Loosened from the mud, I find myself floating in a world of possibility.

So can you.

The astonishing ends of June

The other night a firefly came right on a path between me and my love when we were out on the road looking for constellations. He was gazing up when the firefly decided to make its flashy buzzy way in between our bodies.

Question: if a firefly flies between a pair of lovers and if one of them doesn't see it, is it still romantic?

Yes, yes it is romantic.

Do you know that in all this time I've spent out in the woods completely removed from any major city, in all this time I have never seen a solar flare or the northern lights? I am astonished with myself.

I've seen the International Space Station bright in the sky but I've never seen my own Gemini constellation.

As soon as we got to the 4-Acre Wood I noticed the firepit. It looked like some very large bird had been here, a bird who took a very large poop. Here look at it. It's not just in one spot either. It's all around the ring of stones.

Of course my imagination tells me it was an eagle or an owl. Somewhere in the back of my mind a voice says it was a turkey. But then turkeys do roam in flocks and this seems like the work of one bird. It seems to have flown in, moved around the pit, then up onto the bench all the while dropping poo.

Daisies, fireflies, strawberry flowers - that's what the wilds of June are all about.

This weekend was our first visit to the local Ladysmith farmers market. These are the goods I picked up.

It was good to see how everyone did in the winter. It was good to get the farm fresh eggs. The garlic scapes for pesto. The baby kale, the tender peas perfect for snacking.

The trifecta of today's farmers market: tomato/basil jam, sweet honey, and spicy hot kimchee. I'm astonished by all that I found that was made in the local area.

The farmer from Maple Hill Farm said he loses over a hundred chickens a year to owls. Not coyote or fox but owls. I am astonished by these owls. Well fed, apparently.

And if all that wasn't enough (of course it all is more than enough) we had the perfect golden summer afternoon to cruise on the Flambeau Flowage. The water was warm and silty.

How astonishing to realize this is my life, that this is the life we have created as a family.

The second day in the woods my senses are enhanced, I'm less jumpy, my ears are getting used to being away from the city and I'm calm enough to identify the sounds around me. I am not startled by the rustling steps in the woods just to the left (east) of me. Probably deer or maybe a raccoon. I'll know if it is a raccoon if I hear similar sounds in about ten minutes.

I'll wait to see what I hear next. I'll sit here next to the fire within a circle of citronella torches, listen to WOJB (probably one of the best community radio stations in North America), and sing some more Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, and Buddy Red Bow (because it is the listener request honkytonk show and it's almost always the same songs each Saturday). I'll drink my grapefruit shandy and think about the golden ends of June.

Yep. Here comes a few more raccoon traipsing through the woods. The lead one must have given the all clear. Seeing as I'm sitting right nearby that might be the most astonishing thing a city girl could experience today.


  1. Beautiful, beautiful photos, Manisha. What a lovely family you have and I love your magical woodland retreat. Looks like you found some wonderful goodies at your local market. I'm looking forward a trip to one of our farmer's markets on Friday. The best part is that you never know what you're going to come home with. Enjoy your time in the woods. xoxo

    1. Thanks so much, Susan! I'm glad you used the word "magical" to describe the woodland retreat because that's exactly how it feels to me in every season. But the opportunity to go out on the river makes the experiences even better. I'm excited to go to the farmers market again and I talked to one of the farmers about bringing me some pea vines. I love the fresh green flavor of pea vine pesto. Have you tried it?

  2. I have to echo the word magical...I feel so free looking at your photos. A real escape.


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