Saturday, December 31, 2011

oooo! look at the pattern of ice in the garden dish
have you ever wondered ...why such details?
in everything?

humbling, it is

Friday, December 30, 2011

40, and still growing strong

Would you believe that this plant is over 40 years old?
My husband bought it for me in our first year of marriage
when we lived in a tiny furnished apartment....ah those were the good old days
We had a tiny little room in the back...that was always bathed in sunlight
and I loved quickly it became our plant room....oh the luxury of youth
I recall with sweetness the sweet potato that I stuck into a vase of water....and it grew all around the room
our Landlady was amazed......she couldn't grow or cook a thing thumb in my DNA
I lugged those plants around to 5 houses throughout the years
and this is the only one left.....I had a mother in law tongue that I finished off two years ago....leaving her outside too long....oh woe
But, this asparagus fern is well and daughters fight over who will get it
Hey, where do you think I'm going?
Once while visiting my son in Laguna Beach, California....I saw that they grew there abundantly his neighborhood...thorns and all.....lovely seeing them growing that way
I often feel sad for plants imprisoned in pots....oh, I know I am a bit of a ditz this way
and cut flowers bother me too...once wrote a whole essay about that
anyway......I love this fern.....this lifelong companion..this reminder of the man who gave it to me
and the 41 we enjoy

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The garden waits,
as do I, for winter to move in.
We have been teased by warmer than usual weather
and only a brushing of snow,once
and not on Christmas
I left my tray of goodies out on Christmas Eve for my wards
nuts,fat,greens,bread cubes,seeds,berries
my annual Christmas offering to them
In the morning everything was gone
last night I looked out to see a possum sniffing around the dry grasses
I have not forgiven him for killing my squirrel
But I don't know why it happened...maybe my squirrel was sick or injured
and he just happened upon him..sniffing around one night
It is a good thing to let it be part of the garden
and let it go..let it be...let it happen
hard as this is for me to do..I, who want to control my environment sometimes
to become one with the garden...even now... as we wait for winter
some green still showing

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

dead vines on brick wall
shadows look like skeletons
winter soltice day

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It is a dreary day today, gray skies, annoying drizzle
little bird or squirrel activity
and while walking along the muddy garden path
I realized it has really arrived
the time of no color
Humans ,I think,
aren't meant to go through this deprivation
it must have something to do with that darn angel
sent to guard the way in
For surely, this is punishment

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sometimes the garden seems like an assemblage
...a bit of this and that
layered upon layer
until you stand back and say
Oh my!...
even in the last days of autumn

Sunday, December 18, 2011

 I went inside
and had fun with the sun

Saturday, December 17, 2011

All I could think of this morning
was the line from the movie,Oliver...."More please"
Like hungry orphans my resident wards
showed up early, sitting up and begging on the deck
not 9 of them(thinking of you Witch)...only 3 this time
I threw out a few peanuts and some low carb bread
they scampered quickly to grab what they could and headed to the safety of the branch
As you can see we had a dusting of snow
....a reminder that it begins:

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's like seeing in black in white
...going into the garden
a bit of wheat color here
a shade or two of muted green
dried crumbles of leaves fading fast their autumn colors
Even the sky is white/gray
and the rain only sets the mood
like a cemetary
full of stories

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I counted nine squirrels just a few feet from my deck
Must be the pumpkins

Now I ask it fair for my squirrel wards
to pass the word?
I don't think so....
It reminded me of the time we had 4 cats
It wasn't bad until we saw them all lined up at the food bowls
yikes...that's a lot of kitty kat
As is 9 squirrels
but gee they are so cute
and my hubby is still in the hospital
what he doesn't see won't hurt him
.....and I won't tell him that I found the birdfeeder heater
well..........the little guys have to drink
after all that pumpkin
cheer and joy

Monday, December 5, 2011

I have needed these little breaks......these walks in the garden
I need to look for joy....
Today it is chilly and the skies are a white gray
not my favorite kind of sky....I could use a heartache blue sky
but I am not the stage gray sky it is
the ground is wet and in some places muddy...with little footprints
from the grand kids a day or so ago when one of them tripped and knock a tooth loose unexpected trip to the dentist followed
But this morning it is just me
I communed with the garden...quietly praying as I took each step
The garden...the ordinary garden...the ordinary
how I wish every day could be ordinary
But the garden reminds me that even in the depths and ending of autumn
heading into winter...there is life
a sudden discovery of a bloom...surrounded with dried up leaves
leaves...leaves that have released and accepted their fate
returning to the earth to become part of her

