Thursday, September 30, 2021



The orangey goodness of spotted jewelweed

Orange glow of a royal fern at days' end

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Algal Blooms


Seething, bubbly mass

Freshwater metaphyton -

Like boiling toffee

Not blisters of pus -

A chemical factory:

Fixing oxygen.

Filling in the gaps

Between the spatterdock leaves

Blocking out sunlight

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Caged Birds, Camels & Needles

I've just finished listening to Maya Angelou read "I know why the Caged Bird Sings." It was my first time reading it - I'm so glad I did.

Maya's language is rich and powerful, almost exotic. Her prose and imagery so evocative - I relate and feel it in my gut when I read what she has to say.

Here I am contemplating her impact on the world.

I was particularly struck by her comments on how the teachings of the bible, especially certain lessons (see quote below), could be used to encourage the oppressed to accept their poverty and see themselves as deserving of rewards in the afterlife only (a sort of delayed reward). This belief has enabled, and ensured the continuance of, an unfair system that was advantageous to the rich and powerful. What a manipulative tool!

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Maya was so insightful, an individual thinker, definitely not a sheep.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Dinner Rolls, Anyone?

These little beauties look like fresh baked bread rolls just from the oven. In a way, they are ... freshly erupted mushrooms from earth's 'oven.'


What a lot I got!

Edge on

Friday, September 24, 2021

Leafy Mysteries

Does anything in particular come to mind when you look at the detail on this spatterdock (cowlily) leaf?

Dale suggested calling it the sphincter lily! It's almost as bad as the name spatterdock!

And this watershield leaf looks as if it might have a big yellow spider on it, or is it a starburst?

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Curdling Carpet


A green floating mass 

Duckweed, like guacamole

Curdling as I pass

It might make a beautiful mosaicked floor tile pattern:

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Shelob Guards Mordor

A tolerant fishing spider on one of our watery stump gardens allowed me to get close enough to get this shot of her with her intricate mesh web.

Isn't she spectacular!

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Red Bogmoss

Sphagnum moss or peat moss, is an ancient and primitive life form, native to Canada and the northeastern U.S.

I found a huge area covered with it at the Wellhead Protection Area of lake Arrowhead. It's incredibly soft and cushiony, almost spongey. Red peat moss is often found as a green mass when it grows in the shade.

Monday, September 20, 2021


So, Feedburner continues to deliver my blogger emails! I'm definitely NOT complaining, and will keep monitoring how long it continues to do so.

I love Roxanne Gay's writing and social commentary - she's fresh, knowledgeable, and uses sophisticated words, not your common old run-of-the-mill ones. Her use of language is exquisite. This month I read her piece that used a new word for me, which in context was fully understandable, even though I'd never come across it before - the word is

- precarity -

I think I'd find it pretty hard to use in real life, but its meaning is pretty clear - the state of being uncertain, or of feeling precarious. It has apparently been around since the early 1900s, and is based on the French word precarité. She used it to describe the feeling of being able to take pleasure in other (vaccinated) people's company without fear of contracting COVID, as in:

"We sat around enjoying the food. Conversation was effortless, and there was little small talk; we had no need for small things. Throughout the evening, I was intimately aware of the gift of proximity without precarity."

Thanks, Roxanne, this is awesome! We enjoyed a neighbor's-only, outdoor, double-vaccinated BBQ and campfire over the weekend that felt just like that!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Green Gradations

 The magnificence of greenery and its gradations, soon to be a memory

Saturday, September 18, 2021

A Summary of Summer?


So many insects love my goldenrods! They're a big hit.

Summery yellows

Make my native garden glow

With color and bug!

Friday, September 17, 2021

Always Worth a Shot


I'd spent so much of my kayak survey time taking pictures of beautiful things that I only covered half the area I'd planned to last week! And I had an appointment to get to later, so I sealed my camera up in its watertight, waterproof bag and decided it was time to fight the wind and the waves and return to my starting point, without taking (time-consuming) photos on my return trip.

Oh no! Almost immediately after making that decision, I came upon this magnificently lit waterlily. I'd already taken numerous pics of them earlier in the season, so paddled right past, only to find myself back paddling the moment I overtook it. It was so worth a shot, another try - each time and lighting and background is unique, even if the subject has been shot before. The golden brilliance of the sunshine on this white cup of perfection stopped me in my tracks, and I'm glad of it.

Of course, having disturbed the water initially, I had to wait for it to settle again, so I could include its reflection too.

