Aged Beauty

~

Most trees don’t have an easy time growing older in our area.  There is snow and wind, summer hurricanes, torrential rain, January ice storms and mid-summer drought.  Trees rooted near the water, like the old native redbud tree growing along the bank of the James River, are   marked by the storms they have  weathered.

Few survive long decades without scars to mark their resilient survival; yet there is beauty in the aged.

~

~

“Wisdom comes with winters”
.

Oscar Wilde

~

~

Redbud trees prove hardy and strong in our area, and many still bloom this week despite being broken and aging.

December’s heavy snow pushed over the largest redbud in our garden; yet its roots held strong.  It leans now up the slope of our ravine, as though reaching out to us as we come into the back garden.  And yes, it has covered itself in buds.

~

~

“How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.”
.

William Butler Yeats

~

~

“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old,

you grow old when you stop laughing.”
.

George Bernard Shaw

~

~

Aging always invites new growth. Pruning away the old stimulates new wood to grow from a latent bud.  So long as the roots hold firm and the trunk can transport water from roots to branches, and sugars from leaves to roots, life goes on.

The frame may age, but fresh branches continue to grow with vigor, reaching for the sunlight.  And the aging trunk generously harbors vines and moss.  Grasses grow above the roots, and many insects find homes in the thickened bark.  Birds nest and shelter in the branches even as pollinators come to drink the tree’s sweet nectar.

All these boarders share in the tree’s generous largess.  Its continued presence acts as a magnet, drawing life, even as it fills its niche in the web of life.  Some boarders sap the tree’s strength, each in its own way.  But somehow, the tree manages to keep going season after season, year after year.

The tree’s generosity, and its beauty, only increases with time.

~

~

“There is a fountain of youth:

it is your mind, your talents,

the creativity you bring to your life

and the lives of people you love.

When you learn to tap this source,

you will truly have defeated age.”
.

Sophia Loren

~

Cercis canadensis grow along the Colonial Parkway near Jamestown Island.

~

Woodland Gnome 2019

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Sunday Dinner: Breakthrough

~

“Every challenge you encounter in life
is a fork in the road.
You have the choice to choose which way to go –
backward, forward, breakdown
or breakthrough.”
.
Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

~

~

“At the end, someone or something always gives up.
It is either you give up and quit
or the obstacle or failure gives up
and makes way
for your success to come through.”
.
Idowu Koyenikan

~

~

“A tiny change today
brings a dramatically different tomorrow.”

.
Richard Bach

~

Redbud, Cercis canadensis

~

“Some of the most beautiful things we have in life
comes from our mistakes.”
.
Surgeo Bell

~

~

“Breakthroughs arise
when someone can combine many ideas together.
Think broadly, not deeply.”
.
Joshua Krook

~

Sandy Bay, Bald Cypress and Osprey

~

“People don’t resist change.
They resist being changed.”
.
Peter Senge

~

Circes canadensis

~

“Many people have wonderful dreams,
but die without realizing them.
It is because they do not know how
to get a hold of a dream
and work with it to make it happen.
Everything happens by laws.”
.
Alain Yaovi M. Dagba

~

Edgeworthia chrysantha

~

“We change the world
not by what we say or do,
but as a consequence
of what we have become.”
.
Dr. David Hawkins

~

Hydrangea quercifolia

~

“As wave is driven by wave
And each, pursued, pursues the wave ahead,
So time flies on and follows, flies, and follows,
Always, for ever and new. What was before
Is left behind; what never was is now;
And every passing moment is renewed.”
.
Ovid,
~
~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019

*
“In every change,
in every falling leaf
there is some pain,
some beauty.
And that’s the way
new leaves grow.”
.
Amit Ray

~

International Day of Forests and Trees

~

March 21 marks the International Day of Forests and Trees.

~

~

We celebrate trees every day of the year in our Forest Garden.  They shelter and shade us, filter the air, block out noise, feed the soil, produce flowers, fruits, nuts and harbor mistletoe!  Our trees attract and shelter songbirds and squirrels and fill the garden with beauty.  We love their unique forms and colors.

~

~

We live in an area where there are many trees still standing along the roads and in neighborhoods.  Our climate allows us to grow many different species of trees and they form the ‘climax community’ in our ecosystem.  In other words, without intervention, every wild space would soon grow up in trees.