The squirrels ...6 of them!...are scurrying about
leaping and jumping.....they always bring a smile to my face
 They have found the pumpkins I put out a day ago
Maybe next spring I will have big yellow blossoms
springing up in secret places....maybe I'll have a pumpkin or two
oh joy...unexpected joy and anticipation
yes, I needed this walk
this ordeinary stroll through barreness
that wasn't really barren at all
but filled with joy

Monday, November 28, 2011

We had our first snowflakes this morning
hardly noticeable
I put the pumpkins out for the squirrels
The ground is wet from yesterday's rain
It rained most of the day
while I stayed inside putting up the tree
I put a log in the fireplace, put on Christmas Carols
lit candles,baked cookies
But my eyes were always looking outward
through the the remaining leaves of Autumn
then to the one remaining flower huddling close to the brick wall
The garden is leaving..going underground
dropping its garments....what remains is exposure
enabling me to see the bones of the plants and trees
their structure
Soon it will look like a barren land
not a garden space of joy
But the wards will still come to cheer me each day
and some days I will suffer watching them suffer
bitter cold winds and deep snow
But I must remind myself that winter's blue skies are the best
and seeing my breath on such a day is a thrill
and some days it even feels warm
and winter beauty is a different kind of beauty
it is footprints in the snow...birds at feeders, squirrels with snow covered faces
and of course the stray or two who alway manage to find my door
where they are welcome
On Christmas Eve I put out a special tray for my wards filled with goodies for all
left over bits of nuts and fruit and bread,bits of ham and turkey
to thank them
 for all the joy they bring me
So today I will finish all the house decorating
then I'll take a walk,check out what berries still remain on the bushes

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

who will love the little sparrow...will no one write her eulogy?

The common sparrow
I give thanks for this cheerful bird
ordinary and messy in its nest building
but a tenacious caretaker of its young
And it is nests in my birdhouses
I love to pass by the nursery and hear the peeps
calling for mom or dad
...hungry mouths sometimes reaching their soft yellow beaks out
of the entry
When I stop and speak to them they pull in and mother usually
sits in a branch, mouth full of small moth...and waits
I speak to her too
Don't worry mom...I'm going..thank for nesting here
in my Open Bar of Joy
Sparrows are the birds I remember while growing up in Chicago
No vast gardens in my neighborhood
but the sparrows were always there for this little girl
sometimes dozens of them perching in a snowball bush
chirping so loudly that my grandfather complained
about the noise and the feather and other stuff mess that they left behind
But I loved their cheeriness
...part of my budding love for birds and all things of nature
And then there was the despised pigeon that roosted on the electric wires
in the alley....I loved their cooing in late afternoon sun
This I had to keep to myself....Grandma hated them
I don't hate anything
I now see these poor birds as the underclass of the bird world
brought here by humans.....trying to survive
yes, they are messy....but that must be their way...encased in their genes
and humans brought them here to this foreign environment
and learned to adapt
humans....always messing with things

I will never forget the time I saw one dead in a parking lot
and its mate kept poking it trying to stir it
it did it for an hour

We are all connected in this universe
surely, we must have empathy and concern for such suffering
even in a lowly bird
So this morning I was glad this sparrow
perched and looked at me and posed
 a prince to me

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

There is always wonder in the garden
even on the bleakest days
It's my attitude that must be adjusted
to allow me to open up
and see
touch it

I wish you could hear the wind bell
so ethereal
I wish you could see the light
illuminating this glass star
or wish that you could smell the wet earth
one of the gardens best fragrances
It is getting colder each day...but on Thanksgiving it will be 58!
the Creator gives
I must open to receive
The little chickadee in the Alder tree
sings away....chick-a-dee-dee-dee
...better than Pavarotti heart wide open

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It was a delightful sunny,windy afternoon.
...whirling leaves, bending boughs
blustery bird wings
and shadow...that glorious companion of light
This may be the best part of season change
the change in light
almost as if it is sent to distract us from the ordinary duties of the garden
Who cares about anything else while in the garden when slanted glorious rays of sun
are penetrating through the ordinary debris of summer?
Oh and the sky was so blue and the wind made itself known by its sound
I just stood and listened to its serenade
Okay, I'm in love...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I too will turn and face the sun
perch awhile, let my ruffled feathers settle down,
sit in the blue of the sky
Little red feathers...
 help me see the swelling bud
 just at the end of the branch

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The maple shed her leaves
they gathered around her like a fallen gown
smitten instantly by autumn
true and utter love in his arms

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Not just a tree rat,but a ward


