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Sticks and Stones (and maybe bones)

“We could never have loved the earth so well if we had no childhood in it.” George Eliot

Sticks and Stones (and maybe bones) was an all ages PLAYshop offered twice this summer. Both days, we began at Kerry Farm, and then drove to nearby Pheasant Creek Coulee where we spent a few hours exploring the meadows, hillsides, creek bed, and wooded areas around this part of the coulee. We then returned to Kerry Farm for lunch and an afternoon of rest and creativity (and one of the days, tree-climbing).

During the July PLAYshop, the wildflowers were blooming profusely, Saskatoon berries were plump and plentiful, the creek was running due to recent rains. A bone was found! On our August day, a few of the July wildflowers were still in bloom as well as the August beauties, there were still Saskatoon berries, and the creek bed was mostly dry and kind of green where there was moisture. The grasses were spectacular – every colour of green, as well as pink, yellow, rust, purple, and reddish. No bones were found, but a number of sticks and stones came back to Kerry Farm. My highlight during the second PLAYshop was this: a boy, running past me up the hill, declaring at top volume,”OH! I LOVE NATURE SO MUCH!” Makes me smile just to remember.

Below are some photos which will give you a feel for the beauty of Pheasant Creek Coulee, as well as the open hearted spirit each person brought to the day.

Photo Credit: Jody Hyndman

Photo Credit: Jody Hyndman

Photo Credit: Jody Hyndman

Photo Credit: Jody Hyndman

 

How To Make Friends with a Wildflower

Photo Credit: Jo Anne Lauder

Jo Anne Lauder, one of the artists who took part in “Befriending Wildflowers – An Art Retreat” at the Qu’Appelle House of Prayer this July, took the stunning photo above, capturing the delicacy of a prairie wildflower bouquet. “Befriending Wildflowers” gave us a chance to slow down, to explore the hills and meadows around us, and to spend quiet happy time in each other’s company observing, sketching, and painting wildflowers. We painted under the green shade of trees on some very hot days, and were grateful for the cooling breeze. Grateful too, for the generous hospitality of Glenn, Chantelle, Kathy, Tim, and Simba, the cat. Their hospitality included delicious meals and surprise snacks, thoughtful reflections about wildflowers, and mowing the  steep and curving trails that lead up the hills (a Herculean act, in my opinion). If Simba detected any sense of a rush, he had a lovely way of asking for some affection, and slowing us down. We were also deeply grateful for the many gifts of the wildflowers, and the beautiful natural world surrounding us. Below are some photos of our time together, and if you continue all the way to the bottom, some preliminary thoughts on how to make friends with a wildflower.

She said she doesn’t climb hills and then SHE DID! (Wait to go, Deb!)

this beautiful view (still celebrating the climb!)

new friends

we also came “to just be”, to quietly sit

Moments of quiet absorption

 

a little watercolour play

Breathe while you paint (this flopped but fun experiment because how will you breathe if you are worried about getting paint on the garage door??)

Loosening our brush stroke by pasting a stivk to the end of our brush (still worried about paint on the doors!!)

early Saturday morning, beautiful mist…that is the chapel in the distance

Spreading Dogbane Foliage by Deb

Getting to know the flowers by sketching them first (Deb)

Bouquet by Deb

Purple Prairie Clover and Gaillardia by Jo Anne

Unfinished Woodland Foliage by Jo Anne

Wild Rose by Jo Anne

Wildflower Sampler (Purple Prairie Clover, Western Wild Bergamot, Harebell, Prairie Coneflower, Gaillardia, Alfalfa) by Jo Anne

Wild Rose by Teri (First ever attempt with watercolours)

