Monday, August 31, 2015

little library offering

Do you see it? You might not, if you weren't expecting it, as I was not, but peeking out of the shadows...there it is - got it? Still don't know what the heck it is? Ah, that's because you're not living in Southeastern Ohio where the state fruit is just starting to ripen...PAWPAW!! Yes, someone left us a pawpaw in the library today.  Grin.

Friday, August 28, 2015

a hike without a camera

the scramble up takes both hands
for balance,
my ears on the feet ahead of me,
already ascending the summit rocks,
reading old graffitti
exclaiming over
the first of an army of fuzzy white

without my camera i'm still slow,
my eyes trained to the sides of the path,
always looking for treasure,
never disappointed.
goldenseal, black cohosh, false solomon's seal, 
fungus decorate every other tree,
gleaming white shells of the turkey tail,
and a huge bloom at the base of an oak
that stops me in my tracks.
we follow the smell of ramps, gone to seed,
spice cutting through earthy decay.

they wait for me at every crossroad:
Sundown, Broken Rock, Whitesell Junction
he is patient and follows the rules,
she fills in the silence with
happy chatter and you're so fast
but i'm two feet behind!
my big girl walks near me
wearing the movement
like a stiff new pair of jeans,
stretching, tugging,
and finally settling in
once we reach the soft, silent duff of the pines.

everything changes in the pines.
light, sound, spirit.
we rest, watching the water
be still.

a vulture startles
from the underbrush
beats heavy wings to
reach past the pawpaws
onto a sycamore perch, leaving a telltale
white spray along a large
swath of the path.

it looks like paint,
you could easily miss it,
but it's my favorite treasure of the day
a marking
my woods
a reminder:
this sanctuary
is someone's home

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


The opposing
of peach and sugar
and the sun inside the afternoon
like the stone in the fruit.

The ear of corn keeps
its laughter intact, yellow and firm.

The little boys eat
brown bread and delicious moon.

Frederico Garcia Lorca

Sunday, August 23, 2015

birthday paddle

After a slow morning with french toast, bacon, and cards, Dan and Ani and I headed out for a short paddle before it got too hot.  We're borrowing the canoe from our dearlings who are in Maine for the year, and it was a group effort to get it on the car so we could surprise Dan with some birthday time on the lake (thanks, everyone!).  School starts tomorrow for him, so we took what we could get of his day! I learned that Ani is one fearless paddler. I'm not surprised.  At one point they let me out where I knew I could pick up the trail, and she scooted into my seat and paddled them around the corner towards the dock. I could hear them from the trail, Dan gently coaching, and her pointing out everything she was seeing. Happy happy day. We love you, Dan!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

the cabin

I think this is our third time staying at "the cabin" in the northwoods.  I think this visit sealed the "perfect way to end a vacation" deal.  Rest. Relaxation. So much laughter with people we really really love, and deep clear water to swim in every day. Yes, please.

view from the deck! every morning...

trumpeter swans
Wazee!! Our new favorite park.

I'm not getting any better at "selfies" but I love this of me and my sis. 


Bear scat, with American Carrion Beetle and slug. SWEET!


The pictures kind of say it all - porch, beach, porch, beach - but you can see there was some game-playing in there as well (Go, Mastermind, Kapaga), and I promise you that we ate well, but the most laughter came from playing a game my sister forgot to bring along and we played anyway that is a form of the old game telephone, playing with drawing pictures. Oh lordy, it was hilarious. Here's one of the best.

Ani started the round with porcupine.  Lucy drew a porcupine:

...which was interpreted as...


Walking-talking moss turned into...

Which only makes sense and which Dan drew as...

...which clearly was a scared man...

And that's how "porcupine" became "scared man".

There is an official game, but you can see how this goes, right? Silliness well into the night. You're welcome.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

rock island refuge

model of Rock Island
There is an island off the tip of Door County that you can ferry to with your car.  It is wildly popular during the summer and is filled with bike-riding tourists visiting the beaches, the lavendar farm, and the historical sites.  When the family reunion was over, we drove to this island, and then left our car and made our way on a passenger-only ferry to a much quieter place with few campsites and one flush toilet.  It was exactly what we needed.

We registered for a remote camping site, about a mile away from the dock, past bushes loaded down with raspberries and thimbleberries.  Dan and I had visited the island in '94 and were eager to share it with the girls, but honestly, until we actually sat down on the ferry, I wasn't sure how happily they were going to participate in the carrying of supplies and setting up of camp.  Once we were afloat with our backpacks, however, they were happy, happy, happy.  Hard not to feel like it was a very special place.  I also took it as a good omen that as we docked I looked up to see four huge white pelicans soaring over the boathouse.  Wow!!


helleborine orchid (Epipactis helleborine)

cedar waxwing