Friday, June 26, 2009

Butterfly Season

The Italian Flat-leafed Parsley is gloriously potted and ready for this season's butterfly show. The Black Swallowtails love this parsley. They also love fennel. The lantana is growing and blooming now, and the butterflies are beginning to show up. Soon, a female will lay her eggs and the process of raising front porch butterflies will begin anew.

The above photos are from 2 years ago when I raised and released about 15 Black Swallowtails, all males. My buddy Carroll raised even more, including 2 females. I found the process such fun, so fascinating and educational. Yet it can be heartbreaking. I've learned it's best for me to destroy the parsley after the first brood because a second brood doesn't have time to complete the process to my satisfaction. I get attached. In 2007 a late chrysalis dropped to the soil and I thought it had died, but a miniature, deformed butterfly emerged and it broke my heart watching it struggle before dying. Last year my potting soil was infected with a fungus. I didn't know about the fungus until well into the process, and those chrysalises all died. I'm entirely too soft-hearted about nature, yet I wouldn't call myself naive. As Sting would say, "that's my soul up there." So here we go - Butterfly Season has arrived!

Monday, June 22, 2009


What struck me upon viewing Kayla's photos of the abandon house's inner sanctum is what was left behind. Perhaps it's my point of view as a woman but these tattered, stained, torn curtains speak to me on some deep level.

Women are generally the forces behind the touches that make a house a Home. Flowers in a vase. Candles. Pottery grouped with interesting pieces found in antique stores. Stained glass dragonflies hanging on a window. Potted plants on the porch welcoming guests. Family photos on a wall. Tiny arrangements in odd places simply to entertain and be beautiful. Shadowboxes filled with memories. Countless daily putterings by women that create beauty and interest and personality within a space that transform drywall, glass, wood into welcoming, comfortable spaces.

Some woman long ago chose these curtains with love. They hung for years lending shade from summer sun and heat, insulating somewhat the winter chills and winds and enclosed her family in a safe environment. They lent beauty to the small walls, the subtle turquoise decoration matched the blue walls of her living room. The linen top was simple and aesthetically pleasing. In my mind's eye and imagination the mother hung them anew then stepped back, pleased with what she saw. She invited her mother over to see the new curtains and a celebration ensued between two women that would never be understood by husbands or children.

This house is small, tiny. My dream is that this family moved into a larger place, better surroundings, with larger windows to see the world and new curtains to celebrate. But today, dear lady, I celebrate your curtains as only a woman can do.

Monday, June 15, 2009

January 3, 2005

Dawn burned the skies and our lake mirrored the effect. The menacing sunrise faded into a glorious sunny day. The memory of the January morning in 2005 remains and the photos still give me pause.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Favorite Moments

Since I'm not doing much in the way of interesting travel, photography, writing, experiencing things but feel obligated to keep this blog going a bit longer, I'll entertain you all with some old photos. Actually, one of these has been posted before but it's my "lucky photo" so I thought today I'd post the trio.

These baby, almost teenager raccoons were playing in a tree right in front of our deck early, early one morning. We went outside to sip our coffee and spied them high in the tree playing. As we watched them they began watching us and were curious. I got the camera and began taking photos, which made them leery.

They slowly climbed down the opposite side of the tree from us, occasionally peeking out one side or the other, before dismounting the tree and scrambling down the riverbank. They were so cute! It was one of those spontaneous, magical moments that I've never forgotten. Raccoons aren't my favorite creatures, but these guys were just young ones, curious ones, cute ones...for that moment.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


We Are Family

She's a toot, our sweetpea,
our pride and joy!

Kayla Elizabeth

was adopted on
May 29, 1997
at 1:47pm

Weight 51 lbs. 6 oz.
Length: 45 1/2 inches

That's the photo and prose that was mailed out on homemade cards to friends and family many years ago. I've been quiet of late because a family milestone was reached Sunday which took some preparation. Kayla met her birth mother.

We have been working towards this for some time but one thing or another would sabotage the meeting and the process would begin all over again. But finally, finally it happened.

I cannot divulge the intimacy of this all-important meeting here but I have been encouraged to let you know where I've been for those of you who might be interested. Photography, writing and traveling about simply hasn't been on my mind. We've entered a new chapter in our lives. A chapter of forgiveness and acceptance, of moving forward and not looking backward - a chapter that is already making a difference in our day to day lives and family structure. I'm posting this today on our 14th wedding anniversary. My, how time flies!

Turn the page.

I love you, Kayla Elizabeth.


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