Wildflowers in Tree by Marg

Alcohol Ink by Marg

Bible Journal by Marg

Wildflowers and Earth by Marg

“Nature yourself with kindness” by Marg

A partial art gallery on the logs

Spreading Dogbane and other foliage by Sue

More foliage by Sue

Back: Teri, Jo Anne, Marg Front: Deb, Sue


Some Preliminary Thoughts on Making Friends with Wildflowers

  • The old adage “Stop (or slow down) and smell the flowers” is a good one. Stopping is necessary. Smelling is great – some of us have the most beautiful scent, some no discernible scent, and some a memorable scent. You can smell us best when on your knees.
  • Once you have stopped, spend a little time with me. Really look at me. Touch me – gently, see how I feel. Notice if there are others like me around. What made you look at me? Sing me a song. Tell me what you appreciate about me. It takes a long time to get to know me well.
  • From someone who knows us well: be humble around us. We have been on Planet earth for much longer than you. We are your Elders, your teachers. (paraphrased from Robin Wall Kimmerer)
  • Don’t pick me with out asking. I will answer. Wrap my stem in a little water so I will stay alive a little longer. When you take me home, admire me, place me in a central spot, sketch or paint or photograph me. If that is not your thing, you could write me a love song.
  • Never pick me if I am the only one, or if there are very few of my kind.
  • Walk lightly. That way if you step on me I am more likely to bounce back.
  • Come and visit me often. At first you will notice me only when I am in full bloom, but in time you will learn to notice my emerging leaves, my bud, how I flower and how my middle turns to seeds. You will find me beautiful even as I am dying. Each stage of my life is wondrous.
  • Listen to me.
  • Look around and notice who my neighbours are, which butterflies, bees and flies like to pollinate me, if I am tasty to any wild creatures.
  • Sometimes leave me alone. Just like any friend, I need quiet at times.
  • I enjoy your small gifts of thanks, but the best gift of all is an appreciative heart. Or lovely water (especially in a dry year).
  • Other thoughts?

    Harebell Photo Credit: Chantelle Bonk, Qu’Appelle House of Prayer

Seeing Through a New Lense – Art in the City

From time to time, I have the great privilege of exploring Regina with a small group of youth, looking for art both inside and outside galleries. We call this “Art in the City” as most of us are from rural Saskatchewan. Often, I enjoy a research trip before hand, make a plan, and I create a little booklet so that we are interacting with the art we see throughout the day. Every time, I come home with the same bit of wisdom which is “Less is More”. What I learn over and over again, is that while it is good to introduce my young friends to things they may have never seen before, their own imaginations are even richer and they can make fun out of an open green field, an empty band stand, or anywhere at all. I am reminded ‘Hold whatever plan you have loosely, and leave lots of room for spontaneous adventures!”

Here is a quick rundown of our day:

Inspired by the wonderful Vic Cicanski show at the MacKenzie Art Gallery (don’t miss this!!), our theme was sculpture and we spent a long time with his fantastical sculptures. They made us hungry (all those fruits and vegetables!!) and so we went out to eat lunch with Joe Fafard’s bovine family. Then, we each chose a statue in the lobby, and imagined a name for the statue and a story, sharing them with each other afterwards. What is out the backdoor of the MacKenzie Art Gallery? More sculptures, yes…….but  even better than a sculpture garden, there was a huge green bowl of grass waiting for four girls to come along, kick off their shoes, and run and play games they made up under the blue sky for as long as possible. Although there were more things to see in the MacKenzie, we voted for ice cream instead. (There is a limit to how much beautiful art we can absorb at one time!) As we drove down 13th Avenue to the ice cream store, we yelled “HUBBA BUBBA” every time we saw art on a building, or a park bench or as a colourful sculpture! There were many “hubba bubbas!!” along this route. We tried to get “artistic” ice cream cones, colours that matched our fingernail polish or looked good together. After all this hard work, we went to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, where we had a  quick nap, and met up with Rebecca Hay, Earth Science specialist, who introduced us to Scotty the T-Rex, but most especially to the wonders of Tyndall stone…we walked around the whole museum looking at the  stone frieze carved by Hubert Garnier in the 1950s. We stopped to look at our skewed reflections in a shiny truck – we were all short and fat. While looking at the stone frieze,  we found the illicit Wascana mermaid. She is  quite small , tucked in with the fishes, and not really very illicit at all. The mermaid suggested we swim so we headed to Wascana Pool, stopping in the bandstand to perform an impromptu play on the way. We had the best swim, and on the way back to the car, we ran and froze as statues of anything we imagined. The drive home was quiet.

What is your favourite piece?

Imagining a chair growing vegetables

Drawing the “carrot couch”

Some other favourite pieces

the great green bowl where we ran and played

Ice cream that matches

Ice cream that matches fingernails…exactly!!

Nap time…I obviously should have napped too because I took no photos of Rebecca and our wonderful tour of the outside of the museum and meeting of Scotty

 

As summer begins, these girls reminded me how you don’t need very much to have fun if you have an active imagination. They never go straight from a to b without making it into a game or a play or something to laugh about. What a joy to spend a day with 4 girls, each one knowing they are absolutely loved, each one expecting something wonderful around the next corner, each one delighting in being with their three friends. They have amazing parents, and being with this group reminded of this poem, which appears on Facebook from time to time.

