Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pretties from the Prairie

Pictured clockwise from top: Ratibida pinnata, Monarda fistulosa, Helianthus helianthoides, Silphium terebinthinaceum, and Echinacea purpurea

As you may have noticed, activity on this blog has been spotty at best. Why? I've been working hard on trying to wrap up my first novel. I'm in the last stages, so it claims quite a bit of attention.

However, my regular job still involves lots and lots of prairies. I'm lucky to have one right outside my office window. I've just come back from a four day national conference on prairies and all that dwells within them where I got to meet some amazing people and reconnect with colleagues.

Because I have a big beautiful prairie to play in, I can indulge in my fascination with flowers. This is my desk bouquet. I keep a couple of vases in the office because life is better with blossoms up close and personal. The nursery staff likes to bring me ones that have broken off or been cut back. Some species do well in a vase and some go downhill almost instantly.

The coneflower in the raingarden has burst into bloom as well, so I have lots of composite flowers decorating home and office. I don't deadhead the purple coneflowers as I do the daisies because the finches will snack on the seeds come fall.

I encourage you to pick a posy to brighten your inside space! Sometimes it's really important to stop and smell the roses. To pause. To notice. To listen and pay attention and let the seconds tick slowly by while you count the petals.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Janustory - Wrap Up

It's been a crazy tradeshow week, so I haven't been posting. Here's the last threads of the little experiment I call Janustory:


27.       Running up to the tip of the highest hill and back each day, I am finding new muscles that constantly complain, ignoring the need for constant vigil.

28.       I am heartily sick of cold crab meat, but they are the easiest to catch in the myriad tide pools that are lined with colorful anemones and starfish.

29.       Having decided that this poor island may be my forever home, I’m headed into the trees to find more permanent shelter, yet I cannot give up hope of rescue.

30.       At last, at last, a beautiful big industrial freight ship has spotted my giant whipping flames and is turning rapidly about towards my solitary island, searching for this lonely traveler.

31.       As I watch the retreating frothing waves, I remember my long days and shimmering star-filled nights, but my heart lifts like the bouncing bow at my return to my dearest love.
 
This has been great fun to create and has really helped spark creativity elsewhere. Not to mention, re-start this blog. I hope you have enjoyed the journey!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Janustory - Day 26

Today's installment: Will I miss this stretched out solitary time, filled with searing sun, diamond stars, and a bone white moon that calls my name at darkest midnight? #janustory #wordcount26

Winter makes me want to hide away in my own little world. I do my best thinking while alone, which is why my hour commute on country roads is actually rather nice. I can tune out and let the brain simmer away on whatever problem. Yet, I still like to be connected. Today, a photo of a solitary spider - all alone, but still within a web.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Janustory - Day 25

Today's installment: I have constructed a beacon of driftwood and relentless hope, praying for some sign of a ship or boat to carry me away from here. #janustory #wordcount25

Beacons cause us to pause and re-evaluate. The lone pine on a hill, the fire in the distance, cause us to stop and seek meaning. Today, we went to the funeral of the father of a friend. He was a man who gave of himself boundlessly and was a beacon of joy and laughter. He is a bright laughing flame in my memory and I am richer for having him walk through my life.

Snowdrops for remembrance

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Janustory - Day 24

Today's installment: I am rapidly giving up hope of ever seeing a human again and although the glowing plankton is quite beautiful, I miss real conversation. #janustory #wordcount24

One of these days I'll see glowing plankton in real life. It hasn't quite made it to my bucket list, but it's in the wings. So instead, I'll settle for flowers glowing in the sun.

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Janustory - Days 21, 22 & 23

Social commitments and work have put me behind on posting here. To catch up:

Day 21: Yesterday, a torrential riot of a thunderstorm bristling with sizzling lightning, washed away my makeshift tent and drowned my nascent fire.

Day 22: Shivering, I have scoured the jagged black volcanic rocks, hoping and praying for a miraculous find brought forth from the watery depths.

Day 23: I may finally have mastered the ancient skill of making fire as I managed to get another tuft of carefully scraped fibers lit.

I'm having a lot of fun with this project. It's forcing me into creativity and sparking those neural pathways that expand my brain. Like a flower expanding its petals, working through creative problems causes new muscles to kick in and something beautiful appears.

Japanese anemone

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Janustory - Day 20

Today's installment: If I had a calendar, today would get circled as I finally managed the human race’s most basic achievement: fire. #janustory #wordcount20

It's the little things that keep us going. The unforeseen compliment, the pat on the back, the flower blooming stubbornly in the crack in the sidewalk. I like to try to find something beautiful in every day, be it a crescent moon or the line of a branch in an ancient tree.