~

~

Sadly, this isn’t true across much of the planet.  Trees are the lungs of our planet.  Even as they clean our air and produce oxygen, they also fix carbon, and other elements, in their wood and leaves.  Trees filtering carbon and other greenhouse gasses out of the air helps mitigate global warming.  More trees will help regulate our planet’s temperature.  Fewer trees allow the warming to accelerate.

~

~

In one of the great insanities of bureaucracy,  our state’s transportation department is widening a long stretch of Interstate 64 that goes through our area, to allow ever more cars to use the highway.  In order to do this, they are cutting down, this week, thousands and thousands of mature trees that have stood in the median between the lanes for decades.

~

Dogwood is our Virginia state tree, and many beautiful dogwoods grew in the areas recently clear cut between the lanes of I64 through Williamsburg.

~

Fewer trees, more exhaust, more pavement, more cars, more noise,  poorer air quality, and more rapid warming of our climate will result.  It is hard to believe how governments can operate with such total disregard for the quality of life for the people they are supposed to serve, or the environmental impact of their actions.

~

Bald Cypress trees grow along the Chickahominy River.

~

We’ve been watching the destruction of this narrow, but important strip of forest.  It makes us heartsick to see the waste and the ugliness, and to think about how this once attractive stretch of road will have lost its grace and its character forever.

~

Powhatan Creek

~

But this is a common story in our area, as it likely is in yours as well.  Trees are cut so more roads, shopping centers and homes can be built.  What can any of us do?

~

Magnolia grandiflora growing along the Colonial Parkway near Jametown, VA.

~

Plant as many trees as we are able, to make some effort to offset the damage done when trees are cleared.  Have you planted a tree lately?

~

A row of Crepe Myrtles stands near College Creek.

~

I actually bought two little maple trees earlier this week.  They are only about a foot tall now, but they will grow.  And so will the trees that you plant!

We don’t plant trees just for ourselves; we plant trees for the generations to come.

~

Acer palmatum

~

We can also speak for the trees, use our own voices to support conservation efforts, to support parks and wild spaces, and to support the local vendors who raise and sell trees and shrubs in our area.

~

~

We have lost a great many trees across our region in recent years to storms and construction.  Our trees and forests are precious resources.

~

~

Let’s each do what we can to protect the trees still standing, and replace those that are lost. 

~

A native redbud tree seedling appeared by our drive. This tree can eventually grow to 20′ or more.  Sometimes protecting trees is as effortless as protecting seedlings and allowing them to grow.

~

Our grandchildren’s lives depend on what we do today.

~

~

Woodland Gnome 2019

.

“Gold is a luxury.

Trees are necessities.

Man can live and thrive without gold,

but we cannot survive without trees.”
.

Paul Bamikole

~

Sandy Bay, which frames one end of Jamestown Island, provides a home for many species of birds in its shallow waters. Bald cypress trees grow along its banks.

Wildlife Wednesday: Great Blue Heron

~

“Here is your country.
Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources,
cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage,
for your children and your children’s children.
Do not let selfish men or greedy interests
skin your country of its beauty,
its riches or its romance.”
.
Theodore Roosevelt
~
~
“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
.
Gary Snyder
~
~
“The wild is where you find it,
not in some distant world relegated to a nostalgic past
or an idealized future;
its presence is not black or white, bad or good,
corrupted or innocent…
We are of that nature, not apart from it.
We survive because of it, not instead of it.”
.
Renee Askins

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019

~

~

“The boundary between tame and wild
exists only in the imperfections
of the human mind.”
.
Aldo Leopold


Still Learning How To See

~

“I keep drawing the trees, the rocks, the river,
I’m still learning how to see them;
I’m still discovering how to render their forms.
I will spend a lifetime doing that.
Maybe someday I’ll get it right.”
.
Alan Lee

~

~

“In a forest of a hundred thousand trees,
no two leaves are alike.
And no two journeys
along the same path are alike.”
.
Paulo Coelho

~

~

“There is life and death in all forest,
the life will bring you beauty
and the dead will bring you new life!”
.
Roland Kemler

~

~

“One moment the world is as it is.
The next, it is something entirely different.
Something it has never been before.”
.
Anne Rice

~

~

“So many hues in nature
and yet nothing remained the same,
every day, every season
a work of genius, a free gift
from the Artist of artists.”
.
E.A. Bucchianeri

~

~

 

“This is why children can see Angels, touch spirits,
hear the songs of the trees, and talk to the animals.
Quite simply, they acknowledge the magic.”
.
Elizabeth Eiler

~

~

At first glance, it was just another wet and chilly February day.  The sounds of wind and rain had awakened me in the night, another storm passing over swelling creeks and spongy ground.  Heavy clouds still roiled across the sky, blocking all of the golden from the cold, grey light that reached us.