Make the Ordinary Come Alive

Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

By William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents.

 

 

Bearberry

I return again and again to the same part of Pheasant Creek, in different seasons, at different times of day. I have learned where the wild bergamot flourishes, where the buffalo berries can be found, where the coyote digs her den, the location of the drumming  log of the ruffed grouse, or the tree that the pair of red tail hawks return to each year. While I know it as well as I know any place, I am constantly being surprised by new discoveries.

I see but I don’t see. Sometimes I amazed by what I have not noticed and what i have missed.

Take the bearberries, for example. I noticed them for a long time before I knew what they were called. I noticed them because they seemed out of place on the prairie hills with their deep green colour and the leathery feel and shiny look of their leaves. They seemed to belong more in a boreal forest.

At some point, I noticed the delicate pink bell shaped flowers that blossom in spring, or the red berries that come in the fall. In fall their leaves turn a deep red, and in early spring you will find patches of faded red bearberry leaves mixed with fresh green growth, as pictured below. Bearberry grows low to the ground as a trailing shrub, often close to stands of aspen or other trees. I usually find it on the coulee and valley hills, but it has a wide range across Canada.

Bearberry, early spring

Once I found out that this plant was called bearberry,  I learned that the leaves were an essential ingredient in kinnnickinick (blended smudging mixture used by many Indigenous peoples, with ingredients varying somewhat depending on locale).

Recently, when I was thinking I might have the beginnings of a bladder infection, I looked up herbs that can help with this. All ten plants listed can be found where I live. Top of the list and  and very plentiful was bearberry!!  I began by making tea with the leaves, but as the leaves are full of tannins, I have made cold water infusions instead (which do not release the tannins). I do this by tearing the leaves up and grinding them and letting them sit in water for 12 hours ( 1 teaspoon of leaves per cup of water). I then drain the water off and drink it through the day. It has a mild but very refreshing taste. This will only work if your urine is alkaline. Drinking a glass of water with a teaspoon of baking soda about an hour before drinking the bearberry water will alkalize your urine. A few cautions: This is not for pregnant women, and limit use to about two weeks.

Other medicinal benefits of bearberries can be found in The Boreal Herbal: Wild Food and Medicine Plants of the North by Beverly Gray (see below). It is a fantastic resource. You can also find bearberry in health food stores as Uva-Ursi, or in plant nurseries.

Bearberries are aptly named according to Beverly Gray. She writes, “In fall, bears will ingest massive amounts of bearberries, which has a numbing/paralyzing action on the intestine. Bears follow this meal  with Carex, a rough edged sedge that ravels right through their intestines, dragging with it tapeworms  and other parasites paralyzed by the bearberry.”

Source:http://www.herbmuseum.ca/content/bearberry

Sources

Beverly Gray, The Boreal Herbal: Wild Food and Medicine Plants of the North, Whitehorse: Aroma Borealis Press, 2011, pages 51-54

Mary Siisip Geniusz, Plants Have So Much to Give Us, All We Have To Do Is Ask: Anishinabe Botanical Teachings, University of Minnesota Press, 2015. (“How Cedar and Bearberry Came into the World” is well worth reading, pages 33-36)

Kahlee Keane and Dave Howarth, The Standing People: Field Guide of Medicinal Plants for the Prairie Provinces, Self-published, 2003, pages 128- 129

 

 

To Wander

 

wander (v.)

Old English wandrian “move about aimlessly, wander,” from West Germanic *wundrōjanan “to roam about” (source also of Old Frisian wondria, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wanderen, German wandern “to wander,” a variant form of the root represented in Old High German wantalon “to walk, wander”), from PIE root *wendh- “to turn, wind, weave” (see wind (v.1)). In reference to the mind, affections, etc., attested from c. 1400. Related: Wanderedwandering. The Wandering Jew of Christian legend first mentioned 13c. (compare French le juif errant, German der ewige Jude).
Today was a day for wandering (to turn, to wind, to weave) in the coulee. Perhaps because I was unaccompanied by a four legged or two legged companion. Perhaps because my body felt slow. Perhaps because I could.
It was a day just before the riotous bursting of spring – the first flowers out, the aspens soft with catkins, touches of green here and there, the sky alive with flocks of snow geese and sandhill cranes.
For a time, I listened for the drumming of a ruffed grouse walking as quietly as I could. I remember doing this as a teenager…I was quiet enough and the eventual sight of the ruffed grouse drumming was unforgettable. Today, I wasn’t quiet enough… the grouse flew to another woods, but I did find his drumming log.