By the time I got home, I'd missed half my Zoom call, and was in a frenzied panic when it ran way over time and I had little time to freshen up for my writer's group. But hey, look at the pleasure I got out of it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

A Spectacular Show

I love the dusky blue, or is it purple, of these delightful natives called bottle gentians. They never open! Bumblebees are big and strong enough to force the petals apart and get inside for the nectar. When they leave, the petals close up again. They depend almost exclusively on bumblebees to do the pollinating, so make sure you have bumblebees around if you want this plant to persist. My gentians self sow all over my yard, (and in my lawn) which is great.

I timed this bumblebee's visit to the flower - it spent a full minute inside the petals.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Reflecting, Accepting?

Reflecting ... my body seems to have found its own equilibrium. Yes, it's heavier than "ideal," i.e. I've put on weight, but it's so much more fitting to my lifestyle and pace these days. It was active WORK trying to keep it off! I was in constant vigilance mode. It wasn't comfortable or relaxing, even though I knew I looked good as a slimmer, short person.

I have to keep saying to myself: so what? I remind myself that I'm not a runway model. I'm 60. I've had 2 pregnancies. My body's changed to accommodate what I wanted from it. I'm enjoying my life and activity level. I eat 'clean,' have scaled down my portions and plate size, and 'water' down my wine with seltzer. I like enjoying my life.

I'm trying to learn to accept me, but it's tougher than I thought, and I still vacillate back and forth about trying harder to be slimmer every now and again ... especially when I see candid photos of myself. It's a learning process. I need to keep working at it, this mental adjustment of body image, at a fundamental level. I'm trying to be more realistic; to shake off my socialized conceptions of what an ideal woman looks like. In fact, my curves are rounder, softer, curvier now 😀 - can't that be desirable????

I want to accept (and believe) that when clothes I fitted into as a slimmer person are no longer flattering, no matter how much I like them or their style,  it's time to find a wardrobe that fits. Not fit ME into a wardrobe. Will I achieve it? There's a lot to fight against!

And I'm aware that I don't sound all that convincing, or convinced, about the reality of my bigger body size, but I've never been good at the art of persuasion. One thing's for sure, I was totally surprised that my wetsuit, which I've had as a tight body hugger for the past 7 or so years, still zips up, so things can't be all THAT bad 😊

Monday, September 13, 2021

Meadows of Pickerelweed

Amethyst meadows
As far as the eye can see
Pickerelweed spikes

Beauty and the beast:
The seeds from which it begins
Look rather grotesque.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Mossy Kingdom

I love the variety in this small patch - the colors, shapes and morphs are diverse. Makes me think of a miniature forest - a fairy's forest!
The orange fruiting bodies are easily visible from this side view of moss growing in a blob on an upright trunk.


It looks startlingly colorful alongside this lichen on the trunk.

A fairy world!

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Moody Blues

These intricately petaled spires of great blue lobelia spread a haze of blues throughout my garden. Their unusual complexity and spreading nature pleases me.

Friday, September 10, 2021

On Becoming

I've loved listening to Michelle Obama's memoir, "Becoming." She comes across as down-to-earth, caring and real. So candid. It was quite astounding to hear how many times she regarded herself as 'not good enough,' and second-guessed her capability. How many of us can relate to that?

One of the messages that struck me early on in the book, was how she realized that schooling and society expect each of us to become one specialized thing - a pilot, or a librarian, or a technician, or a plumber. She made me aware of how multi-faceted we are, and how we don't have to have just one role we're good at; that we can BE more than just one thing, can have more than one role, and they can all co-exist and complement each other. We can be good at all of them, and grow from each of them. Our lives are a journey of learning and becoming.

I particularly respected the importance she placed on family and raising children.

And it makes me reflect on my own life's journey, and feel I can relate wholeheartedly. There's time and space to 'become' throughout our lives, no matter the pleats and convolutions we encounter - see my recent thoughts on Living My Dream (

Thursday, September 9, 2021

A Cardinal Expression

No this is not a math post (I hope you're not disappointed), despite the title. Its only connection to mathy things like cardinal numbers, cardinal points and complex cardinals is that this flower is equally of 'the greatest importance,' and 'fundamental,' in my mind.

This is a celebration of the red lobelia expressing itself sanguinely; essential and vital, and a leading dignitary in the realm of blooms. I'm so pleased to have this flowering beauty in my yard. It's carefree, and easy going, though it likes to keep its feet wet. I bought this beauty in West Newfield, at the Maine open farms day on July 25 of this year, and look at how happy it is!

A beautiful sight to behold!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Rainshower Rewards


A magnificent time to be caught in a passing rainshower! It was SO worthwhile to be out on the water when it hit! I'm so glad I was there to see this perfect rainbow.

The floating leaves were speckled with golden droplets.

And then there's this 'stylized' image with help from Google Photos