If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. We’re lucky enough to have several woods near where we live and we make good use of them. And yes, there is usually a surprise or two to be had each time we visit. Usually, in the form of little wild flowers that I’ve never seen before and some that I have and continue to enjoy like this pretty mallow.
And then there’s this… I’ve never seen anything like it before but it was in the part of the woods that I always think of as the fairy glen. Spotting this in that area seemed particularly apt because it does look a bit other-worldly.
I love the change of seasons in the woods, but especially love spring when the wild daffodils and bluebells make an appearance. I’m starting to think of the woods as my happy place, as I’m really at peace when I’m there.
Vivvy loves it, of course, and I think her own happy place is when we visit the waterfall. She adores the water, and thankfully the stream is very shallow so it’s a safe spot for her (unlike a few weeks ago when she fell in a river and couldn’t get out – it put years on me, I can tell you).
There’s something so calming about the trickle of water. Which reminds me, I keep meaning to plan a small water feature for the garden. Maybe I should get on to that.
How about you? Where’s your happy place?
Jillian here. It’s June already. Can you believe it? Time is going fast this year even with a lot of places locked down and folks staying home. You’d think that would mean time has slowed, but it seems like every time I turn around, it’s Thursday again.
June in my backyard means it’s hurricane season. There were two named tropical storms before June 1st which sometimes happens. The third storm, Christobal, hit the Louisiana and Mississipi coast this past weekend. We got some wind, rain and storm surge because of it. We’re about 2 hours from the Louisiana line and 1.3 from Mississippi, so when the storms hit there, we usually get some of it and vice versa.
We have this tree at the office that got struck by lightning a number of years ago in the middle and you can still see the stump of it inside. The cool thing is that the rest of the tree lived and thrived. I think I’ve blogged about it before here. It means a lot to me that this tree defied the odds and kept on going. It seems like our lives are that way. We get hit by bolts—sadness, illness, death of loved ones—yet we keep going. Our core may be hurting, but we keep blooming. Each time I look out my office window, I see that tree and think about it. I watched that lightning strike and worried about the tree, but it didn’t need my worry, it thrived without it.
Tropical storm Christobal did some damage to my little tree, but it’s still standing. We’ll clear away the debris and leave that lightning-struck core (Picture 4) and new growth as another reminder that when life’s storms come, we can weather them. Maybe not in a pretty way, but weather them we shall.
Posted in garden, Inspiration, Jillian Chantal, Seasons, Summer, Yard
Tagged Jillian, Jillian Chantal, life, life in general, random thoughts, reflections, thunderstorms, Trees
This past Saturday, we rode over to our river/lake property in Alabama to mark the trees that need to come down so we can start building the cabin our son is designing for us. I’m excited to get started but we have to clear some of the trees before we can get the land ready. I hate to knock them over since many of them have been around longer than me. There are a few that have damage and would have to come down anyway, but there are some that their only sin is that they are in the way of the house. We are going to let the paper mill have the pines so they will at least be repurposed and used. I like that.
I took some pictures while we were out there. A couple of them are trees that had the bark peeling on them. I loved the textures of those and was sure to mark some of them as keepers.
One of them had some lightning damage and sap had oozed out and clumped on the bark. It was nasty-looking but I took a couple of shots of that one as well.
The trees in the water are particular favorites of mine. They are definitely staying as well as the oaks hanging over the water.
Here’s several of the photos. I hope you enjoy them. I hope it’s cooling off for everyone as well. It’s still in the low 90s here but the humidity is lower and I can sense fall is coming.
Being a creative being, I consider myself to be in tune with nature. The beginning of each season inspires me, recharges me, and ignites my creativity. I love fall. Nature settles down for a long winter nap. Everything becomes dormant and … well gray once Autumn’s dance is over and the colors have faded from view. Outside my mother’s kitchen window is a massive evergreen whose strong limbs reach heavenward in praise of God. It turns a fiery yellow every autumn and then gracefully loses its needles. It’s the only evergreen I’ve ever seen do this. It’s an incredibly gorgeous tree. My pastor’s wife loves winter trees, the pose they strike as they wait for new life to spring anew is beautiful to her. Because of her, I’m looking at trees in a new light these days. I have found that she is right.
Winter intrigues me. It covers everything with a frosty white that is the epitome of purity, and being clean, and pristine beauty. I have to have the winter of my year every year. It’s in my creative blood to see beauty in starkness, I think. Besides, I love that moment where I breathe out and the winter wind blows my breath back onto my glasses and causes them to fog over. That’s the moment I know winter has gracefully arrived and said hello to me.
Summer fascinates me. The sun chases away the moon for a few extra hours each day. There are lovely aromas in the air from flowers to bar-b-ques to sunscreen. My favorite scent of summer is the ocean. That cool spray that washes over hot skin and leaves behind a trace of salt water and the aroma of the beach.
But spring enchants me. When the first bursts of life spring forth in shades of green, brilliant hues of flower blooms, and babies of many species, I want to sit very still and capture it all with my eyes, my nose, my ears, and my mind. I don’t just want to admire it, I want to be part of it if only as a bystander. The dormancy of winter virtually explodes vital life in springtime where I live. I can sit beneath a tree and experience the faintest caress of a breeze on my face and arms and it always carries with it fresh, new scents that I would miss if I didn’t stand still and wait for it.
I see God’s creative hand in every season, and I know that He gave me just a teeny bit of that creativity when He made me, when He crafted the designer original that I am … that we all are.
I don’t think I could live where there weren’t four very distinct seasons. Perhaps it would stifle my creativity?
What inspires you?
Until next time, I hope you all are well and enjoying the fresh vitalization that spring delivers.
Posted in Inspiration, Nature, Seasons, Valerie J. Patterson
Tagged Autumn, Creativity, God, Spring, Summer, Trees, Valerie J. Patterson, Winter