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.

Minnesota Summer

“Aaah, summer – that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends.”

~ Darell Hammond, (1955- ) American actor, stand-up comedian and impressionist

(Quote Source: brainyquote.com)

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Summer comes and goes too quickly, especially in Minnesota.

Early Summer Days…

“Early summer days are a jubilee time for birds.  In the fields, around the house, in the barn, in the woods, in the swamp – everywhere love and songs and nests and eggs.”

~E. B. White, (1899-1985) American writer

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This is a fledgling American Robin sitting in a pine tree. I love the little downy feathers still sticking up on top of its head.

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.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Instead of a quote, today I share with you a brief clip from a 1950’s television show, The Honeymooners.  Characters Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) and Ed Norton (Art Carney) are meeting for lunch in the park when Ed spots a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

(Television clip found on YouTube.com)

I grew up believing that a bird with this curious name was merely fictional. To me, the name was invented by a television writer to add humor to this particular sketch on The Honeymooners.

Fast forward to the summer of 2015 when I caught a shot of this bird.  I had not seen it before.  Imagine my surprise to learn that it was in fact a real Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  Wow!

So, I guess this is what Ed Norton was looking at in the park that day with his binoculars.

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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!

Natural Recycling

“Nature doth thus kindly heal every wound.  By the mediation of a thousand little mosses and fungi, the most unsightly objects become radiant of beauty.  There seem to be two sides of this world, presented us at different time, as we see things in growth or dissolution, in life or death.  And seen with the eye of the poet, as God sees them, all things are alive and beautiful.”

~Henry David Thoreau, (1817-1862) American essayist, poet, and practical philosopher; author of the book, Walden

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Fungi: Mother Nature’s recycling system