When I first bought this place, almost two years ago now, I made a promise to myself that I would come to know every nook and cranny, that I would teach myself to fully see everything around me and it would become as familiar to me as my childhood home was, after years of exploration.
Every day, on our walk in the meadow behind the house, Buddy covers the now familiar ground as though for the first time. He never seems to tire of it. Together, we're seeing things (well, he's mostly smelling things) from a renewed perspective.
For example: the other day, a tree that sits along the fence line, and which appears to be half-dead, was alive with butterflies. A variety of them floated around my head and some even posed for me. I was particularly smitten by this beauty. Her velvety brown wings tipped with circles of blue and fringed with white, reminded me of a dress I wore to a Christmas concert when I was 15. I played the clarinet, rather poorly, and that's not a humble statement. It was really bad.
Just across from the butterfly tree is my garden, where I was faced with yet another tree that's in dire need of pruning, but the pink blossoms sprouting from the almost bare branches asked me to wait until later in the season, and then only with great care. Where there is life, there is hope. That's what the bumblebee said.
When I turned, I saw my cabin through the trees. From the back, the green and blue reflected in the windows caught my attention.
As did the vines starting to fill out around the roof line of the chicken coop and garden shed:
Then it was the old snow fence lying curled up in the corner...
...several patches of little white flowers next to the skeletal remains of a long-abandoned shed, and the play of shadows on what is left of its walls:
Back at the garage (a term I use loosely), a collection of blue shovels Otis left behind (I trust he didn't need them where he was going) was reflected in the metal siding, along with some of the irises he planted:
When I went to get some garden tools from the shed, the mama bird, who created this magnificent nest in the rafters, sat on the lilac bush just outside and expressed concern for my presence, as her offspring patiently waited with open beaks. Of course, when they knew I was there they quickly closed them.
No, it doesn't look like Buddy and I will be running out of things to see, or smell, any time soon. The wild roses that line the north side of my vegetable garden are just starting to bloom:
Buddy, grown tired of posing, says hi.
Here's Joni Mitchell performing "Woodstock" at Big Sur, in 1969: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBqodL2OJ1A
"I dreamed I saw the bombers
riding shotgun in the sky
turn right into butterflies
above our nation."
Very nice Summer post. I do love me some Joni!!ReplyDelete
She was certainly the right girl with the right talent for those times, and any time.Delete
I loved the magical tour of your place with you and Buddy. What a video of Joni in her youth. That line is my favorite line in that song, too. May they all turn into butterflies! We can dream, right? :)ReplyDelete
We certainly can. It all starts with a dream...Delete
Awww. Its a shame that tree along the fence is half dead, though you can save it! Prune away the dead branches and look for signs of fire blight and you just might be able to save it! Your fields look beautiful, by the way.ReplyDelete
Tree Service Queens
Thanks for the tip and the comment!Delete
Great photos, and it looks like you have a lot to like, and a lot to explore.ReplyDelete
I don't think I will ever be done exploring. Nice to hear from you.Delete
I'll try to pay more attention when I walk in my backyard. As you showed us, there is always more to see if you look.ReplyDelete
Always more to see, no matter where we are. Thanks, John.Delete
What a beautiful walk about so much beauty all around you to see and don't think you'll be running out things to do around here either, good idea to paint the shovels blue to find them if they are lying about after working.ReplyDelete
I've come to a good place. Those blue shovels bring me joy just looking at them. :)Delete
I enjoyed your walk very much. What an interesting place you have!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Sandy.Delete
Great photos, Teresa. "Where there's life, there's hope" grows all around you and inspires us as well. And Hi to Buddy!ReplyDelete
Buddy clearly loves you, unconditionally. But he loves you even more for bringing the two of you to this paradise.Delete
Hi Kittie. Good to hear from you. I trust you and hub are having a good spring.Delete
R.W. We're both lucky dogs. :)Delete
I enjoyed this soooo much I tell you.ReplyDelete
I'm sooo glad. :)Delete
Where there's hope, there's life.ReplyDelete
A butterfly will grasp for a twig.
Just as we grasp for hope.
Beware of the net. :-)
I think of hope in gentle terms, like a butterfly resting on my shoulder. :)Delete
My wife says the first butterfly is a Mourning Cloak. Even the name is evocative.ReplyDelete
Thank the good lady for me. Interesting.Delete
What a wonderful walk around your place. Thanks for sharing. Give Buddy a smooch...he's such a beautiful boy!!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Lynn. He sure has brought some fine things to my world.Delete
You are living the life, I have only dared dream of. I applaud you, your appreciation of beauty and nature, and your eloquence.ReplyDelete
Thank you. And keep dreaming. Dreams can become our reality. :)Delete
[I made a promise to myself that I would come to know every nook and cranny, that I would teach myself to fully see everything around me]....I really relate to this line of your post. Loved the blue shovels and the old gate with the rusty hinge, in the photo of the reflecting window. Enjoyed the walk.ReplyDelete
Thank you. I so love visiting the beauty on your site. Your images are exquisite.Delete
The more familiar it becomes the more wonderful it is. I do the same thing around our place and it makes me know that it's home.ReplyDelete
Yes, so true. It is what makes it home.Delete
It's a very lovely place Teresa, with so many exciting corners. (I love the blue shovels and the shed too). It must be so nice to have this little bird's nest and follow the young birds. Your butterfly - the dark one - is the Mourning Cloak, it flies on the wind when it comes to Denmark in huge flocks from the East, but it don't come each year. It is a very beautiful butterfly.ReplyDelete
Although you've done so much to know every corner I'll bet you'll still see new things each year. A place like yours in the coutnry side is forever re-newing itself. Maybe some new animals, maybe new rare plats come up, new butterflies come visiting. I love it. You're some lucky girl. Nosehugs to sweet Buddy!
