Friday, January 29, 2010

They got me.
The magazine people.
I bought a garden magazine yesterday.
And all I could do was dream last night
about redoing a section of my garden.
See that stone bench in the background
I'm thinking of making a meditation spot there.
Collecting my stones and rocks
in one place
a quiet still place in the shade
Oh I am excited
about the garden
I don't see the dreariness
of it now
I'm off and planning
a good place to sit
Thanks magazine people

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

River Birch Blues

Look how high you reach
 to the sky
as your peeling bark sheds

Shall I pick up a scrap
scrawl a message

"Send reinforcements
can't hold out much longer
the battle, too long
my strength, low
Send the robins!"
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Stay still my garden
while I'm away
hold tight to your potential
till I return
Shelter the animals
give of yourselves
for me
endure what comes your way
for it is from God
and if all goes well
I'll be back
to walk again
to share the light
of morning
leave my footprints

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I am lonely
for my garden
for green
for the shade...
for a quiet sit in the morning
for the song of the robin
for the cry of the nighthawk
for white moonflowers at dusk
for heavenly blue morning glories
for the ephemerals
for black eyed susans
for joe pye weed
for all of my wards
I am lonely for my garden

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Looking only at now

I love to walk this path into the garden in the deep of summer.
Because of my overplanting of everything
it provides the only shade in this southwest facing backyard.

..and as you make the turn just under the arbor
with its many hanging objects
the garden unfolds
...It never ceases to thrill me
this unfolding
This I got right...

But, today it is a path of snow
that leads into a garden of more snow
and the snow is slowly turning to mush
revealing the messy remains of the birdfeeders
Oh woe..

64 more days until spring
until the first aconite

So I try to enjoy what is
before me
staying in the present
...for it is here
that I am

No one promises us spring.


....Lin Yutang


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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Looking for Evening

Jane Kenyon is my favorite poet.
This evening in the garden
I recalled one of her best known poems.

It brings comfort
as does the garden
to me


Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don't
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come. 
.....Jane Kenyon 

It is marvelous when all that I love comes together with all that I love. the poem that I love
came to me in the garden that I love.

yes, let evening come...Posted by Picasa..........susan

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Looking for morning light

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Just outside my window
the skeletons of the garden
dance in morning light
Last evening the sunset spread across
the horizon in glorious
hues of pink and blue
I knew
this day... this morning
would be one of wonderous light
warming my being
with beauty
of the garden
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Looking for what binds

I brought this woodbine home from Galena.
Little did I know, along with it rode wild grapevine.
I've always loved ivy covered bricks.
Now this is not ivy by any stretch, but I have found that the birds are crazy about it.
But I'm not crazy about how it has grown to the roof and up the chimney.
This year I will have to go at it.
The worst of it is the grape.
But it must go, and fast.
Woodbine is pretty in the fall when its leaves turn a nice red.
I like red.
..a wench sort of color.
But it will all bind the garden soon in that area if I don't do some major pruning and pulling.
See, I'm already thinking about working in the garden
Getting my hands dirty
Starting over in that area

A garden
never the same
and for that I am

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Looking for sound

This year I left all the bells and chimes hanging in the trees. If I'm lucky enough to be outside when a strong enough breeze comes along to stir them, I get a joyful feeling inside that the garden still speaks in the dead of January.

I especially like my temple bells. I have many in various sizes. Some of them take a considerable wind to make them speak. But when they is a glorious time just before a summer storm...a heavenly downpour...when the air becomes charged and the birds engage in a furious zig zag flight in front of you fleeing for safe cover.
Sometimes I stay outside and watch as the wind kicks up and the tress start to sway and bend and the sky goes suddenly dark and menacing. Then all of the bells and chimes of the garden speak...Ting ting gong gong...clang clang

But not today. Today they are still.
But in their stillness potential is held
and that is enough
on this very cold January morning
about 67 days until spring
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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Looking for simple beauty

Feeling a bit better today, I ventured briefly out into the yard. What is left of beauty to see I thought?
I do not clean up the garden in the fall, but rather leave it till mid spring,after the warblers and Thrushes and Thrashers have passed through having happily scratched over the dead leaf debris for bugs.
I learned the hard way not to let this job to landscapers. They are landscrapers.
I, being a garden wench, prefer the natural look of dried plants and grasses poking through the snow covered earth. Winter color.