I have been without a computer...oh woe
I hope someone has cared, for isn't that the fun of blogging?
The garden is almost put to sleep; we have had some glorious warm days
mingled in with the blasty windy days and chilly nights
This morning I spotted Boo staring out of the patio door
his body rigid ....hmmmm...means something
So I wandered over and sure enough, there it was ..a mouse
hiding behind a remaining flower pot
He was munching on a sunflower seed
unaware of Boo watching his every move
It hasn't been a good week in the garden for me...
one night ago I looked out on the yard before turning in for the night...
I always do.....sometimes I catch a raccoon walking by or a possum
or who knows what else......I love that the wild loves my garden
Well, I spotted two kinds of fur rumbling just beyond the deck....
then I spotted what was a squirrel tail flying around with a possum tail
oh no!
I ...without thinking...ran outside to break up the fight (I have been known to do that with humans too :0 )
but the possum wouldn't let I banged and shouted..until he scampered away
I searched for the squirrel in the dark....couldn't find him
went inside to get a flashlight.....found him.....curled up in a fetal position....a tiny little squirrel
oh dear.....
I covered him with a large flower pot so the possum wouldn't find him
But in the morning he was stretched flat out on the ground under the pot
Oh my little ward...all night I lay awake thinking of ways I could help you in the morning
thinking of which crazy vet would look at you
think of ways to build a nest in the tree to put you in
thinking of everything in order to not feel the great sadness
that I would feel in the morning
I just confess to being a lover of animals...all animals
they are a gift for me from God...they have seen me through many a sad time
they bring me joy.....
I hoped all night
a great thing God has hardwired in me
but this time he said

My little ward was dead in the morning
I buried him under leaves...I think he would of liked that...
my husband will never understand how hard I take
the well being and death of an animal
....I have been like this since I was little...bandaging a garter snake that had been cut
by a lawnmower.....a band-aide bandage on a snake...really
I lost a moment of joy in my open bar of joy
but I always give into the new moment
and joy is always there how do I tell that little mouse that Harry Hawk
loves mice...and would love to meet him? 

safe journey my little friend

Friday, November 4, 2011

While raking, I looked up and saw light
passing through the Japanese Maple leaves
I stopped and beheld
ah...the garden keeps giving

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sometimes I think
heaven opens 
and we see a bit of it
or feel it 
or taste it
It is in the slant of light
illuminating the colors of the leaf
in late afternoon
and in the smell of the earth
wet from a rain
almost fooling me to think
 it could be spring,that is the new life guest
 soon to arrive
The wind has blown warm a few times lately
stopping me at the store, in the parking lot,
stopping me to look at lowly pigeons
scurrying around for bits of nourishment
in the scattered debris of human consumption
Lowly pigeons sharing in the illusion of Springtime
in the throws of Autumn
Soon it will be bitter and the daylight will be shorter
and I will scurry like the pigeons...
scurrying in and out of car and buildings
seeking refuge and nourishment
unaware most times that in winter
heaven opens, too
Today, it is going to be 65
a blessing
The colors of autumn are fading
but they are still to be had
I shall walk in the garden today
fill the feeders and birdbaths
rake a bit
and I shall sit
and enjoy your grace
oh dear Lord
for this marvelous day
a day of life

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

So much family stuff going on
the garden has been neglected these past days
But I have a new visitor coming to the door
I thought at first it was Handsome, but alas, it was not to be
Oh how my heart breaks to speak of that old cat
and how I miss him
Truly I miss his grumpy face at the door every morning
insisting on a certain menu
His royal highness, feral cat supreme
I wish to think of him like my cat, Buster,who 16 years ago got out and never returned
I like to think of Handsome with him now, in an old lady's house...keeping her company
giving her hope, and joy and companionship
...say it is so dear Lord...that there is a place as this for lost pets
Now I am the old lady....feeding this rascal
He is very by time I get my camera..he is gone
so excuse the bad photo
The hawk was in the yard this morning..I shooed him away
 My granddaughter wanting to know why
He eats my birdies...I tell her
Maybe he's hungry, Grandma
hhhhhhmmmmm.....she's a bit like her grandfather, I see

As we were eating our pancakes ,two cardinals 
arrived on the deck, sitting on little Handsome's bowls
boy and girl
My granddaughter, Reagan, liked this did I

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

25 pounds of sunflower seeds
5 pounds of unsalted peanuts
apple bits and strawberry tops
and it is not enough
... that damn squirrel
He has violated my pumpkins
or was it the possum?
Maybe he'll carve two eyes and a scarry mouth
by Halloween
you think?

