems a requirement of life on earth, for some particularly puzzling reason.

Robins On the Lawn Trigger Memories of Secure Times

Watching robins hop across the lawn seems mundane to some, but for me it conjures the peace I experienced when I was a child, with nothing more pressing to do than study the details of nature playing out in the front yard.

Wherever I am, when I see the robins, a timeless species which doesn’t unnecessarily change its habits, in my mind I observe them from the window of a home that hasn’t been mine for some time.

My parents are there, my pets from that era. Cares were few back then, except for the responsibilities I invented so I would have something to attend to over summer vacation.

Some days life seems exceedingly difficult. But moments with the robins refresh my spirit. I take a deep breath of the summer scented air, and go on living, with a bit more optimism

Forest Sourced Carpeting Anyone?

I’ve always loved moss, since the days when I played under the majestic maple trees in front of our huge white farmhouse.

I built fairy abodes and residences for my Barbie dolls amid the crevices at the bases of the massive trunks. The apartments for these creatures formed by myth or Mattel, came with plush wall to wall carpeting of beautiful green moss.

Not a fan of shag rugs, into which crumbs pass, never to be seen again, though we know they are there, or really carpeting of any variety, I might change my mind if I could bring moss inside.

August Skies, Lullabies . . . from a John Denver Ballad Remain in My Head

“Cool and Green and Shady“, the song is called. I won’t type the lyrics to avoid the royalty police, but if you haven’t heard the tune, please check it out.

There’s nothing better than relaxing in nature, staring up at blue sky, whether the view is wide and open, or framed by the timbers of a dilapidated building, feathery leaves and spruce branches.

What, more than sky, whether cerulean and smooth, or black and dotted with dainty stars at night, inspires our thought processes, triggers our desire to know more, the realization we will likely never know anything for sure while our feet remain on the ground.

That realization is the beginning of real wisdom.

Sunlight Gilds Thunderbolt Hosta and Peeks Through Drooping Branches of Norway Spruce

Seated on the lawn on a recent muggy afternoon, this view made me think of cypress swamps and Spanish moss.

Perhaps that comparison is a stretch of my imagination, triggered by my wandering mind and the uncomfortable weather. I’ve never been to the south myself, to view such, to me, exotic plants. But the thought was pleasant.

Though the air feels saturated and solid, like it could be sliced with a knife, in the words of a former co-worker, “I’m not complaining about the muggy conditions. My snow shovel is hanging on its hook on the garage wall”. It’s got to be a good day.

Too Early for Falling Walnuts

I hope this walnut, accompanied by golden leaf doesn’t mean we will have a full crop of nuts to pick up this fall. Maybe there will be less full size ones later if they are falling when small and barely noticeable. We can only hope—though there were few if any nuts the past two years, so I suppose we are due.

Country legend says these trees produce a large crop every other year. From memory of a lifetime living with them, I think that adage is most often true, but I believe there are exceptions.

Readers familiar with walnut trees are welcome to share thoughts.

Buttercups Bring Memories of Earlier Days

Buttercups are symbols of childishness and ingratitude according to The Complete Language of Flowers by Sheila Pickles.

I don’t get the ingratitude part, but they do remind me of being a child, of finding true delight, amazement, boundless energy to explore woods and fields when spring pulls back the curtain of winter clouds, revealing a world of green and gold, the color of buttercups.

I remember when I first discovered these flowers, when I was about ten, hiding in a low spot in the field behind our house. I visited them there each spring, then one year transplanted some to the northwest corner of our house, where they grew reliably for years.

I also recall a kid’s book I probably still have in the depths of a closet, I think the title was Around and About Buttercup Farm.

It is said that buttercup juice blisters the skin but that it’s also been used as a remedy to cure gout and rheumatism, and, as a tincuture, to cure shingles and sciatica. (Don’t try any of those cures at home, or anywhere.)

This verse by Thomas Campbell (1774-1844) takes me back to childhood springs:

Field Flowers

By Thomas Campbell

 Ye field flowers! The gardens eclipse you, ‘tis true:

Yet, wildlings of nature! I dote upon you,

For ye waft me to summers of old,

When the earth teemed around me with fairy delight,

And when daisies and buttercups gladdened my sight

Like treasure of silver and gold.

 

 

 

 

Cute Squirrel Offers Inspiration Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Spotted this lovely little squirrel in the parking lot of a local library.

One of the worst side effects of the COVID-19 crisis has been the closing of these  inspirational places. During a time when we are all spending more time at home, in a cruel twist of fate, we are unable to obtain books – or DVDs for education and entertainment.

This library made an effort to remain open, serving patrons through an open window during the first week of limited local activities, until the grave danger of the disease caused them to close completely, in order to protect us.

At least spring is on its way, in spite of the forecast for snow the next few days. That thought and the sight of this cheerful little squirrel provided me with the moment of hope I needed to endure the rest of the day.