Walk in Wonder

I check in with my smart phone at least a dozen times a day, often more. This is a relatively recent habit, as there were no smart phones before 2008. To check in with my phone requires energy and attention.

What if I checked in with Mother Earth as regularly as I check in with my phone? What if I directed my energy and my attention towards Mother Earth a dozen or so times a day? Would this make a difference? Would it make a difference to me? To the earth?

I decided to try and see for myself.

I began with something simple, something I already do. My morning walk. I started by pausing for a moment before setting off – to take note of what was all around me, to really feel the earth beneath my feet, to thank the earth for her many gifts. What if I took my first few steps with love – love and reverence directed towards the earth herself?

What if my walk was like a prayer for healing, for healing of the broken relationship between earth and us humans?

Walking this way has made a difference to me. This simple practice puts me in touch with the earth every day, deepening and strengthening my connection with her.

My whole walk isn’t this mindful – I also like to stretch my legs, walk quickly, daydream, walk backwards, sing while I walk, or just feel good about moving physically. But now and again throughout my walk, I stop – take pause, take note, remember who I am walking on, take one more step with love.

Spiritual leader Thich Naht Hahn (93 years young) practices walking meditation. He writes, “With each step the earth heals us, and with each step we heal the earth.” He recommends kissing the earth with the sole of your foot.

I can’t speak for Mother Earth, but I think walking in this way does make a difference to her. I believe the earth knows what kind of energy we direct towards her – whether it is distracted, hurried, reverent or loving. Whether we are taking from the earth with a spirit of reciprocity and thanks, or taking  from the earth with utter disregard. Right now, I believe the earth is hungry for our love – for footsteps and actions offered with attention, gratitude, and wonder.

Prayers for the earth. Prayers for ourselves. One step at a time.

“Family Walk Down our Road”, 11″ x14″. watercolour.

 

untitled paper collage

Title? No title?

Title or no title? Sometimes, a title for a completed piece of art work pops into my mind, sticks, and voilà – I have a title. Sometimes, as in the piece above, no title comes.

i notice when visiting galleries, that i often look at the title of a work as a way of understanding it better. Perhaps the title offers a clue. Perhaps not.

What would you call this piece? What do you see? What feelings does this piece evoke in you? I would love to hear what your thoughts are, especially before you read on. You can contact me at sue@poachedeggwoman.ca if you have some ideas.

******************************************************************************

Here is a little bit about the making of this piece. After a busy fall, I started the New Year excited about creating art simply because I wanted to. My fall was happily busy working on a few commissions or creating pieces for classes I was taking or offering, but always creating for external reasons.

I began like I often do…by spreading out  large and small  paper pieces to see which colours grabbed me. First came the deep aquamarine or teal.

Then oranges, copper, turquoise, periwinkle, navy, fuschia, aqua, violet, yellow. Wheat paste scraps from Barbara, the deep  ultramarine a gift from Tania and Kami Jo, old shiny gift wrap, block printed scraps that have been my treasure for decades. Envelopes, shiny scraps, marbled paper. I played with these pieces of paper, tearing them, cutting them, arranging them this way and that. I glued two shapes together composed of pieces of these colours, but glued nothing down. Free floating shapes and scraps.  Pure pleasure.

 

 

 

 

 

The yellow wheat paste scraps suggested houses, so I thought, why not? I assembled all my scraps of paper on to different coloured backgrounds – orange, navy, teal.

 

Trying different backgrounds - orangeTrying different backgrounds - navyThe  two shapes consisting of torn scraps seemed to need orange backgrounds. The shapes seemed to me to be related is some way. They wanted to dance together. I had so much fun placing the shapes this way and that.  Using scraps of shiny paper, I made ladders. Using cut bits of dyed paper, I cut free floating steps in the air. Using my favourite block print scraps, I created curving and straight roads leading somewhere and leading nowhere. I felt the need for connections of one kind or another between the two shapes.

The world is reconfiguring. It has flown apart, with houses being upended and leaving earth. With new and surprising connections emerging.Collage before gluing down with a tree which was not used

 

I cut out trees, considered people, birds – none of them felt right. Somehow, stars did.final collage

The world is flying apart, and being reconfigured, and I feel full of hope. Too long for a title though!!

