Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Oh what a weekend! Normally I would have been writing in the evenings as soon as I uploaded these photos but that didn't happen. Mercury rules right now and nothing else matters. Except for those other four planets in retrograde.

We are back in the rainy city after a lovely mothers day weekend in the woods. Looking back on these photos is such a treat now that there has been several days of rain. I'm certainly not complaining about the rain. We need it to nourish the earth and to put out large fires in the northern parts of this state and in our neighbor country.

OK. Let's stop here at this photo for just a moment. This is the first time I noticed that moment when an acorn roots itself to the earth. How cool is that, huh?!?! I've been observing this oak tree on our WI property a lot more closely since last summer, mostly because it was under this tree that I built my bench. And now. Now! I see another bit of its cycle. The seedling looks like a snail to me, growing out of the acorn in that way that it is. Which seems perfect considering the snail-like growth of oak trees in general.

It was quite the yellow mothers day. The gifts, the flowers, the sun.

I can't leave here without saying a thing or two about Saturday night. Once a year this cabin nearby populates with a large number of boys, teenagers perhaps, they could even be college kids for all I know. They are loud through the night blaring music into the early hours of the morning. We are far enough away that our own music can cover the sounds. One of our other neighbors who is a bit closer to that cabin got in her car and left a little after 11pm. I imagine it must have been much louder for her.

But here is the weird thing. Several times throughout the day we saw them driving by on four wheelers up and down the road, kicking up dust as the went along. A few times we saw the lot of them shirtless and riding in the backs of their tricked out pickup trucks looking a lot like the boys from Mad Max (pasty looking and feral). Imagine our extreme surprise when we realized that the music on that Saturday night was mainly karaoke, then utter disbelief when one of the boys chose to sing "Let It Go!"

Too bad our girl was in bed and sleeping for hours before that song floated towards us. Or maybe it is a good thing because I have no doubt she would have wanted to run over there to join in.

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Sunday, May 8, 2016

mothers day mandala

[spring things: maple helicopter seeds and tender young maple leaves]

It was windy while I was playing with these tender spring things. The delicate tidbits flew off the page bringing a graceful end to the mandala. That was the only quick movement on this delishly lazy day.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

high fire danger

The region is warm and dry. The immediate area is damp and wet below but dry and brittle above ground. I know it is damp because of the deafening sound of the toads and frogs I hear the moment I open the jeep door. The national forest service sign on our way into town declares that the fire danger is "very high."

I managed to catch a rocket. Gazing up my own constellation Gemini a rocket crossed by. In this Sky Guide chart you can see the faint lettering spelling it out at the bottom fourth of the photo: c.2184 Rocket. I wish I had thought to click on it to get more info. I searched just now and found nothing about it on the internet. Likely it is space junk. Do you any idea at all about the amount of space junk orbiting our planet? It is an astounding amount. I find it all the time when I use this app to scan the stars while out here in the woods.

The day was warm and will be warmer still tomorrow, seventies. But now the temps are dropping into the fifties and I am comfy in my fleece jacket, hood up, cotton scarf on. These are the best times in the woods of Wisconsin, bug free, cool, and full of the sound of toads and frogs on the nearby wetlands.

I had a panic attack tonight. It was when I was making the beds in the back of the airstream. One of the most soothing womb-like areas I've ever experienced. I suppose if I should be grateful that it happened here.

Later I wonder where it is that I am headed towards....?....

....high fire danger. I'll have to mind the sparks in the woods and in my mind.

At night the sounds of the toads and frogs amplifies. Deafening. Ear-battering. I welcome the sound. I intend to keep at least one window open tonight.

It smells of cow out here in the woods. Cow poop, to be exact. Cow shit, to be more crass about it. The smell carries over from the nearby farms, holstein I think. This is Wisconsin after all.

I wish it was a bit more rancid, that smell cuz then I could speculate about Sasquatch. I'm sure she smells gloriously foul. And perhaps of fowl. Who knows? Could be.

The next morning I am drawn to a loud chirping in the ditch water only to discover that some of the noise around us comes from fat round water bugs. So not all this endless noise is from toads and frogs.

The frogs do their part and this one is much larger than I was expecting to find. She's a beauty, dontcha think?

