Weekly Photo Challenge: Life is a Treat

“We can’t wait to see what brings you happiness!” says Word Press.

I’ve enjoyed more than 50 years of sensual pleasures: tastes, smells, sounds, sights, and tactile delights of all kinds.  I live in the wealthiest country in the world, so I’ve had my full share of opportunities to be treated to finely-produced, man-made “treats”.  Consequently, they’ve become a bit dull.  I find that what really makes me smile are all the unexpectedly lavish surprises of Nature I can discover right in front of me, for free, every day.  

The best treats in life are free….born in freedom.  Like Maple Drops.

maple drops

And Puffball Mushroomallows.


And Teasel Pops.


It’s a world of Pure Imagination!  If you want to view Paradise, simply look around and view it.  (go ahead, click the link to see Gene Wilder in that scene from Willy Wonka that set me dreaming of chocolate for months as a kid!) Enjoy your treats this weekend.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Please Be Careful

Ever get “Assembly Required” furniture from IKEA?  I remember we got 2 sets of loft beds with student desks beneath them for our youngest daughters who shared a room.  There were so many screws and wooden pegs and brackets included.  God forbid we leave one out and our child plunges to the floor amid splinters of wood!


“To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” – Aldo Leopold

Why are we not as careful with our planet as we are with our furniture?  You see a bug looking at you the wrong way, and you squash it.  You see a weed growing in the wrong place, and you pluck it.  If you don’t think you’ll need it, you plow it under, rip it out, poison it or shoot it to extinction. 


Many years ago, my son in his pre-school ignorance was walking a trail in the redwoods of California with his grandfather when they came upon a banana slug,  bright yellow, slimy and directly in their path.  “What is THAT?” he asked.  “A banana slug,” replied Grandpa George.  “How do you kill it?” was the next thing out of my son’s mouth.  That little exchange was later reported to me by my father and has haunted me since the telling.

We are all ignorant of the full worth of Nature.  Let us be careful to tread lightly and reverently. 

wooly bear



Weekly Photo Challenge: (Extra)ordinary

A beautiful everyday thing, for most people.  Walking.  Feet to the earth.  And in the USA, most of us wear shoes.  That, in itself, would be extraordinary for many inhabitants on the planet.  It was extraordinary in this country 200 years ago.  You walked to church barefoot, and put your shoes on when you got there, keeping them seldom worn so that you could pass them on to your younger siblings.  When you had to go out in the chicken yard, you wore wooden shoes.shoes

What do your everyday shoes look like?  What do they say about you?

relic 2

Cover art


Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place on the Prairie

“Where do you go when you need to think? What do you do when you need to restore yourself, to ready yourself to take on the coming week with energy and verve? How do you get your sense of humor back? How do you recharge your groove?”

Ah, WordPress.  If you only knew.

For twenty years, I was living in a northwest suburb of Chicago, raising 4 children, and partnering my terminally ill husband.  Needless to say, I needed a “Happy Place” to go to…frequently, slowly, meditatively.  Luckily, there was a prairie preserve just one block away.  That became my spiritual sanctuary and furthered my relationship with the Earth beyond my childhood infatuation to a more mature and deep passion.  In this place, I breathed, I prayed, I cried, and I began to write poetry in alarming profusion.  And when my husband died, I came here to grieve.I sold my home in Illinois and moved north to Wisconsin almost 5 years ago.  I now work for a conservation foundation that has several natural prairie restoration projects in various stages of development.  I find myself in Happy Places frequently, looking more closely at the community of life that reminds me on ever-deepening levels that I am alive, that all is well, and that happiness is always at hand. 

Happy Place

Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries and the Unbound

My partner Steve and I have often discussed the usefulness and the detrimental nature of boundaries.  To be safe is often important for growth…until it’s not.  Steve’s ultimate objective is to grow beyond boundaries and explore the Oneness of reality.  After all, boundaries are a concept that we can erect and dismantle at will.  Where is your will?  Do you elect to put up boundaries or break them down?

Stick to the rails or take to the sky?

Stick to the rails or take to the sky?

Do you go through life humming “Don’t Fence Me In”?  I feel that’s the position I take more and more.