Goodbye Summer 2016

“Everything has seasons, and we have to be able to recognize when something’s time has passed and be able to move into the next season. Everything that is alive requires pruning as well, which is a great metaphor for endings.”

~ Dr. Henry Cloud (1956- ), American psychologist

(Quote Source: brainyquote.com)

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Maple leaves showing off their color for this first day of fall.

Wild Morning Glory

“The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.”

~Robert Doisneau (1912-1994), French photographer

(Quote Source: brainyquote.com)

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While some may debate the “excitement” of this photo, I encourage viewers to consider the way the vine has wound its way around the dead branches of an old tree.  It was the lovely pink blossom of this wild morning glory that caught my eye as I walked. Note the blossoms yet to open during these lovely fall days of September – an unexpected find that brought a smile to my face.

Water Shield Plant

“Living big and joyful and content is almost always the result of our finding satisfaction in life’s ordinary day-to-day pleasures.  And God must be fond of them, too, for He made so many of them for us to enjoy.

~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr., (1940- ) American author

(Quote Source: BrainyQuote.com)

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The Water Shield plant is also known as the Dollar Bonnet.  Here is a photo of some that I found floating on a pond in northern Minnesota.  I’m told that this plant indicates a good spot for fishing as it provides shade for panfish, largemouth bass, and northern pike.

Into the Pollen

Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’

~ Robin Williams, (1951-2014) American actor and comedian

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This yellow swallowtail butterfly did not seem to mind wading into the pollen of my Japanese Lilac tree.

Old Tree

“Soak up the sun
Affirm life’s magic
Be graceful in the wind
Stand tall after a storm
Feel refreshed after it rains
Grow strong without notice
Be prepared for each season
Provide shelter to strangers
Hang tough through a cold spell
Emerge renewed at the first signs of spring
Stay deeply rooted while reaching for the sky
Be still long enough to
hear your own leaves rustling.”

~ Dr. Karen Shragg, Think Like a Tree 

(Quote Source: spiritoftrees.org)

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I have often wished that old trees could share their stories.

Please Don’t Pick the Trilliums

“God has sown his name on the heavens in glittering stars; but on earth he planteth His name by tender flowers.”

~ Jean Paul Richter, (1763-1825) German Romantic writer

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This lovely white flower with just three petals on a single stem is known as the Large-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum).  It can be found in the woodlands of Minnesota and I am lucky enough to have quite a few growing on my property.  Because picking even a part of the plant can kill the whole thing, trilliums are considered quite fragile.  In addition, this plant is slow to establish, taking years to flower.

Large-flowered trilliums are also sensitive to changes in their environment, so they can be good indicators of the health of a forest. Trillium populations have been on the decline, primarily because of soil disturbance, the loss of soil organic matter from non-native earthworms, buckthorn invasion, and overgrazing by deer.  Consequently, Minnesota and many other states have laws to restrict the collection of trilliums. In Minnesota it is illegal to remove trilliums from public land or another person’s property without the owner’s consent.

(Source: http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/news/webnews/may2014/5.pdf)

The White Lilacs

“Gardeners, like everyone else, live second by second and minute by minute.  What we see at one particular moment is then and there before us.  But there is a second way of seeing. Seeing with the eye of memory, not the eye of our anatomy, calls up days and seasons past and years gone by.”

~ Allen Lacy, The Gardener’s Eye, 1992, page 16

(Quotation source: gardendigest.com)IMG_9638-1-3

My mother planted white lilacs in the backyard of my childhood home. I loved them so much that I took a snippet of a bush and planted it in my own backyard some years ago. They are blooming right now and serve as a happy reminder of those carefree days that I enjoyed as a child.

Do any of you have plants that bring back happy memories?

The Old Crabapple Tree

“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”

~Robert Louis Stevenson, (1850-1894) Scottish writer

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There is an old crabapple tree in our yard.  I suspect it is at least 40 years old.  Each year we contemplate taking it down to avoid our yearly battle with apple scab.  And yet, every spring when this tree blossoms and plays host to its variety of birds we decide to keep it around for another year.  I simply refuse to remove a tree that continues to make me smile!