A week or so later, I read Shayla Wright’s post, entitled “The River Beneath the River”. Shayla Wright is a coach, spiritual mentor and facilitator based in Victoria, B.C. She posts “Lifeletters” on her website Wide Awake Heart which have nurtured and sustained me for the past year. In part of her post, Shayla beautifully articulates some of what I was feeling as I was rearranging colourful scraps of paper on an ultramarine background.

“It feels clear to me that we will not make our way through the mess we are in now, without our higher capacities. On a collective human level we are numb, fragmented, violent, and helpless. We have lost our way. Only a deep integration of our human and spiritual natures can help us face the enormous crisis that stands before us. Meditation is not going to do it. Activism is not going to do it. Our collective human evolution stands at a threshold. We have actually entered a liminal space, without a clear intention to do so. In the liminal space, we stand between the worlds. There is no solid ground. The liminal is the in-between space, the space where things pass away, the space into which new life emerges. We are standing there now, or perhaps, not standing. Maybe crawling, stumbling towards a future possibility we can barely see or hear. This future possibility is not only something we are moving towards-it is calling us. It has a magnetism. It is our strange attractor. It is asking us to become whole, to meet this moment with all of who we are. To embrace that which we have shut away. To step out of our bubbles, and travel into the unknown, the borderlands, the wild places inside us and out, what we have been avoiding.

The soul has a wild nature. It is not domesticated. It knows how to walk in the liminal space, where that which is known and familiar has fallen away. It sees in the darkness. It can hear whispers long forgotten, voices that are half formed, waiting for someone to listen and bring them into the light of day…”

Still, no title. But, it’s something to do with that liminal space, that Shayla Wright calls “in between space, the space where things pass away, the space into which new life emerges.” The colours and dance of the papers as I played with this piece spoke to me of not knowing, of confusion and uncertainty, of hope, of delight, of surprise, and wonder.

 

Ripple

In her book, Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer writes, “In a way, I was raised by strawberries, fields of them.” She goes on to explain how wild strawberries gave her a sense of the world, and her place in it. She writes evocatively about picking and eating and celebrating with wild strawberries, and also about what the strawberries taught her.

We asked this question in the group of friends with whom I am reading and discussing Braiding Sweetgrass – what about the place you grew up in gave you your sense of the world and your place in it? It is a fine question and we answered with the first thing that came to our mind. It is hard question to answer, and as my first answer (birch trees) did not satisfy me, I continue to think about it.

I am at Christie Lake, one of the places I loved dearly as I was growing up. I return once a year if I can. Each time, I see aspects of the natural world here as if for the first time, or I remember something about the natural world that I thought I had long ago forgotten.

I love to get up early and come to the beach for a swim – usually before sunlight has fully crept into and transformed our bay.

I could watch the play of light and shadow and wind on the water, the sand beneath the water, the reflections from the nearby trees and rocky shoreline for hours. I suspect that I spent many a dreamy moment as a child doing just that. In this dappled world, everything is shifting and changing every moment…it is all glimmers, possibilities, dance. The felt sense I get here belongs to this particular place, and no other place that I can think of.

I can’t come close to capturing this feeling with my Smartphone – which wants to focus in on one aspect of the scene in front of me and give it prominence. As soon as I step into the water to try to take a picture, I create ripples, changing the picture. Even if I could capture some sense of it visually, I would be missing the smell of the wind off the lake and decaying seaweed, the feel of wet sand under my toes, the songs of the birds, the waves lapping, the distant drone of a boat engine, the CheCheChee of the osprey, the feel of this air on my skin, the sound that this wind makes in these trees at this moment. I would be missing the constant movement and interplay of light, shadow, reflection.

The play of light and shadow and glimmer on the water did not raise me, but surely, it played a part in the raising of me, in giving me a sense of the world. and how I see and experience it.

Befriending Wildflowers (the noisier version)

It was a very hot and humid day when we set out to explore the wildflowers of Pheasant Creek Coulee, with small sketchbooks in hand.  Each sketchbook had several line drawings of flowers we hoped to find, with a space to name it ourselves, and a space for the common name. I had anticipated moving quickly across the pasture to the hills below but this gaggle of 5 girls and 2 moms stopped to look at  and appreciate every wildflower – they did not miss one – and gave each some very fun names. We collected a few to paint later and proceeded to a very steep hill full of western wild bergamots and a scary climb down  (for some!) that ended with a slide several feet down to the road!!