It was still a day worth using, and so we set out to have a look at the river after brunch and before busy-ness.

~

~

There is beauty and grace, even in February.  There is the halo of faint color around the latticework of limbs, clothed in swelling buds.  There is the wake left by a passing work boat, and moss glowing thick and green through the gloom. There is the delicate etching of branches stretching for the sky; the living nearly indistinguishable from the dead.

I paused to consider that after a life-time of looking, I’m really still learning how to see….

Woodland Gnome 2019

~

~

“Everything has beauty,
but not everyone sees it.”
.
Confucious

Sunday Dinner: The Art of Memory

February 2017 Powhatan Creek

~

“When people look at my pictures
I want them to feel
the way they do
when they want to read a line of a poem twice.”
.
Robert Frank

~

March 2016

~

“The Earth is Art,
The Photographer is only a Witness ”
.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand

~

April 2018

~

“What I like about photographs
is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever,
impossible to reproduce.”
.
Karl Lagerfeld

~

May 2018

~

“When words become unclear,
I shall focus with photographs.
When images become inadequate,
I shall be content with silence.”
.
Ansel Adams

~

June 2017

~

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely,
every hundredth of a second.”
.
Marc Riboud

~

July 2018

~

“While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us
nothing more than what we see with our own eyes,
there is another in which it proves to us
how little our eyes permit us to see.”
.
Dorothea Lange

~

August 2018

~

“To the complaint, ‘There are no people in these photographs,’
I respond, There are always two people:
the photographer and the viewer.”
.
Ansel Adams

~

September 2017

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014-2018

~

October 2014

~

“Photographers tend not to photograph what they can’t see,
which is the very reason one should try to attempt it.
Otherwise we’re going to go on forever
just photographing more faces and more rooms
and more places.
Photography has to transcend description.
It has to go beyond description to bring insight into the subject,
or reveal the subject, not as it looks,
but how does it feel?”
.
Duane Michals

~

October 2014

Sunday Dinner: Vision

~

“While there is perhaps a province
in which the photograph can tell us nothing more
than what we see with our own eyes,
there is another in which it proves to us
how little our eyes permit us to see.”
.
Dorothea Lange

~

~

“How you look at it
is pretty much how you’ll see it”
.
Rasheed Ogunlaru

~

~

“The power to concentrate was the most important thing.
Living without this power
would be like opening one’s eyes
without seeing anything.”
.
Haruki Murakami

~

~

“The more boundless your vision,
the more real you are.”
.
Deepak Chopra

~

~

“If the doors of perception were cleansed,
everything would appear to man as it is –
infinite.”
.
William Blake

~

~

“Your heart is able to see things
that your eyes aren’t able to.”
.
Kholoud Yasser

~

~

“I await your sentence
with less fear than you pass it.
The time will come
when all will see what I see.”
.
Giordano Bruno

~

~

“At the moment of vision,
the eyes see nothing.”
.
William Golding 

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014-2019

~

~

“You get what you focus on.”
.
Chris Hutchinson

~

~

“After all, … your eyes only see
what your mind lets you believe.”
.
Paul Jenkins

 

Wild Life Wednesday: All Calm Before the Storm

~

It was gently raining when we awakened this morning, but the sun was breaking through along the horizon by the time we made it outside into the new day.

~

An early morning bumbly enjoys the sweetness of Rudbeckia laciniata.

~

We are all very conscious of the weather here in coastal Virginia this week as we watch the updates on the progress of Hurricane Florence.  We are on high ground and so flooding isn’t a concern.  But we live in a forest, and any amount of wind can change the landscape here; especially when the ground is saturated.