The next day I think I realized why I had that panic attack. My mother's health is worsening and we need to visit immediately. I had the same panic feeling right before we found out that Dave's nephew passed away. I'm hoping that the reason for my panic attack is that I'm attuned to those in my life and not an indication of where my life is heading. As we were driving away from the airstream I realized that it might be weeks, up to a month perhaps before I will return. Hopefully then the ticks will rise and fall. The leaves will pop and green will become the dominant color in the region. Maybe also a little bit of pink.

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

amber is the color of your energy

I have a thing for resins. Copal, Myrrh, Frankincense. If I'm near an outdoor fire, I need to have some resins to toss in to it. I have an affinity for all sorts of incense-y stuff. I like the idea of incense smoke taking prayers up and into the air, out and into the area around, cleansing and healing. Sage and sweetgrass, cedar and pine. I love all aromatic biotic material.

On a walk into the woods we headed towards what we thought was just an ordinary burl. It turned out to be a natural store of amber. In all the years we've been out in these Wisconsin woods, I never realized that we had our own stash of natural resin. Of course I started chipping away.

I haven't had the heart to burn this amber yet. It is just so incredibly beautiful. I may just wait until I check the tree again to see if more is available. Time for another trek into the woods.

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

food for squatch

We found some unexpected happiness on Easter Sunday. A spontaneous visit from grandparents added to a few hours of dyeing eggs. We experimented, we laughed, we created something beautiful together. All healing for the grievous emotions felt at the funeral on the day before. It didn't matter that we were a bit late with the dyeing. It lent a fluid harmony to a day that needed joy. We loved.

We know our dyed eggs are destined for the woods. A reversal of the city activities. These eggs are left out for the animals of the woods. Hours later after the eggs have disappeared, there is no sign of them. No shells lying around. No splatter of yolk. No bright spots within the grass or in the tree branches. It's also seems to bring some harmony to the woods. We offer eggs once a year and I can't help but speculate on the animals that had a taste. Was it shy deer, little ground squirrels, rambunctious raccoons, hungry bears, ducks, geese, chickens? Did the frogs get a taste? Did the coyote fight for a morsel? Doubtful. No shells to indicate a tussle. 

Or was it squatch? Delicately picking the eggs from the forks of tree branches. If so, I hope she reads English and knows the symbol for our heart.

I don't know if squatch is out here in the woods. She could be. I think of how male deer shed their antlers every spring and yet, we never find them. And there are many, many deer in the area. So the lack of physical evidence does not belie the possibility of squatch. I am willing to accept that there might be somesquatch out there or there might not.

Soon enough I'm distracted by the fungi blooming out from the dead, decaying tree trunks. A fairy could climb them up to the sky, to the top for a good launch. 

I love this time of year in the woods. The leaves are still buds so not hindering our view of the stars above. The toads are emerging, the migrating birds are gathering. Wood needs to be chopped but it not so urgent to have some piled up. The air temps are comfortable and light stays late into the evening. Life is grand for those few hours out in the woods.

Late into the night, Dave starts with his squatch wood knocks. I fail to see the difference from the sound of my wood chopping. But as I am doing the chopping I also think that in a better world we would have been closer to Dave's nephew and he might have come out here to the woods, sat by the fire, perhaps with a few of his musician friends, drinking under the stars, making music. In a better world there are so many possible paths clear, yet all gone for good. Death is utterly uncompromising.

After the wood knock we hear honky geese, some wonky ducks, an OWL hoo-hootin, coyote, the waking warbles of a toad. There is piercing unknown high-pitched whistle from a ways away so not too alarming, just steady and incessant, could be bird, could be toad. Could be all around us in the surrounding spring wet lands.

I spotted a few star constellations tonight. The Big Dipper started pouring down the blessings at 11:30.

I thought I knew Draco but was put off by the twist of the form, the angle shift from how I studied it last summer.


The next morning I see crows in the trees above the eggs. A horde, hover, muster, parcel of crows. There is at least a dozen. The murder of crows descend upon the eggs. The drama unfolds early morning in the woods. Do I know their sounds well enough to distinguish between a crow and a raven? I feel as if I should know this tiny thing. There are many and loud and flying in through the tree branches, all daring and graceful, squawky and calling for all to hear. Later we look for bits of shell and find very little. The eggs are gone, eaten presumably by the crows.

P.S. We have decided to more open and intentional about exploring the squatch. She could be out there, or not. In any case, this experiment makes out woodland observations sharper. At the very least, we hope to learn more about the activity in the woods around our Airstream retreat.

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