But I also embrace the freely given element of light. It is what transforms the ordinary into heavenly...the spectacular,the holy.
Why, this little dried flower...stopped me in my tracks by its simply beauty. I could imagine it a lone tree in the midst of a desert.
The footprints in the snow could as well have been camel tracks across a dune.
The garden does this to me...allows my mind to drift like snow, to see shadow because of light.
My walk was brief..I am still suffering this nasty cold
but for a moment, I was in a desert in the middle of a snow filled garden. Ha!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Looking for why

A lone bird perched on the set buds of the Horsechestnut tree
The open bar of joy is closing for him for the night
but he sits and waits, or is he looking?
No song is heard
No other birds around
not even Harry Hawk
So what is his purpose is perching on that branch
this late in the evening?
Maybe to be there for me
I step outside to walk in the garden
make footprints in the snow
join theirs
The bird flies away
but I stay perched
Why do I wait?
What am I looking for?
Only the garden knows

Winter morning

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Dressed in white

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Before the light of day

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Covered like gloves

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I could dance

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Looking for white

This morning the garden was covered with snow. Glorious,fluffy,quiet snow. It covered the branches like a ladies long gloves on a special night out. Joy.
Early morning winter sky is a thing of beauty,a thing that can't be put into words. It looks down over the garden like a comforting angel.
I stepped outside to listen for the muffled sound of sounds.
The air thick with winter,like wearing a muffler myself as I walked around the yard
before daylight changed it all.
Soon the birds will be out scurrying around the snow covered feeders. Little Juncos will be scratching through the very white snow for dropped seeds from yesterday.
I see footprints all around the yard..busy animals. I wonder if they took a moment to dance in delight of the falling snow..or is that only left for humans to feel.
We are given the ability to stop and see.
Animals must hunt for food or shelter or water or a mate.
How lucky the garden provides us with so much more.
I do not curse the white snow
but rather sit and enjoy it as the beauty of this day
in my garden
for under it waits flowers waiting to grow
I shall wait, too.


"Don't go outside your house to see flowers.

My friend,don't bother with that excursion.

Inside your body there are flowers.

One flower has a thousand petals.

That will do for a place to sit.

Sitting there you will have a glimpse of beauty
inside the body and out of it,
before gardens and after gardens."

......Robert Bly, The Kabier Book

                                 Joy to you this day...susan

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Looking for today's post

I really did do a post today..but I posted it on my other blog
by mistake. I tried to change it without rewriting it..but couldn't find a way to..any hints?
If you want to see my post about Looking for green
go to

If you don't want to bother I've posted a picture of desperation.
..Kid squirrel chewing on a cow bone..not just any bone..but part of the leg
I found this rather large bone in Iowa while on a walk at White Water canyon
Now I'll have you know..I feed this squirrel very well...or at least he steals very well...
but Monday I found him chewing on this bone that I had placed in the garden.

I do things like that ...tuck things in here and there...surprises for my garden guests...
I never did find out what the landscaper thought of this large bone in my yard...well the cops never I guess he either missed it or just thought "this ones loco"
It did give me a laugh to see him gnawing on that old thing
Right about now..I'm ready to gnaw on anything myself
deliberate eating stinks sometimes
I'll have to live with hunger....the garden bone is taken

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Looking out my patio door

Lot of racket going on outside this morning.

Now this is drama of the good kind. Funny birds these starlings. Clowns of the yard. But they don't usually come in flocks like this until winter, when they clean out the feeder in nothing flat and scarf up anything I have left for the ground feeding wards. The slightest noise or movement and they're unison. They actually have a squealing sound as they scurry around.
I left carrots and broccoli for the rabbit to eat and it was gone. I love to watch the rabbits stand on there hind legs as they look around before eating....There could be owls around or coyotes..
The only problem with Starlings being there, inspite of the show they put on, is that no other birds will come near. But I am a wench and I let it it wants to be..except for Harry Hawk. Oh by the way, he sent his friend today...or should I say his big brother to pay me a call. I told you they are mobsters.

I had the wooden blinds pulled up this morning so I could watch the squirrels on the Tulip tree (they were fornicating, I am here to announce) well, anyway I was watching them play around the tree and all of a sudden they jumped like they had been electrocuted....and fled across the River Birch and over to the pines.....UH HAH!  Right in front of my eyes, on a very narrow branch landed a red tailed hawk...
Good grief....I shot to the window, but he saw me first and flew away,wings outstretched like something from hell.....and he was gone!  BIG  I mean BIG
But he didn't get my squirrels...not today


:) Suz

Monday, January 4, 2010

Just Looking

This morning it was in the teens again,but the sky was white like snow. Oh drear. Is that a word?

Bunny tracks in the snow, a dig spot, scrapped bark from a honeysuckle
Not much food around I guess.

