Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blue wild indigo

Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis)
Blue Wild Indigo is also known as Blue False Indigo.

I remember this growing in the garden between our house and the neighbors, and when I got a house of my own they kindly dug some up for me to plant in my garden, The roots were very tough and strong, I wondered if they would every sprout for me, so planted then just before a thunder storm, on that late summer day. The plant was given to their Mother by the lady she worked for, Mrs Whitmore was her names as I recall, on the occasion of her new house way back in the 1920's, and Mrs Whitmore, as they called it,may still be flourishing there in the same spot. I would like to think so. With in a few years the last of the brothers and sisters were gone and the house has changed hands several times since.

It was amazing to me to see the tall spikes of flowers in the spring, and in the fall to be given a bouquet of the pods which made a pleasing, to me any, sound when I shook them, these were the greatest treasure of fall collecting, which could include milkweed pods, for making birds, acorns, buckeyes and edible chestnuts, hickory nut husks, beechnuts with their odd triangular hulls and anything else that caught our fancy. Gathering stuff to bring to school was a common activity then.

Blue wild Indigo is hardy perennial plant, that because of its tuberlike roots, can tolerate strong sun and some drought. It is also a member of the peas family. It grows well in climatic zones 3 to 8, in well drained lime free soil. it doesn't usually reseed itself.
It was used in place of the expensive indigo dyestuffs by the cherokee and other tribes and the early settlers. Also known as Indigo Weed, Rattleweed, Rattlebush and Horse Fly Weed said to have medicinal; properties, but as with ,most members of the pea family,it is commonly thought to have poisonous foliage. Blue wild indigo is also said to keep away flies and other insects. A leaf is sometimes carried or added to an amulet bag because it is is believe to protect the person who carries it.
I find it charming that this stately plant was gifted to me and at least one other and possibly many others when we first got a new house.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

haiku for the August new moon

The moon will paint in
velvet colors and broad strokes.
Imagine the details.

betwixt and between

The garden and the gardener are getting weary.
The birds are very quiet, their songs don't greet me in the morning and they seldom answer each other call, the woods are silent except for scurrying chipmunks and the breeze.
Leaves that were stressed by the long dry spell have already turn color, and are beginning to fall.

Gone are the pastel flowers of spring and summer, robust gold, reds, oranges and purples have taken their place. the light has turned a bit more golden and the sky a slightly deeper blue, but it is still not the crisp clear autumn sky. There is still some of summers steady pace before the, furious pace of bringing in the harvest, and preparing for winter.
Even though we have left behind the need for "stocking up for winter" it remains a part of our lives, and more a part of out culture.

I find a rare beauty in these betwixt and between days, no matter what seasons they are betwixt and between, the subtle transitions in color and the impending harvest, the quiet, which at first seem eerie, but then comforting. The lightness of the air and the depth of the suns illumination.
I feel enrobed in the turning of the seasons, and life.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

a personal memory

Held on Dad's shoulder
I could nearly reach the moon.
Now son, reach for it!!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ivy, friends old and new

The old green Subaru turned down Bone Picker Road, and into the driveway. past a house that looked remarkable like Ivy's. The shop was open, and there were cars parked in front of it, and Ivy's heart lept, she had really driven all those miles by herself. She was really going to see Ramona again, it had been almost 40 years since Ramona married and moved away, they had exchanged letters and photos of children, recipes and emails, the occasional phone call, and now that "we gotta get together and visit" was coming true. Ivy took a deep breath and swung her legs out of the car, and stood up.

The gravel crunched under her feet and she could smell the woods and the ocean of weedy flowerbeds that flanked the path, were a patchwork of color. How often she had told people that weeds were flowers she didn't know the name of, just as Ramona's mother had done.
It felt good to step inside out of the sun, where the air was fragrant with lavender and bee balm, sweet Cecily and oregano. Ivy stopped to admire some jars filled with shards of glass and pottery, as she examined them, thinking how she could do this, as voice said "Welcome to my little shop..."and then stopped stone silent. Before her stood looking pretty much as she had and still wearing cutoff jeans and tee shirts, her now greying hair still twisted into a knot ....was Ramona... but speechless!!!! Ramona was never speechless, well almost never.
Both women started to giggle, then chuckle and soon peals of boisterous laughter echoed around the room, until even the customers had to joined in. tears rolling down their cheeks the girls tried to explain to each person as they checked out that they were old friends, but then by this time the customer had figured that out.

:Come on," the still giggling Romona said" lets go put out the closed sign." they swung the gate shut, and flipped over the "Open" sign over to one that read "Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. ~Rachel Carson" and giggled their way back down the road to the house. Once inside they sat at the kitchen table, eating elderberry pie and they talked, and talked, then talked some more. Ivy finally said "I really need to get going. I want to be home before it gets too dark." OH! yes to be sure, if they don't see you in the attic window, someone will call the sheriff." "If you promise to come back, I will give you the rest of the pie and a big bag of elderberries." "I don't really want to leave, you always were silly, Ramona!"

The drive home seem very short. and Ivy arrived just after sundown. A large white rabbit streaked past her, but Ivy was to tired too be surprised by it. After putting things away she , got her lantern and climbed the stairs, feeling at once incredibly weary and elated over her trip. She fell asleep in her chair.

The first light of dawn, or was it her aching back woke Ivy, and she struggled to her feet and went downstairs ever so slowly and found the Motrin. and made coffee. While she was waiting on the coffee maker she placed the heap of elderberry cuttings into the sink, Ivy startled to see what she thought was a huge White rabbit run across her yard. "That can't be a rabbit!" "There!???" She went to the back door but saw nothing.