~

The Solidago, goldenrod, has just begun to bloom.

~

It looks as though the storm will make landfall far to our south, and the track no longer suggests it might travel northwards into Central Virginia.  Yet Florence remains a dangerous storm, and is absolutely huge.  We may start feeling its outer bands of rain and wind sometime tomorrow or Friday.

~

Rose of Sharon

~

Which made today all the sweeter.  Do you know the Japanese term, Wabi-Sabi?  The Japanese find beauty in the transience and ultimate imperfection of all phenomena.  The impermanence and changeability of the world around us heightens our appreciation of its beauty.  We can appreciate things while feeling a deep tenderness for their inherent imperfection.

I was pondering these things this morning as I wandered through our upper garden, wondering how it might appear in a day or so after wind and heavy rain have their way with it.  Already, our tall goldenrod and black-eyed Susans lean over into the paths, making them almost disappear in the abundance of growth.

~

~

It is my first time wandering through the garden like this since I got a nasty insect bite last Friday afternoon.  It is still a mystery what bit me, as I was fully armored to work outdoors.  It was a small bite at first, but quickly blistered and swelled up to a massive angry red blotch that stretched several inches away from the original bite on my knee.  It has been a slow process of tending it, and I stayed indoors until yesterday, hoping to avoid another until this one was resolved.

~

Ginger lily with orbs

~

But today I was out in the early morning wetness, capturing the beauty of it, and trying to ignore the mosquitoes greeting me along the way.  I wanted to see everything and admire everything on the chance that the coming storm will shatter its early September magnificence.  It was the beautiful calm before the storm, and we have taken today to celebrate it.

~

~

The rain was past and the day gilded with golden September sunshine when we set out along the Colonial Parkway to see the sky and watch the rising waters along the James and York Rivers.  If you’ve never seen the sky filled with enormous, rain shadowed clouds in the day or two before a hurricane approaches, you’ve missed one of the most beautiful spectacles of atmospheric art.

~

Yorktown Beach, looking northwards towards Gloucester Point and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science

~

The clouds are arrayed in regular, rhythmic patterns, punctuated here and there with towering, monstrous storm clouds.  The sky is blue and clear beyond them.  They float rapidly across the sky, these outer bands of the approaching storm.  These days of waiting are moody, morphing quickly from dull to golden and clear blue to stormy grey.

~

~

One keeps an eye on the sky while pacing through the rituals of preparing.   There is an edge to the mood as highways fill with strangers moving northwards, inland, away from home and into an uncertain future.  We encountered one today at the next gas pump who needed to tell us he was traveling, just passing through, on his journey to somewhere safer than here.

~

~

We found a nearby parking lot filled this morning with state police, huge generators, Klieg lights, and emergency response trailers.  The lot was filled at eight, but emptying out just a few hours later.  We’re still wondering where the equipment will ultimately end up.  We hope not here…

~

Jones Mill Pond, near Yorktown on the Colonial Parkway

~

I wondered whether the butterflies would move out ahead of the storm.  But we counted more than a dozen as we drove along the Parkway from Jamestown to Yorktown.   We saw mostly small ones, Sulphurs, but we were glad for their happy fluttering along the roadside.  We noticed the tide is already high along the way.  Jamestown Island is closed as preparations there continue.

~

~

The rivers lap high up into the reeds, mostly covering the narrow, sandy river beaches.  The York River is already climbing the rip rap hardened banks constructed a few summers ago to protect the shoreline.  Small Coast Guard craft patrolled the river near Yorktown, but that didn’t deter a few families here and there, determined to enjoy this bright and sultry day at the beach.

~

The York River, looking eastwards towards the Bay.

~

The lizards were scampering around the drive and back steps when we returned home.  They’d been basking in the mid-day sun; our return disturbed their peace.

The squirrels had been at the grapes again, and we saw a pair of hummingbirds light in a Rose of Sharon tree nearby, watching us arrive.

It was too silent, though.  We didn’t hear the usual chatter of songbirds in the trees.  It was still, too.  Though the wind was blowing off the rivers, here the air hung heavy and still.

~

Our Muscadine grapes are ripening over a long season.

