Migratory

© lake sepia

 

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to join with a birding group, led by an Ornithologist,…down by the sparkles in the  lake that we now live near.(Which happens to be called Fortune Lake!)

What a treat it was to share space in the woods with the migrating species of many birds.  Even our guide was excited, saying to see this many at one time was unusual, and that the trees were simply ‘twinkling with birds!’  They really were!   Here for just a few short weeks on their way to Canada, just long enough to share their song with us.  The warblers stole the show.

© BW song DSC_3729

 

© cape may DSC_3700

 

© Myrtle

Just like some people in our lives that add color and song… they are here for a short while before moving on,  yet leave an imprint on our hearts.

We are all migrating. Our orientation on something, someONE greater as we pass through.

So we fly on….

feeling drawn nearer….

following our True north.

 

 

 

Moon Wonder


I’m a bit late here… posting about the lunar eclipse that occurred on April 15th.  But my mind keeps wandering back to that night, so I thought I’d share it here.

After a day of clouds and snow, I was feeling disappointed that we would miss this event. (If you’ve been reading my posts regularly, you might remember that i’m a bit of a science nut.)  But wonderfully, the skies cleared late in the evening and the full moon was bright above giving me hope!

I went out to set up my tripod on the deck, and experimented with settings to make sure I wouldn’t miss the exposure.  I only have a 200mm lens, so I wasn’t able to get tack sharp images, but it was fun to attempt the capture.  (I’m looking into getting a telescope to shoot photos through… if I can find an affordable deal. Has anyone out there had experience with them?)

The night was cold (8 degrees) and clear… quiet and calm.  The owls around me in the silent woods were hooting their approval as well.  As the moon darkened, the stars appeared. It was a bit surreal. Over an hour of trials, and here is my result.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 3.37.57 PM

Below the moon is Spica (SPAY-kah), a giant blue star.  Mars was also a bright visible orange. (Too far out of the frame though.)

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 3.33.00 PM

The reason for the red color?  If you were on the moon looking back to the earth, you would see a glow around it. That glow is EVERY sunrise and sunset on the horizon!  That is what is reflecting on the moon when it enters the shadow of the earth.  How cool is that?  If you missed it this time around, it will occur again in September.  And then two more times in 2015.  

It is the moments like these that make me feel so connected to the Creator.  Totally in awe. Totally humbled.

Kabibonokka

I’ve got you wondering at that title, don’t I?  Well, I’ve been reading century old books lately…. something so special about them.  I finished up ‘A Girl of the Limberlost’, set in the Indiana swamp.  Most enjoyable for simple country girls!

limber-book

So then I looked over the bookshelves for another vintage read, and out popped Hiawatha!  When I was about 12, I had memorized 40 lines or so of the ‘childhood chapter’.  You know it too.  “By the shores of Gitche-Gumee, by the shining Big-Sea -Water….” (which is our beloved Lake Superior).   I’ve always liked it because of my Indian ancestry, love of poetry, and the Northwoods setting.  I thought it was Hia-time to read the entire book!  🙂

hia-book

Longfellow’s epic poem first appeared in 1855, after much research and interaction with Native Americans.

The first chapter covers descriptions of the Four Winds… and I smiled at the North Wind, Kabibonokka, who brings the snow and ice.

The fierce wind cries at the lodge dweller, asking “Who is this that dares to brave me? Dares to stay in my dominions?”  Ha!  That is exactly what we all thought of this winter!!

Kabibonokka tried to heap snow drifts on the dwellers fire, and flapped the curtain of his doorway.   And even though he felt the coldness, felt the icy breath, “Still he did not cease his singing, Still he did not leave his laughing, Only turned the log a little, Only made the fire burn brighter. O Kabibonokka, You are but my fellow-mortal!”

I love that.   And today, with sun shining, and windows open… we watch the 6″ snowfall from 2 days ago, pass away into the mud. Winter is finally dying.

Just as any long weary season in our hearts…. mortal fellows all of them.  Gotta turn that log in the fire, and make it spark a bit.

 

Happy Spring… ???

snowflake

 

Just a quick pop in today…. to say Happy Spring to everyone.

Winter is holding us hostage up here in the north…snow falling quietly, as if trying to sneak in on this  first Spring day?

The sun did pop out for about 5 minutes, so I quickly grabbed my macro, and caught a few details on the porch rail. They are awfully fascinating, even though we are ready to be done with them.   Time to hike in the woods… without sinking in.  I DID veer off the road one day recently and was buried up to my hips!  Could hardly move, and thought I might be stuck there until the thaw!  That will teach me to be patient, and wait to check what I thought was some chaga on a birch tree!   (It was quite funny, after I got back home safe!)

Paint! I need more paint!

This cold COLD winter on top of our move, and my dominant melancholy personality has taken me on a ‘blue’ journey.  I try my best to keep it inside, this storm. I try to focus on:

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely… worthy of praise…dwell on these things.”  Philippians 4:8

My sister once told me, “It seems the best way to get you out of the doldrums is to slap a paintbrush in your hand!”  I think she was right. 

I wish I was a painter of canvases, but it is simply rooms and furniture.  So, I started painting more this week.  Just some basement window trim, and then some shelves up in the loft.  It really does help my mood!

 Not sure what it is?          Transformation.         Yes…. that’s it.

paint

This song from a while ago..(yes… a WHILE!  I have the vinyl LP!)…has been playing in my head as I dip my brush into the paint can.  You can listen to it here if you aren’t familiar with it.

Paint my life with Your Charity,

Paint my life with Your Mercy,

Paint my life with Your Humility,

And I’ll share in Your Glory, Jesus,

Paint my life. 

Color Your brush with Your Kindness,

Color Your brush with Your Meekness,

Color Your brush with Your Gentleness,

Color Your brush with Your Forgiveness, Jesus…

Paint my life.