The coffee was ready, and hobbling along Ivy took the pie and coffee out side to enjoy. It was a cool morning, refreshing, few clouds and a gentle breeze, And little white dog, staring up at her.
Ivy put her pie and coffee to the side, and to her surprise, the pup, lept up on to her lap and began to drink her coffee, when she took it away from him, he tipped the remains of the pie onto himself and ran away, in the direction of town. Ivy was not sure what to do as the purple tinged
pup race away.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

August moon

"Dame Summer has been hard at work, her brow glistening with sweat, and the hem of her skirts ragged and dusty. She has long since tron the sleeves off her bodice, and now merely braids her hair to keep it out of her way while she works. her jewelry has been left behind, these last few weeks before harvest, there is no time to think of anything but the task at hand.

The soft and bright greens of Dame Summers have turned olivne in the dog day heat, have grown tough and robust as they gather in the suns rays and earths nurturing for the dark months ahead. Even the flowers have become more robust, more vivid. It is easy to see that Dame summer has only a short time left before Dame Autumn to will show her colorful panorama."
~Faerie Seasons

The moon has been high in the sky by the time it starts getting dark, giving it an eerie appearance, as it shimmers there in the clouds and sunset. Each night it gets a bit closer to full.
From the beginning of August, until the end we loose a little more than an hour of daylight, and the average daily temperature starts to drop. There is a change in the air and , the moon knows it too.

August Moon names

Joyful Moon (Hopi).
First Acorns (Pomo).
Ripen moon (Dakota).
Dispute Moon (Celtic).
Cutter Moon (Abernaki).
Dog Days moon (Yuchi).
Corn Silk Moon (Ponca).
Harvest Moon (Chinese).
Berry Moon (Anishnaabe).
Women's Moon (Choctaw).
Mulberries Moon (Natchez).
Middle moon (Potawatomi).
Freshness Moon (Mohawk).
Yelow flower moon (Osage).
Blackberry Moon (Wishram).
Acorns Ripen Moon (Maidu).
Wheat Cut Moon (San Juan).
Lightning Moon (Neo Pagan).
Black Cherries Moon (Sioux).
Yellow Leaves moon (Kiowa).
Edible Corn Moon (Agonquin).
Young Ducks Fly Moon (Cree).
Lightening Moon (Neo-Pagan).
Black Cherries Moon (Assiniboine).
Dog Day's Moon (Colonial American).
Autumn Moon (Taos Native American).
Corn Moon, Wort Moon (Medieval English).
Geese Shedding Feathers Moon (Arapaho).
Feather Shedding Moon (Passamaquoddy).
Dispute Moon (Full Janic), Harvest Moon (Dark Janic).
Big Harvest moon, Heat Moon, Big Rippening Moon (Creek).
Fruit Moon, Drying Moon, Last Fruit Moon, Grain Moon (Cherokee).
Red Moon, Wood Cutter̢۪s Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Green Corn Moon, Dog Days Moon (Algonquin).

Other Moon names : Wyrt, Barley Moon
~Everything under the Moon

Whether you call it the Sturgeon moon, or the Calf moon, or by the name of your choice , the moon will be full on August 13th. Oh, my name for this moon, will be the Summer in a jar Moon, as now the garden is producing more than we can eat....it's canning time.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

no wonder!!!!

moon photo in frame
not a breeze, or crickets, nor
rustling leaves, no wonder

Monday, August 8, 2011

I love my boots

These are my fave work boots.
I got them at a Going Out of Business sale, that I found when I turned down the wrong or was it the right street? funny how things like that happen. I don't know if the store had been closed for awhile or what, but it was like something out a Forties movie. with its cast iron dress racks, pigeonhole shelving, ornate tin ceiling. huge old cash register with patterned metal finish, andoiled wood floors. it was no longer 1985, it was more like what imagined 1945 was like. I tried to imagine/remember what it would have been like to be in a Department store in a small town.
Betwixt and between the garden tools, crochet thread, ladies hats and porch gliders. there was an amazing amount of just stuff!!!! o many things to look at.
And there was this perfect pair of size 8 1/2 work boots, just what i wanted.
They cost a whole 75cents!!!! they fit like they were made for me from the very start and they are probably older than I am. I also got some cute Fortys clothes for my then "little guy", red long johns, real silk stockings with seams, and a ton of other good stuff that has all been used up, in the 25 + years since.
This morning, my faithful boots and I tilled the weeds out of the garden.....the way grown-ups play in mud. :)S

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I rise so early,
taking with me bowl and spoon,
by crescent moon light

Monday, August 1, 2011

150 years ago

It was hot, too hot to work outside , so I parked myself in front of the TV and watched the History Channel's, beautifully made "Gettysburg", I sobbed. And for nights after I could feel the suppressive heat, smell the soldiers in heavy woolen uniforms, the gunpowder, fresh blood and fresh death, wince a the piercing screams, and the roar of artillery fire. the smell of tall grasses and trees fractured by rifle and cannon shot.

"An estimate of the deaths in the Civil War is 623,026. This means that of men of service age, one out of eleven men died during the Civil War years between 1861 and 1865." ~Jonathan R. Allen

And the toll on those left behind cannot be underestimated.

My 5th grade teacher was an amazing woman, and a gifted story teller. She used this to make the Civil War come to life for us, very lucky kids we were. She told a story of how Lincoln, wrote the Gettysburg Address on the back of an envelope, while riding on the train to be a speaker at the dedication of the battlefield monument. Edward Everet was the featured speaker and he spoke for about 2 hours, that November day.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.`

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.~y U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and is one of the best-known speeches in United States history.[1] It was delivered by Lincoln during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the decisive Battle of Gettysburg
Edward Everet spoke for approximately 2hours.

slightly wordy Slent Sunday on a road

Not every picture is worth a thousand words, but the memory it represents is.