Tag Archive | nature

Happy World Turtle Day!

Two small turtles rest
One snapper and one painted
We shared the same path

While on a walk the other day, I was surprised to see not only one turtle, but two. They were both the same size, about three inches long. They were quite far away from one another. When I saw the snapper, it didn’t move. I found a litttle stick and gently poked his leg. Thankfully, he moved slightly as if I was waking him from a nap. After walking around 20 more minutes, I came upon the painted turtle, which seemed a bit more awake.

How lucky for me to have seen these two turtles right before World Turtle Day! “The day was created as a yearly observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.” Click here to learn more.

Happy World Turtle Day! I ❤️ turtles.

Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause. ~Bruce Feiler


Dear Life

A week ago, Hubby and I thought we’d try our luck fishing on Lake Minnetonka. We had a bit of luck a couple of years ago when we visited a certain spot with our daughter and grandkids. We decided to go to the familiar place. Our footsteps on the wooden planks made the dock wobble in a few places, but it felt secure. Tiny waves slapped up against the posts. The east wind blew to cool our cheeks while the sun managed to keep us warm. A worker on shore and close to a maintenance building used a leaf blower to make a pile. That noise was disruptive! We stayed and watched our bobbers bounce to and fro for about 30 minutes. I thought about the familiar saying: “Wind from the east, fish bite the least.” Was it the noise or the wind that caused the fish to hide away? Maybe the sun was too bright. We didn’t get a nibble, so we decided to take a drive to Excelsior Beach.

Excelsior Beach seemed to be more peaceful. Birds chirped their songs. A squeaky swing holding a smiling toddler was a more welcomed rhythm than that of the leaf blower. A little ways off, we could see both sides of the beach, which comes to a point. One side was occupied with two sunbathers who didn’t seem to mind the cool breeze. We headed toward the other side where it looked like we’d have that spot to ourselves. Swarms of what I thought were gnats came floating our way. Upon closer inspection, I saw the bugs were quite large. Perhaps they were May flies? Standing still made us more attractive to them. Our way out was to keep walking at a good clip, which is not usually something a person does while fishing. Hubby stayed close to the shore casting away, while I took a walk.

I felt as if I was inside a maze, with the way I dodged the groups of bugs. There seemed to be a bit of relief the closer I got to the point. That’s where I found this remarkable tree, hanging on with crumpled roots, not sure which way to dig. Buds were opening on the branches to show life. I wondered if covering the roots with piles of dirt would help, but the tree seems to be doing fine on its own. How long had it been since the little seed had found that spot, I wondered. It’s nice it gets to live close to the water.

Not a fish was to be caught that sunny day, but catching a glimpse of this unusual tree hanging on for dear life was inspiring. I hope it holds tight so we can see it the next time we visit.

The great-heart wind, that bids us share
The optimism of the trees.
~Madison Cawein, “Wood-Words

Shelf Mushrooms, Green Moss, and Hidden Bullfrogs

Have you ever noticed shelf mushrooms living on the side of a tree? There are also some growing out of the stump in the picture below.

When leaves unfurl and grasses grow tall, the mushrooms will be veiled.

Green moss grows on a weary log. Neighboring greenery sprouts nearby, trying to catch up.

Hidden bullfrogs in the wispy marsh croaked a quiet tune. Louder notes might greet us, the next time we visit. 🤞

If one truly loves nature one finds beauty everywhere. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Felt the Love!

On May 19 last year, I cut open a watermelon, and look what was inside! Can you see the outline of a heart and how the inside of the heart is a slightly lighter color than the outside? Was it just a coincidence or was someone trying to tell me something? Of course, I felt the love!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

People look around you, the signs are everywhere.
You’ve left it for somebody other than you to be the one who to care.
~Jackson Browne

God’s Creations

On the second day of our Montana road trip, we had a quick breakfast at the lodge and stopped at a nearby grocery store to pick up lunch. Cell phone reception is spotty, so we knew we had to rely on an old fashioned map and our own good sense.

We visited the area in October. The trees were starting to yellow, but mostly evergreens were in view. Our travels took us through the small towns of Columbia Falls, Hungry Horse, Martin City, and Coram.

Highway 2 travels along the outskirts of Glacier National Park from West Glacier to East Glacier. The roads were well maintained and not too scary as we passed through the hills. It’s a 28-mile trek from West Glacier to our first stop.

Some of the areas are not well marked. We were lucky to find this spot and made a quick turn onto the road that led us to a parking lot and rest area. We got out to explore some of the paths. A train trellis can be seen in the middle photo above and the photo on the right. We learned how the goats like to stop in the spring to get nourishment from the wet seeps that hide in the rocks. The goats visit the band of rocks along the Flathead River mostly in May and June, but can be seen from April through August. Glacier is heavily populated with bears, and we didn’t want to meet any up close, so we ate our lunch in the car, with the windows rolled up!

A short jaunt lead us to Bear Creek River Access. Some fishermen were trying their luck at this spot, but they weren’t getting any bites. We sat a short time to admire God’s creations.