~

I believe in luck and omens, and perhaps that is why I planted a few little pots of Baptisia seeds this morning.  I’d knicked the seed pods from a plant I’ve watched growing all summer at the Botanical garden, and carried them in my pocket for weeks.

~

~

With the seeds tucked into little pots out on the deck, I’m already thinking of the sprouts that will soon emerge.  Life goes on.  I believe that is the wisdom of wabi-sabi.

No matter the current circumstance, change is constant.  We can’t outrun it, or stop it.  Wisdom invites us to embrace it, observe its power, and find the ever-present beauty, come what may.

~

This beautiful cluster of lichens was waiting for me beneath a shrub this morning.

~

Woodland Gnome 2018
*  *  *
“To Taoism that which is absolutely still or absolutely perfect
is absolutely dead,
for without the possibility of growth and change there can be no Tao.
In reality there is nothing in the universe
which is completely perfect or completely still;
it is only in the minds of men that such concepts exist.”
.
Alan Watts

~

~

“But when does something’s destiny finally come to fruition?
Is the plant complete when it flowers?
When it goes to seed? When the seeds sprout?
When everything turns into compost?”
.
Leonard Koren

~

Begonia

 

Butterfly’s Choice: Aralia spinosa

Aralia blooms mingle with wild Clematis along the Colonial Parkway near Jamestown.

~

We stopped to admire the Clematis.  It was only once we pulled in to the parking area that we noticed the butterfly.

_

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Aralia spinosa.

_

And what a beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail he was, contentedly feeding on the Aralia flowers.

_

_

Aralia spinosa is one of those wild trees we notice growing along the roadsides that appear, to our eye, rather weedy.  They grow tall and thin, eventually forming dense thickets, and sport wicked sharp thorns along their trunks and branches.  A native in our area, most sane folk would never allow them to take root in their garden.

_

_

But their thorns can be overlooked in late summer, when the Aralia produce huge, thick clusters of tiny flowers.  The flowers bloom, and after the blossoms drop dense purple berries take their place.  Butterflies love their flowers and all sorts of song birds love the berries.  These small trees produce abundant food for wild life each summer, before their leaves drop in late autumn.

~

“The Devil’s Walking Stick”, Aralia spinosa, with berries forming.  This stand grows along the Colonial Parkway near Jamestown Island.

~

We got to know Aralia when our neighbor’s fell over under its own weight one year, and leaned its huge flowery head into our back garden.  Perhaps it was merely reaching for the sun; I was intrigued.  Within another few years, we had one sprouting in the upper garden.  I decided to give it a chance and let it grow.

~

Aralia spinosa, a native volunteer in our garden, looks rather tropical as its first leaves emerge each spring.

~

It lost its top in a storm in early spring this year, and just as I hoped, more branches and flower heads sprouted lower along its trunk.  Where last year we had one large flower cluster at the very top, this year we have several.  We often find our Tiger Swallowtails winging their way up to enjoy its nectar.

~

~

But here along the Colonial Parkway on Sunday afternoon, I was still surprised to see the swallowtail feasting only on the Aralia, and completely ignoring the Clematis.  To my eye, the Clematis flowers are far more appealing.  They fairly shimmer in the sunlight, and they are a bit larger and perhaps easier to access.

But butterflies perceive the garden differently than do we.  Something about the Aralia intrigued this butterfly and kept it satisfied.  The Aralia is a Virginia native, and this particular Clematis is a naturalized variety from Asia.

~

Clematis terniflora was introduced from Asia, and has naturalized in many parts of the country, including here along the Colonial Parkway.  Its fragrance is strong and sweet.  This variety is on the invasive list in several states.

~

As we garden, we have to come to terms with our purposes.   What do we intend to accomplish by planting and tending our garden?  Who is the consumer?  Who is to be pleased by it?  Are we growing food for ourselves, enjoying the latest brightest flowers, creating a peaceful green sanctuary of shrubs and trees, or are we gardening to nurture wildlife?

~

~

We can find compromises, but we can’t do it all.

What appeals to wildlife may not be our idea of horticultural beauty.  Maintaining a garden that is immaculately beautiful won’t serve the needs of the butterflies, birds, toads and other creatures we may hope to attract.

Wildlife will impact any food crop we cultivate, for good or ill, and we need to come to terms early on with whether we will use the many chemicals that promise garden perfection.