(portion from ‘Paint My Life’, By John Michael Talbot and Terry Talbot)

So the question is:  will this stubborn canvas of my life resist the touch of the Master Painter?  Or will I surrender daily to what His never ending palette might hold for me?  After all, He does KNOW which colors best blend with blue!  

Castles in the Air

Gorgeous day in the Northwoods, before the next storm comes crashing down tomorrow.  Windows wide open… and loving it!

We took advantage of the dry roads and headed over to Eagle River, WI to check out a few things.  As a bonus, we ran across their Ice Castle built with this winter’s  generous supply of the cold stuff. (Pretty cool, hey?– literally!)

ice castle

I remembered this Thoreau quote that I liked, and decided I ‘needed’ to combine the words and a couple of photos, just for fun.

castles-thoreau

Then that started me thinking about dreams, and a blog author that I follow, Holly Gerth.  One of her recent books is titled ‘You’re Made for a God Sized Dream’.

You can read excerpts from it here, (by clicking on the book in the link), and check out her blog here.

A ‘God Sized Dream’?  Sounds like something really huge and fantastic, filling me with fear and insecurity…. too big for me to ever aspire to.  But that isn’t necessarily true.  It’s not the size of the dream.  It’s more about what we were created to do!  It all matters. Big or small.

Today on our ride, I recalled with my husband some of the things in our past that were awesomely realized!  And how some of it is revealed ALONG THE JOURNEY…  not always dropped in your lap.

Here’s a ‘note from Holly’ about God-sized Dreams:

holly note

“If not for Grace…”   What powerful words.  OF COURSE I can’t do this thing called ‘life’ on my own!  As I face health scares, and getting older, it seems that any dreams I might have had are past the expiration date.  BUT perhaps there is something yet to be revealed…

…along the journey.

We’ve Landed!

It’s been about six weeks now…. since we’ve crossed over the border of Wisconsin, into upper Michigan to call a new house ‘home’.  What a transition.  My old stubborn brain had a tough time at first… but it is improving.  Just spent too much time at the old farm, so how do you leave after that many years?  Honestly, it felt like we were dropping a kid off at college, and driving away.  Rip.

But we are putting ‘our stamp’ on this place, and gradually we will fit in.  This week we finally got an internet service up and running!  Yea!  (Yes, we are at the edge of no where, but that’s what we chose.)  I call it Hermit Hill.  And a steep hill it is!  You can only visit if you have 4-wheel drive. (Or, we will shuttle you up!)

We are at the stage now of unpacking and organizing the basement boxes… which I am wondering about. WHY did I pack all of this??  Here is a bit of my late night ponderings. No it’s not a misspelling… I do try to “keep the peace” too, but this is about pieces.

Keeping the Piece

Crammed into so many boxes,

  these million fragments

  that make up my reflection.

Juxtaposed now against new surroundings.

     We don’t quite fit.

These nesting treasures, gathered for years

                      and tucked away.

WHY did I pack it all… carry it with me?

Thinking I could transplant? 

           When actually we are cuttings. 

no. roots. yet.

It will take time. 

Some slices will thrive, some will wither

to memory only. 

Yet I remain… the Keeper of it all.

house for blog

 

Gift from the Woods

This week I learned about a VERY interesting ‘mushroom’ that grows on Birch trees. Chaga! It has SO many wonderful health benefits.

You can read a bit about it here.  I looked it up on various sites to learn about harvesting and preparing it.  In a nutshell, this is what I’ve gleaned:

  • Harvest during the dormant season and only from LIVE trees.
  • Don’t gouge into the tree, simply use a hatchet and chop off level with the trunk.
  • Toss the chunks (leaving the black outer layer on them) into a crock pot… low simmer for a few hours. You don’t want to boil it hard.  (I used about a quart of water… simmered for an hour, let it sit overnight to steep, then simmered again in the morning.)
  • Strain well…. and drink up! Save the tea in the refrigerator, and dry out the chunks to use again. (not sure how many times they can be used?)

I was expecting a bitter bark flavor… but was pleasantly surprised!  It was smooth… and earthy. Not bad at all.

chaga

 

I am so happy to read about the wonderful natural gifts that are given to us. Since I have opted out of pharmaceutical treatment for a while (we are doing a watch and wait),  I am going full speed ahead with herbal medicines instead.  Yea!!  🙂    And a walk in the woods foraging certainly is healing too!!

Dance!

My inspirations come from the most unlikely moments.  

Today, feeling so tired, and a bit frustrated…. I decided to pull out the juicer and crank out some good stuff.  While scrubbing off the final carrots from the garden,  (those who never want to be boring and grow straight down)… these just made me smile!  Definitely a dancer, don’t you think?

So I was reminded of these lyrics…. and had to share this moment with all of you.  🙂

carrot

LEE ANN WOMACK

I Hope You Dance Lyrics

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance… I hope you dance…

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance,
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some Hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years
and wonder where those years have gone.)

A Shout for Sprouts

I’ve been enjoying growing sprouts lately.  My winter gardening!  I’m experimenting with a variety of seeds.  Soak. Rinse. Repeat. Toss on a salad. YUM!  Little nutrient POWERHOUSES. So very good for us.  Broccoli sprouts are especially good at fighting cancer, (read about it here.)

Interesting to think about how they quietly rest– dormant. Waiting for the environment to be just right. A bit of nurturing and they explode with change as they grow.

©sprouts

 

Am I allowing the ‘seeds’ in my heart to do the same? Do I nurture and care about those as much as this handful of seeds in my kitchen?

I want to be more aware of the Holy Spirit at work. We all have dormant seeds waiting.  Let me grow in Grace.

Matthew 13:31

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds; but when full grown, it is largest than the garden plants, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”