Life... From Behind The Lens

It's way too hot for any large scale projects.
Our days are filled with the normal farm chores and 
"little" projects that don't keep us out in the heat for too very long.

Yesterday while watering the plants around Maven Haven,
I looked to her left at the tree that lives there.
It was full of dead branches and had lots of weeds, and vines,
and bramble at her feet...
too unloved a look for this special place on the farm.

I quickly formulated a plan and began to implement it.
I trimmed all of the dead growth that I could reach.
I sweated.
I weeded the base and carefully, with gloved hand, pulled the poison ivy vines.
(Yes, I am allergic.)
I sweated some more.
I went in and washed all exposed areas with lye soap and threw my gloves into the wash.
Then I headed to my favorite Amish perennial nursery and 
picked out a few (partial) shade plants.
Once home, I dug and dug and dug....
and sweated until it was dripping in my eyes.
I stuck my new plants in the ground, mulched with compost,
and then hardwood bark mulch.
I watered the plants, then watered myself.

Last touch... another cement rabbit from elsewhere on the farm... 
because... of course.

It seems that every time I am at the shed I have visitors.

Often it is this merry band of noisemakers...

I love these whacky birds, but they sure know how to remove the
tranquility from a peaceful moment.

Sometimes it is Griz...looking for love.

Sometimes, the turkeys... just to show me how handsome they can be.

Yesterday, this guy...

Who, I am sure, turned Peter Rabbit's world upside down as he slithered across the
tiny container garden and up the tree....
the stuff of nightmares!

I have been spending a little bit of time each day in our hundred acre woods.

I've been returning each day in hopes of seeing the bear that I saw
on Sunday.

It was a youngster and I only caught it's fuzzy bottom as it 
quickly ran down the trail in front of me...
faster than I could get my camera to my eye.

As I travel through the woods, I feel many sets of eyes on me...
most of them hidden in thickets of fern or bramble.
On the edge of the wood, I see the shadow of a doe and her fawn.

In the middle of the woods is a meadow... the "field of dreams" we call it.
Invariably a few deer leave their hiding places as I enter the meadow...
only their tails visible as they exit the dense growth.

I love sitting in this meadow, where fallow ground is populated by
thick patches of milkweed and thistle, now gone to seed.

As I sit there I am surrounded by flitting and floating fairies
with translucent, starburst wings... 

the thistle seeds picked up by the gentle summer breeze.

As I sit there watching them tumble and dance on the wind,
I hear the "witchity-witchity" call of a common yellow throat.

My eye catches flashes of bright yellow, 
as a flock of goldfinches soar from treetops down to thistle.

Their flight reminds me of a wild, undulating rollercoaster.

Indigo buntings also join in this back and forth from woods to seed.

Overhead, a hawk keeps a close eye on my meanderings.

Before I leave, I hear the call I'd hoped to hear.
The sweet melodic refrain of the bashful scarlet tanager.

Each and every trip to the woods is nothing short of magical.
I lose myself there.
My heart beats slowly and gently as my mind is emptied
of all but what surrounds me.
These woods are my cathedral.
This is where I feel the most at peace.
This, nature... this place...
no matter what is wrong in the world...
this place is steadfast and perfect.

Once again we have reached Friday.
We have no plans for the weekend and plan to spend a quiet one here at home.
I am sure we will get into some manner of mischief along the way...
which I will be happy to share with you on Monday.
Until then, be well, be safe.
Hot, humid hugs.... from the farm.


colleen said…
So hot and you just had to tidy up the tree and make it look perfect...I love it. If my mom had of gone for a walk in the woods with you the first thing she would of said....I wish we could lift all the trees up to see all the animals. I was all relaxed imagining I was at Maven Haven ...until..... Mr. SNAKE showed up!! As I'm writing this my husband it telling me how beneficial snakes are..... Doug, it really doesn't make me like them any better. Yours must of been at least 10 feet long. Is he the same one that goes over the garage door? Do you see snakes often? Have a great weekend and see you on Monday xoxoxo
Marsha said…
Beautiful pictures!
jaz@octoberfarm said…
we have scarlet tanagers in our gardens. a rare sight in the city. i am so over this summer. the heat is doing us all in!
daisy g said…
Hope you are feeling stronger. No doubt a bit of rest this weekend will help.

Beautiful job on the treescape. Enjoy the lilting song of summer songbirds.
Margy said…
Bev what a beautiful place on the farm. It would be my sanctuary too.
Thank you for sharing it and always taking the time to share life on the farm with us. You have the only blog I follow that does not have ads or do it for money. I so appreciate that. I look forward to your emails everyday!
Margy in KY
You live in a magical spot!
littlemancat said…
Magical - all of it, from the transformation of the tree-garden to the amazing pics of the birds. I love them too. How wonderful a variety you have.
Thank you for sharing all of this with us - it is deeply appreciated.
This N That said…
A magical post indeed..Wonderful pictures taken while visiting your cathedral..Did you hear that tree whisper "thank you"?..It looks so much better and your plantings are beautiful...good choices..I hope you drank enough to replace all that sweat..I would have had to head for the pool..That snake..Eeks..I'm guessing it's a black snake?? Do they bother the eggs?? Have a cool weekend..hugs
Karen said…
Your writing is such that I feel like I went for a walk with you! Thank you:) **also - I have never seen a snake go up a tree! How fascinating. *I thought he was handsome:)
Gosh Bev, you were pretty busy in this post, I hope that means you are feeling better today. You did a beautiful job with that tree and your Maven Haven is just wonderful. The only thing that I didn't like was the pics of the snake. I've never met a snake I like! Ugh. Love your place though....except for snakes, it would be perfect!
Lynne said…
Beautiful reflective post . ..
Amongst the heat and drops of moisture from your hard work.
Your words . . . my peace . . .

“These woods are my cathedral.
This is where I feel the most at peace.
This, nature... this place . . . “

I am so very thankful I can feel my place of wooded peace . . .