Next, we stopped at the Roosevelt Memorial Obelisk, which was built at Marias Pass on the Continental Divide in 1931. To learn more, click on the pink text highlighted above.

We continued on Highway 2 to East Glacier, then headed north/northwest on Highway 49 and drove through to the Two Medicine Entrance Station.

After seeing this sign, we took a little walk around the man made trails, where there were plenty of other people making noise to hopefully scare off any bears!

More time was spent admiring the scenery! The rocks look more colorful here. No bears or wildlife approached us.

We headed back the way we came.

That evening Hubby enjoyed a Montana pork chop, and I had a delicious piece of salmon at Abruzzo Italian Kitchen in downtown Whitefish.

When we got back to the lodge, we went outside and sat on the patio by the river, and there is where we saw a little deer chomping on the neighbor’s lawn. Such a nice ending to a great day.

I thank you God for this most amazing day,
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees,
and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural,
which is infinite, which is yes. ~E. E. Cummings

Snow Painted Branches

Sun beams break through clouds
To steal the coats of white trees
Snow painted branches

Lila and I had a slippery walk yesterday morning. The thick clouds and overhanging branches muffled the noise of distance snowblowers and snow plows. A few flurries fluttered down to greet us. When the sun popped out, I worried the branches would lose their coating of snow but the clouds continue to linger. Soon the wind or sun will steal away our world of “snow painted branches.”

To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold. ~Aristotle

Discovering Duluth – Congdon Park

We recently took an easy hike through Congdon Park, which is hidden in a residential neighborhood on the east side of Duluth, between north Hawthorne Road and 34th Avenue East.

The waters of Tischer Creek moved low and slow.
A waterfall trickled down rock formations.
The sun shone high above.

Duluth – October 2020

The poetry of the earth is never dead. ~John Keats

Discovering Duluth – Hartley Nature Center

Fog and misty air greeted us.  Little pockets of normal met us here and there.   

It was a good day to visit the Hartley Nature Center.

Butterflies too sleepy to greet us at the butterfly garden.
A flower and plant guide.
Crazy tree growing branches everywhere!
Deer hiding in tall grass.
Spiderweb among the Golden Yarrow.

A toad hopped away, not ready to say hello.

A Book Review: “Where the Crawdads Sing”

photo of body of water under black clouds

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Kya, also known as “Swamp Girl,” is the main character in Where the Crawdads Sing, which was written by Delia Owens.  The story takes place in a coastal town in North Carolina.  The author does a good job of taking you through the scenes.  It’s as if you are right beside Kya, experiencing her sorrows and triumphs, along with the beauty of the swamp.

One disappointing thing after another happen to Kya, starting when she is very young.  Kya shows us how strong her spirit is and she forges ahead to learn how to take care of herself.  One can’t help but feel a connection to the character and want her life to turn around.  Besides taking care of herself, she learns all she can about the swamp around her.  Kya’s journey helps us learn about birds, mushrooms, insects, tides, sands, shells, and grasses that surround her.

This book is a mystery and flips back and forth from 1952 to 1969, until the years catch up and continue on years after.  The town’s old time favorite quarterback, Chase Andrews, is found dead, and the sheriff and his crew work to figure out what happened.

As much as I enjoyed this book, I thought it started off slowly.  The pace quickly picked up about a quarter of the way through.  The closer I got to the ending, the more I wanted to keep reading!  If you like mysteries and are looking for a book that ends up being a page turner, read Where the Crawdads Sing.  You will not be disappointed.

When a Person Befriends a Butterfly…

20200605_0937102926044448160217428.jpgEastern Tiger Swallowtail

This morning, I had a craving for a specialty coffee.  I quickly ordered the Americano on the app on my phone.  When I was in the garage, getting ready to get in the car, I saw a beautiful butterfly.  She looked like she was stuck in the window pane.  My little blow of breath on her wings confirmed she was still alive.  A stick was close by.  I gently nudged her and tried to get her to climb on board.  

“Come on little butterfly, climb on the stick,” I said.  “I won’t hurt you.  I won’t try to hurt you,” I corrected myself.  I talked in that high pitched voice that only butterflies appreciate!  After a few minutes, she went on the stick.  She seemed a little dazed.  I wondered if she was exhausted from trying to get through the screen or possibly I woke her from a nap.  She held on tight, as I took her outside and set her and the stick with the potted geraniums.  

Off I went to pick up my mobile order.  When I got home, the butterfly was still sitting with the geraniums.  The sun was shining on her open wings.  I hoped she wasn’t getting too warm, but then I thought the sun would do her some good.  I went over to our little patch of milkweed and wondered if she would like some.  The leaves were so big, I didn’t want to take any part of it away.  Besides, it’s caterpillars that feast on those.  It’d be better if she tried to find her own food, I decided.  I traipsed back to the butterfly, and my shadow must have given her a fright.  Maybe she waited for me to show me how she could fly.  Up and up she went and floated away on a breeze.

It must be a lucky day, when a person befriends a butterfly.  I hope she gets some good nectar.

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.  ~
Irish Blessing