~

Native Asclepias incarnata grows wild in a marsh on Jamestown Island.

~

It helps to know what wildlife need and prefer if we want to contribute to conservation efforts to protect them.  But that doesn’t mean we want all of those plants surrounding our home.  Many have a short season of beauty, or are rampant, or simply prefer to grow in wide open spaces.

~

Native Pickerel weed, Pontederia cordata, may be used in water features in our garden.  Here is grows in one of the marshes on Jamestown Island, along with Phragmites.

~

Maybe our homeowners association has strict standards for how our yards must be maintained.  Growing vigorous native plants may be discouraged, in favor of more traditional landscaping.

There is a tension, sometimes, in how we resolve these apparent conflicts of purpose, intent and personal needs.  But there can be creative, and beautiful compromises possible, when we stop and observe closely enough, and plan with clarity and wisdom.

Our love of the wild and beautiful world around us helps us discover those compromises, and find joy in the result.

~

~

Woodland Gnome 2018
~

A wildlife friendly border, with mixed natives and exotics, in our upper garden.

Season’s Change

Daucus carota, from a grocery store carrot planted this spring, blooms alongside perennial Geranium in our garden.

~

We feel the season’s change every time we open the kitchen door and step outside.

The air is soft and thick, perfumed by millions of tiny white flowers opening now on the uncounted Ligustrum shrubs surrounding the garden.  It smells of summer, stirring some nearly forgotten restlessness echoing across the years, from summers long, long passed.

~

~

The sweetness permeates the warm breeze, full of promises and  vague intrigue.  In the early morning, the breeze holds an invitation and a dare, drawing us outside to ‘seize the day.’

~

~

By noon it grows oppressive, rank with humidity and pulsing with summer’s heat.

The air buzzes now.  Bees mind their business, methodically working flower to flower, unless startled into a quick evasive maneuver out of range.

~

Asclepias syriaca, common milkweed, blooms along Jones Mill Pond on the Colonial Parkway.

~

But mayflies and mosquitoes buzz in as close as they dare, waiting for a flash of skin to light and drink, waiting for a moment of distraction to attack.

~

~

Birds call out to one another, chirping at the cat napping on the deck, warning intruders off from nests.  Ever vigilant, ever hungry; the swoosh of restless wings cuts the thick air, in pursuit of another bite of summer’s bounty.

~

~

Our garden explodes in growth.  Warm, humid nights coax even the most reluctant perennials to pulse into life.

~

Verbena bonariensis stretches towards the sky even as it spreads across the garden.

~

Responding to the season’s magic, stalks rise and leaves open to the cadence of  croaked and clicked incantations wafting on the evening air.

~

~

The air is thick with leaves, trees now fully clothed make living green walls and ceilings around our garden’s rooms.  Bamboo arises, thick and green, sealing us in from the wildness of the ravine.

~

~

Flowers appear in every shade of purple and gold, white and ruby.  They sparkle through the sea of green, enchanting in their transience.

~

Wildflowers nod along the bank of Jones Millpond on the Colonial Parkway in York County.

~

Spring’s flowers have come and gone.  The last few foxglove, beaten down by the rain, limply bloom at the ends of stalks swelling with seed.

~

~

A few Iris pods swell, too; overlooked in my pruning.  Daffodil leaves have grown limp, yellowing and fading to make room for something new to arise.

Summer’s flowers replace them, filled with nectar and bursting with pollen, a magnet for every sort and  size of pollinator.

~

~

We feel the season’s change every time we step outside the haven of air conditioning and window screens.  When we dare leave the shade in the afternoon, a fierce sun burns down upon us.

We want the smaller shades offered by hats and sleeves; the relative safety of socks and gloves and thick jeans protecting us from ‘the bities’.

~

Colonial Parkway, near Jamestown, where wild prickly-pear cactus bloom in summer.

~

As the days grow longer and the nights warmer, we feel ourselves drawn to the top of the year.

~

~

Mid-summer beckons, only days away.  Nature calls us to come out and join our own human voices in the buzzing, clicking, croaking, swooshing, chorus of life.

~

~

This is the time of sweetness and abundance, full of promises, eternally youthful and energetic.

Summer at last.

~

~

Woodland Gnome 2018

~

 

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