Monday, October 10, 2011

My husband looked out of the window and snickered,
Its always the frogs, he said.
Your lineup out there on the deck.
I looked out and saw what he saw.....the fall lineup...a garden stop
yeah, it does look like the frog is guilty....get your hands above your head
Oh much work putting things away, cleaning up....I welcome a good laugh
But you know....that Stafford 

Friday, October 7, 2011

I have been busy gathering things
to wash and to put away 
until next season of growth
ha...growth..this I have done a lot of this season
It must be the added year that turned a decade for me
Things are in some ways simpler...
I don't worry about this or that anymore
not even in the garden
I have let myself become completely wild
falling in love at every turn of my foot in the garden
Why just this morning I spotted this little cosmos
peeking its head out of the asters
I SEE YOU...I whispered
Oh, it heard me
can't you see its smile?
The geese honked overhead just as I whispered this
to the little flower so brave and true to itself
I looked up and waved
wished them a happy journey
soon I will travel to another place
may I find my voice yet again
maybe even honk a little

Monday, October 3, 2011

So much to do this week
but I must tend to the garden first
It is quickly coming to an end
and all the ladies in this chorus line are doing their thing
It is almost a wild party in the garden
every flower and plant throwing out its last hurrah
before standing naked in leaves
feet frozen to the ground
waiting for a blanket of white
to cover them 
I heard that we are going to have a repeat of last winter
..better stock up on birdeseed
I told you I have lots to one more thing just added to my list

wild party in garden
flinging leaves and last flowers
I partner in dance

Saturday, October 1, 2011

walking around the garden this morning
the ground covered in wet leaves
I heard an unfamiliar, for here anyway,
the call of a Blue Jay
Do you think it had anything to do with the peanuts
I put out this morning before walking?
How did that rascal spot them so soon?
I followed the sound
and yes, it was a Blue Jay
flying away with his beak full of peanuts

Friday, September 30, 2011

city farmer

I have always kept this blog about my garden
...a very hard thing to do
How much can one write about the same space
day after day
That is the joy actually..looking
observing,listening,touching, smelling

But I spent the day with my grandson , Finn
and I spotted this growing on his block in the city

Oh I know the heart of that person who set those seeds
and stood back and hoped
bless the city farmer
who can't help himself
the urge to grow so strong
The seeds were cast too late
these will never bare corn
But it is a beacon of hope in a city
sometimes too bleak for many
I hope passersby
partook in its harvest of joy

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blue grace

Yep, she's passing through like a bat out of you know where
shaking the trees until they give in and let go their precious leaves

But there is beauty in the lass
she paints a mean picture
as she shilly shallys through the garden

and when the guy upstairs dips his brush in blue paint
and spreads it across this autumn sky
I just about drop to my knees
bathed in grace

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

so pretty waving in the garden
this time of year
I have learned that goldenrod was a
seasonal indicator plant for the native American tribe Omaha
While on their summer buffalo hunt  :(
it served as a floral calendar... when they saw it
they knew that back home their corn was beginning to ripen

They also used the plant to make a tea to treat heart ailments
and a topical treatment for muscle cramps
and a pain killer for bee stings

Sort of gives you a new respect for this common weed garden plant

yellow goldenrod
the summer hunt is over
a new season stings

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gloomy skies and wet earth greet me on my walk this morning
There is a chill in the air
Last night I noticed how quickly it got dark...where have I been
that I haven't noticed this before?

Soon there will be time for inside things 
of the heart that need contemplating
before a roaring fire or over a hot bowl of soup
or sipping a good glass of wine

Autumn and winter are seasons set forth for quiet growth
and a time to romance ones self
I too, have set seeds like 
the white oak 
Her acorns look almost human like...the tree's destiny clipped to a leaf
that will soon fall to the earth in a blaze of yellow,then
lay dormant in the bitter cold
 under protective snow
waiting for warm days
to awaken it to life

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The leaves of the evening primrose
are turning red
and I love it
a cheeriness in a garden that is packing up
letting go
preparing the way
I think I'll wear red today

Friday, September 23, 2011

little petal fists
sometimes we hold tight too long
we die unopened

Thursday, September 22, 2011


a late fall flower
her white gown against their green
bless the late bloomer

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

last summer walk through the garden with the wee one

...anything but the Brier patch
I whisper as I pass by

Ah,Stafford, you newbie to the garden this year
you have done a splendid job of watching over all
your wise look ....of course you're riding on an owl
your face cheers me with its whimsical gaze

Now you must direct the symphony of the leaves
use your fishing pole, my lord

He has inherited the gene!
a future gardener...a tree hugger
a bug hunter
a rock collector
How can I ever thank Him
for such a gift
to such a wench as I?

I hate to brag...but this autumn joy clematis
is mine

woo me some more
Dear Darby Autumn

Have you ever stepped in chocolate mint?
Finn did...and said m-m-m-m

Oh...and the Finn is a bird watcher, too
pointing to the bushes or trees when he heard them sing or chirp


the season ages
he claps my hand while walking
autumn holding spring