Grethe, Thanks so much for these lovely comments. I have discovered many nests this year, all with little ones waiting to fly. I try to watch from a respectable distance usually. The mama's get so nervous other wise. This post just presents a few of the nooks and crannies. There are so many more for possible future posts, and every year there will be new things to explore. Buddy sends a happy smile!Delete
Such a gentle sweet feeling to this post, Teresa. I am always pleased to see that you popped up in my reader so I can have a little visit with you and Buddy. Your pictures made me feel as though I was walking alongside you. Thank you for the visit. :-)ReplyDelete
Thank you for joining me. :)Delete
Teresa, your fruitful wanderings make my heart leap with joy. There is an abundance of life and living right before our eyes, isn't there? I take similar walks each day and there is always something new to see, no matter if it is the center of the garden or the old brush pile.ReplyDelete
Oh, how I love those old roses! Wonderful, evocative post.
There's always something to see as if for the first time. I love brush piles, too, and always bury my nose in those roses. They still are the scent of true roses. Thanks, Penny.Delete
Lovely treasures, the 1st butterfly is a Moarning Cloak and the other a Comma, both in the Angel Wing family.ReplyDelete
Hi Steve, Thanks for the info. Angel Wing family sounds just right. :)Delete
Your Buddy is a handsome dog! I wonder what he smells living under the roll of storm fencing.ReplyDelete
There must be a million critters alive in your beautiful green empire!
And I believe he smells them all! Oh, yes, it's a lively little acreage. I'm happy to be sharing my "beautiful green empire" with so many beings, both flora and fauna. It's really their empire. :)Delete
I'm sure glad you have Buddy there to share all the wonder and beauty that surrounds you.ReplyDelete
We can learn so much from our dogs. I once read this quote and found it a great comfort.
"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are."
Dogs are such great company. It's so fun seeing things through the eyes of a dog. I miss my sweet Maggie every day for just that reason.
Thanks for the lovely pictures.
Hope the weather in your neck of the woods is as wonderful a day as it is here today in Illinois.
This is so nice. I thought of you just this morning and wondered how you were doing. Buddy is the best teacher ever. I hope that wonderful quote is true. I have much to gain from his presence. And from those who came before him.Delete
I recall your stories of Maggie and can well imagine you're missing her.
The weather is outstanding. Sunny and quite warm. So good to hear from you.
Dear Teresa, I agree with what the bumblebee says. As I grow older those words mean more and more to me.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing those photographs of your homesite with us. Such loveliness. It evokes in me the remembrance of the farm on which I grew up.
Dear Dee, I hope you're feeling Much better. :) The experience of time brings some valuable lessons and a rearranging of priorities, doesn't it?Delete
Those farms of our childhood are so special. Everyone should have the memory of one.
I feel like I've just taken a walk with you around your property! The use of photos and words, in concert, is such a good way of communicating. Nice arranged, I must say.ReplyDelete
The blue shovels, evenly spaced, and amongst the iris is striking. Perhaps a work of art by the previous owner, and a wonderful work of art it is.
Buddy looks like a real pal. I have two dog pals. They are some of my best friends.
Thank you for this.
The blue shovels: There are a couple more against the shed I didn't get in this shot. I love looking at them as I walk by. He was a folk artist and made wooden duck decoys, among other items, for which he had some recognition.Delete
Buddy is one fine companion. I'm so glad he's in my life. It's the best relationship I've had. :)
What a beautiful place you have! I love the photo of the shovels.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Linda. I've grown quite fond of those blue shovels.Delete
The shovels kind of symbolize how I think about your place: lots of work, but all of it so life-affirming and beautiful (the work, the setting, the outcomes). Lovely post, and like DJan I'm always so happy to come upon you in the new listings.ReplyDelete
Hi Nancy, I hope you and your family are having a good summer. Thanks for that thought about the shovels. I will be seeing them in a whole new light.Delete
Joni Mitchell... Joni Mitchell... Joni Mitchell...!ReplyDelete
A Joni fix is good for the soul.Delete
Wow, I missed ya, TE!ReplyDelete
Glad yer back. Let's get this thing rollin'.Delete
Your place is beautiful. To me it seems to be really...ripe.ReplyDelete
I am reminded of this, from George Eliot.
A human life, I think, should be well rooted in some area of native land where it may get the love of tender kinship from the earth, for the labors men go forth to, for the sounds and accents that haunt it, for whatever will give that early home a familiar unmistakable difference amidst the future widening of knowledge. The best introduction to astronomy is to think of the nightly heavens as a little lot of stars belonging to one’s own homestead.
The Joni Mitchell lyric is probably my all-time favorite. The image comes to me frequently, especially when war machines scream over our farm. I think it's the greatest peace lyric of the era, if not of all time.
Good Morning, Bill. I absolutely Love the Eliot quote. I still recall my first awareness of the night sky and how I felt. I still feel that way every time I look up at it. "A little lot of stars belonging to one's own homestead." Beautiful thought.Delete
"I came upon a child of God, he was walking along the road..." Thanks for your thoughtful comment.
Oh I love this posting Teresa, your home is so beautiful how great that you are seeing it with new eyes...I love doing that!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Jane. May we always see the world with new eyes!Delete
Beauty, Friendship, Effort and Balance, I love your world TE xxx elleReplyDelete
Elle, What a treat it is to hear from you! Thanks for the kind words. I was just heading over to see what moments of beauty you've discovered recently. You always inspire me.Delete