We returned to Kerry Farm a little overheated, but cooled down with a delicious potluck lunch. We found some shade to really look closely at our wildflowers and experiment with watercolour painting. Along the way, we visited Grandmother Willow (for a little tree climbing and some feather collecting) and said hi to the horses. We ended the day with some flower yoga and gymnastics as you can see.

This is a companion piece to Befriending Wildflowers (the Quiet Version)

Befriending Wildflowers (the quiet version)

“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” Georgia O’Keefe

“Befriending Wildflowers” was a two day art retreat which gave us time to “really see a flower” and to befriend some of the  wildflowers who live on the slopes of the Qu’Appelle Valley. By spending time with the wildflowers on the hills, by painting and drawing the flowers that called to us, we came to know a few flowers more intimately.

We were so fortunate to be able to hold this retreat at the Qu’Appelle House of Prayer  which is

Photo by Tania Wolk

nestled in the hills above Echo Lake. We painted under the shade of trees during the hot days, and hiked through woodland trails up to the top of the hills where grasses and flowers bloomed profusely in the early mornings and evenings. We were so warmly welcomed and cared for by Glenn, Margaret, Kathy and Tim.  Silence and quiet are encouraged and allow us to connect with nature more deeply than usual. For those who wished, Eucharist and “silent sitting” enriched our experience. The Qu’Appelle House of Prayer is a sacred place.

some of our “cat flowers”…instructor Kami Jo second from right

While the land (and the flowers) were our greatest teacher(s), we also learned so much from each other. Our youngest participant, Kami Jo, led a session on creating cat flowers which was fantastic. Tania helped us draw flowers in their simplest shapes, getting to the essence of the flower, and helping us see flowers in fresh ways. We painted with dominant hand, non-dominant hand, standing, sitting, upside down,  and we sometimes timed ourselves to get the feel of a flower rather than the details. We did flower yoga, and played flower charades, and  did breathing exercises. We laughed frequently. We moved  very slowly (to Kami Jo’s frustration). We called our unhurried pace “wildflower time”. We learned how painting on the ground in a meadow was a completely different experience from painting a vase of flowers.

Wildflower Joy! Photo by Tania Wolk

Photo by Elizabeth Gavin

Photo: Tania Wolk

Speaking for myself, It was pure joy to be with others who take notice and delight in wildflowers. Being with others  who are totally absorbed  in trying to get the feel of a particular flower on paper is very settling, calming and joyful. I saw wildflowers in new ways, and sometimes through the eyes of others, I saw familiar wildflowers in completely unfamiliar ways. I treasure my friendships with wildflowers – through the presence and teachings of my companions, my friendships continue to grow and thrive.

Once upon another PLAYshop, this one focusing on trees, hypnotizing chickens became the most fun thing to do. During our Befriending Flowers time, the most fun thing for Kami Jo was having the chance to drive Margaret in the golf cart! You have to scroll to the bottom for photos of that one.

I feel gratitude for the sacred place that is the Qu’Appelle House of Prayer, for the people that care for it, and for us; for the beautiful hills, grasses and wildflowers; and for each of those who took part so wholeheartedly!! Thank you.

Diane getting to know gaillardia

Gaillardia seed head, Diane

Gaillardia sun and shadows, Liz

Gaillardia, photo by Tania Wolk

Gaillardia Seed Heads by Tania

Purple Prairie clover, first impressions, Liz

Purple Prairie Clover, Photo by Tania Wolk

Cat flowers, Kami Jo

Purple Prairie Clover, Tania

Trying with marker, Kami Jo

Wild Rose, early morning meditation, Diane

Wild Rose, early morning meditation, Tania

Wild Rose, after the petals fall and before the rose hip forms. Beauty in every stage. Tania.

Liz’s flowers…gaillardia, bergamot, wild rose

Cat Flower, Liz

Wild Bergamot (using Tania’s shape method), Sue

Wild Bergamot makes us go wild and free, Diane

And the wind blew, and the bergamot got wilder!  Whoohee!!

Dancing in the Meadow, Sue

Kami Jo’s flowers, photo by Tania Wolk

Who painted the fastest of us all? (Kami Jo)

Early morning painting in the meadow

Totally absorbed as we “befriend a wildflower”

Mai Jo befriending Margaret, Margaret befriending Kami Jo. Margaret is one of the co-directors of the Qu’Appelle House of Prayer, along with Glenn Zimmer. Photo by Tania Wolk.

Saving the best for last!! Finally we are speeding up, says Kami Jo. Photo by Tania Wolk.

through the looking glass, Northern Bedstraw, photo by Tania Wolk