The natural world, as recognized over and over again can be our best teacher. The struggles and stresses that we perceive in our daily lives can get to be such a drain on us. When this happens, our lives are no longer in cadence or harmony with others and the natural world. We start to feel distressed and lost while even armed with our fine educations, years of therapy, self-awareness and physical fitness. Where do we turn? There seems to be no answer and no one to help us.
I remember when I was very young and my parents used to argue with each other, I would get very upset and walk out of the house. There was an old red oak stump in our timber. I would just sit there, staring at the ground and trees around me. It was my escape and my haven from stress and turmoil. This little wood lot that had been so mistreated and now barely remained had become my friend and companion. Having been stripped of all valuable timber long ago, then grazed, then abandoned, now recovering but extremely scarred, the landscape did not complain but only saw new opportunity for change and a new life. The stripping of its timber was not harbored in a memory bank filled with judgments of greed or bad behavior. No one was being held responsible for the condition of this little parcel. Out of what looked like total defilement and desolation came a new beginning and a new life for this old, old piece of ground.
There were Yellow Warblers, Myrtle Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers, Ruby Crown Kinglets, and Purple Finches, over 100 species of beautiful birds in this small haven along with squirrels, rabbits and copperheads. It was amazing that this land, so poor, could house and care for such a diversity of life. Underneath the shallow leaves and humus of the oaks and hickories, it was only 2″ to shale rock. Erosion had not even allowed a new soil to stay in place. Now a new soil was starting to form. The oaks grew ever so slowly, but they grew. Now, down the slope, a small clearing, a little knoll occupied by Andropogon virginicus, or Broom Sedge as we called it, was dotted with Eastern Red Cedars. From here, I could lie down in the grass and look to the south and east to see a whole horizon bounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Only 12 miles away, I could see Big Bald Mountain on the North Carolina line marked by the Appalachian Trail. It was a beautiful wilderness within site of this abandoned and forgotten vestige that was once a link and connection to these mighty mountains. Like a child cast out into a desert of chaos and severed from its mother, this little wood lot had become an island. My education and awareness might not have been that well established at the age of nine but my feelings were in tact and I knew this was a place where I could go and start to heal and find comfort. I didn’t have to worry about conflict here. I was accepted and I fit in with the rest. I became part of that landscape and it is still within me. I have learned from the great spirit of the natural world. Every change is an opportunity for a new beginning. Nature does not hear or respond to shame, blame, doubt, and guilt nor does she harbor regrets or grudges. She takes what she has and moves on to constantly create more beauty in the world.
I think it’s time to move on and create some beauty in our world. Won’t you join the natural world
Posted in Agriculture, Bird and Butterfly Attractor Station, Birds, CRP Land, Environment, Fall Planting, Fall Plantings, Gardening, Grass, Ion Exchange Inc, Live Plant Plugs, man and nature, Mountains, Native Grasses, Native Plant and Seed Nursery, Native Prairies, native wildflowers, natural world, Nature, nature retreat, Perennial Garden, Perennial Plants, Tallgrass Prairie, Urban Gardens, Wildflower Garden, Wildflowers and Native Grasses, wildlife, Wildlife Gardening, Woodland
Tagged Appalachian Trail, Beautiful Birds, Beauty, Beauty in the World, Birds, Blue Ridge Mountains, Copperheads, Daily Lives, Daily Stresses, Daily Struggles, Earthyman, Erosion, Harmony, Haven, Horizon, Ion Exchange, Ion Exchange Inc, Land, Landscape, Leaves, Mountaians, Native Seed, NE Iowa, North Carolina, Northeast Iowa, Plant Nursery, Rabbits, Soil, Spirit, Squirrels, The Natural World, Timber, Trees, Wilderness, World
After a thunderstorm and lots of rain last night, I walked out to our 1-mile labyrinth through our 20-year-old prairie. I noticed the mist rising through the thick morning air and smelled the freshness of the ground and air. Dew dripped from the Big Bluestem. Showy Tick-trefoil was seen drooping its purple head now standing 4 feet high towering over the already bloomed Golden Alexanders.
Still the Ohio Spiderwort sends out a spectacular 3 petaled blue flower saying goodbye once again to its blooming season.
The Yellow Coneflowers reach skyward with blooms in the green buds ready to burst into their summer yellow suits supporting their cone heads.
Mad Dog Skullcap sported its pink and white blooms and stood at attention just below the ever-growing Indian Grass.
Cup Plant had reached the overflow mark as its’ cupped leaves held at least 4 ozs. of water after the rain. It continues its upward growth trying to once again outdo itself having reached over 7 feet in height last year.
A closer look revealed a Cream Gentian trying to get attention but alas all it could show were its waxy leaves waiting for another month to bloom and show off its pale yellow color. Of course the Butterfly Milkweed needs no search to find as it shows forth its psychedelic orange heads stealing all the attention to itself.
The prairie hides many treasures just waiting to surprise the passerby with its individual personality made up of a hundred species of native flowers and grasses forming a living community adapted to the seasons of time. A virtual kaleidoscope of dazzling colors turning off and on as the seasons roll by, is there to just enjoy. Each species alone can be cherished but we sometimes forget that they all joined hands at one time making one of the largest living communities in the world sweeping from Texas to Canada.
Listen closely and you can still hear the pounding hooves of the Buffalo.
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Posted in Agriculture, Bird and Butterfly Attractor Station, Butterflies, CRP Land, Environment, Flower Photography, Flower Pictures, Gardening, Grass, Ion Exchange Inc, Live Plant Plugs, man and nature, Native Grasses, Native Plant and Seed Nursery, Native Prairies, native wildflowers, natural world, Nature, Perennial Garden, Perennial Plants, Sowing Seed, Tallgrass Prairie, Wildflower Garden, Wildflower Photography, Wildflowers and Native Grasses, wildlife, Wildlife Gardening
Tagged Big Bluestem, Buffalo, Butterfly, Butterfly Milkweed, Cream Gentian, Cup Plant, Flowers, Golden Alexanders, Grasses, Indian Grass, Ion Exchange, Ion Exchange Inc, Leaves, Mad Dog Skullcap, Milkweed, Native Flowers, native grasses, Ohio Spiderwort, prairie, Prairie Garden, Seasons, Tick-trefoil, wildflowers, Yellow Coneflowers