It's pretty hard to find joy without any color....this garden wench needs color. But I make it a point of just taking a brief stroll around the property just to see. See what? See..just see.
The snow crunched under my feet as I walked to the back of the yard to find the mystery bush..see if the berries looked as joyous red in the bland color of this morning sky.
Well, low and behold, not a single berry was left. The snow below it was stained with berry remnants. They must have been hungry my little wards...and it's only January. All the seed heads have been plundered from the garden flowers. Not a single one left untouched.

Last year I had the landscapers "clean my yard" in the fall. When I got home that afternoon,I was horrified that they had removed every bit of everything. Whistle clean. My neighbors thought they did a good job. My heart sunk....what will they eat...where will they hide?
This fall I threatened them..only the front.....but even that was unwise. They cut down my shelter for the rabbits. I love the sight of rabbits on the glistening snow at night, especially under a full moon.
I could go on and show you other joy things I still on a gloomy white gray sky morning ..frozen water on my Hawthorns from a dripping gutter....but it's late and I have miles to go before I sleep.
Oh, guess who showed up again brazenly staring me down through my patio door....Nasty Harry Hawk!
I shooed him....but he'll be back
Maybe the Long earred owls (3 of them) will show up again in late January. They took care of him..
I know, I know....but I never saw what they ate.

:) Susan

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Looking for Feathers

Goldfinches eating Alder seeds

I was so surprised to find out how many birds ( and squirrels!) eat from the Alder tree. It has a gigantic quantity of seed cones that hang from the trees like jewelry. I like the tree because it has a rather vertical form and  where I planted it it fits just right providing a nice dappled shade on the path into the garden. The other Alder tree was planted by my buddy ,Kid Squirrel, I'm certain. Any way, now that I know how much of a food source it is in winter...hooray!
But there's always a but, isnt there? With all the food sources in my yard, I might as well have a blazing garish blinking sign that says
Now don't try to tell me that they have to eat too...fooey
I love my little wards.....and this morning....I was too late....and Harry Hawk got one of them.
I swore very loudly this Sunday morning as I saw him holding something down on the dead Pine tree branch. Oh I know what that means. I once watched him pluck a precious mourning dove to bare flesh then eat it head first...finishing with a flick of his head as down his throat went the little feet. Yes, this is nasty...that's why I call him Nasty Harry...he earned it.
Now My husband says it is my planted all that food out there for the's a restaurant...and Harry thanks you.

Not quite my open bar of joy this morning. But he is beautiful. And does have to eat, and God made him that way.
Why do I feel like I drove the getaway car?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Looking for blue

I have many trees in my garden...some say too many.
But when I left my tree filled yard and moved to this new "subdivision" home, my heart was heavy with longing. I need trees. So I began to plant and plant. I have Tulip, Alder, Horsechestnut, Japanese Maple, White Pine, Oak, Mountain Ash, River Birch,and who knows what kind of volunteers I have let stay.

They are all protectors of my joyful soul. I love their branches,especially against a blue sky of winter. I need them reaching out pointing to color..look up they say with open arms. Look up indeed. I have learned to do this often in the garden, to be shaken with awe. 
Trees in winter display their forms. It is this time of year that I fall in love with them. Each so different than the other. Each a beauty.
In the morning I watch as the squirrels dance through their branches like acrobats. The trees provide a perch for the birds to flee to when Nasty Harry Hawk appears seeking to find them unprotected at or under a feeder.
Thank goodness there are trees.
There is a scurry of activity in the yard today. It must be that heart ache blue sky.
I need to go outside,if only to walk the perimeter of the needs me too. I will whisper to my trees that they are beautiful.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Looking for Red

January 1, 2010....A bright sunny,blue sky morning
It is very cold today, but the gypsy in me went looking for red in the garden

Would you believe this is a volunteer?  I just noticed it this fall when the red berries were caught in sunlight as I was looking for a lost hosta. You see the garden has been at war in that corner....thick with red twig dogwoods that seem to have spread themselves along my neighbors fence. They have advanced on coneflowers,siberian irises, but lost a battle with Joe Pye weed...or should I say that there is a temporary truce. Well somewhere in there I was certain there was a very nice hosta, probably fading away. On my way back to the front line of this battle I discovered a flank of invaders...not sure what kind of bush it is..but it is stunning and it stays. I am ultimately the commander in chief. I think they may be winterberry bushes. If you know..I 'd like to know. Anyway, this morning, the heart ache blue sky aroused my senses, and I just needed to know if those red berries had survived the snow. Yes, indeed they had. But why? Why aren't the birds plucking every last berry off of that bush? All the other berries have been devoured. Maybe they ripen for the spring migration.

Oh I miss the robins. They probably "planted" the seeds for these bushes.
Isn't life grand?

             Oh ,the magic of the garden....look who came and visited me while I was out looking for red?

                                I best get to filling the feeders.................Joy, Susan