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Tuned In

 

Note: This post was originally written April 26, 2021, part of a collective response called Reading Robin’s Essay where contributors responded to portions of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s essay “The Serviceberry: An Economy of Abundance”. Spring 2021 was very dry, after a number of very dry years. 

Have you had the experience of wandering in a familiar place, and suddenly seeing another being as if for the first time?  Each time you go out, it’s as if you are drawn to this being? I liken it to being tuned in, on the same frequency as say, a white tailed deer. When I am tuned in like this, I see deer everywhere. I walk over a rise and there is a doe and we gaze at each other for a few timeless moments. I disturb a fawn hidden in a clump of trees. I find antler sheds everywhere. Sometimes, I am attuned in this way to a creature for a few seasons. At other times, I am drawn to a particular plant. Last spring, the willows, and later, the pussy willows, had me in their thrall. I visited them every day, photographed them, spent hours exploring their startling spring hues with water colour paints. These last few seasons, I am drawn to water. To the places that once held water and do not any longer, to the places that still hold water. I am drawn to the ways that water moves, the ways that it stays still.

This began last fall. I love walking the fields after harvest, taking note of their swells and hollows, their dips and rises. Almost without knowing it, I found myself walking a low channel that led to a large shallow depression in the land, both dry. For most of the springs I have lived here, these places are full of water, attracting thousands of snow geese, ducks, and, sometimes tundra swans during early spring, and shorebirds as the water recedes. We have had a series of dry years, so these low spots now hold the memory of water, the echoes of those rowdy geese. As I walked, I imagined these places full of water, as they once were. As I walked, I realized that my walk was a kind of prayer for the return of these waters.

Not so long ago, I went to Pheasant Creek after listening to Pat McCabe, a Diné (Navajo) mother, grandmother, activist, artist, writer, and ceremonial leader, speak about engaging with water. I had watched the creek’s spring flow ebb in a few short days. Now, the creek had become a series of ponds with dry land between each pond. Our land is thirsty.  My intent was to offer prayers. While sitting with the creek, I had a strong sense that I needed bring a bottle of water each time I visited, and to present it to the creek and the surrounding hills as an offering. Such a simple request. A new practice for me.

Now each time I go wandering, I pack a jar of water in my knapsack. Sometimes I sit quietly on a favourite rock near a shallow, still pond. It may seem still, but that’s deceptive. Duck weed is starting to grow here and there. A water bug disturbs the smooth surface of the water. A light breeze ruffles the water, small ripples are created. Reflections shift with the ripples.

I walk along patches of dry creek bed. Pheasant Creek meanders, curving in a most satisfying way. I hop from rock to rock, observing the pattern of the rocks, how in previous years the water has arranged and rearranged them. The grasses, too, show the movement of the creek when it is flowing. There are tiny shells, also holding the memory of moving water.

I wonder – if I was a creek bed, what would it feel like to have rushing water move over top of me? Then in another season to be exposed to air, to wind, to rain, to snow? To feel the sharp hooves of deer, the soft pads of coyote, the rubber sole of human feet on my belly when I am accustomed to the feel of water? If I was water, what would it feel like to move over and around these rocks, to navigate each curve, to caress the creek bottom? Would I feel the difference between flowing the length of a creek and merging with another body of water, and not flowing – becoming a pool with land all around? Does the rock I sit on miss the feel of being submerged in water?

In light of the many serious issues facing water on our planet and right in my own back forty, it is tempting to wonder if making an offering to the water, or taking time simply to be with bodies of water (or with the land) can make any difference.

I think it can.

I like the question Barbara Barnett asked in her piece entitled, “Meeting my Judgement” +: “With what mindset and heartset do I come to the harvest?” I might ask “with what mindset and heartset do I visit the coulee, sit by the creek, wander the hollows in the fields?”

I was recently reminded that before I spend time with a body of water, a tree, or other being, I must first ask permission. Hello, may I sit here? May I listen? May I share with you?* The idea is that I might have an intuitive sense that at this time the rock I like to sit on would welcome my company, but at another time, maybe not. Asking rocks and trees and water for permission to spend time with them was certainly not a part of my upbringing! At the same time, as a child, water seemed to be not only amazingly alive, but also filled with magical properties! Like so many of us, my imagination has been reigned in by our Western consumer culture which does not see the water, the tree, or the creature as sentient and conscious with complex ways of knowing. But if I believe that the rock, the tree or the water are in some way aware of my presence, then it makes sense that I would extend the same courtesies I would to a human friend.

Can I slow myself down, still my hamster wheel mind, and approach the land with an open spirit? We can get so busy that we overlook the gifts around us and do not have enough open space within to really take them in. As Geneen Marie Haugen, writer and wilderness wanderer, writes, “So much clamours for our attention, such noise, constant seductions and distractions, from whatever is most valuable to us. It is challenging to pull way from the narratives that are being determined for us, and to engage instead, with the wild earth or the deep imagination.”

I remind myself what I understood so clearly as a child, to “go wandering as if there are listeners”. I like how nature writer Barry Lopez puts it, “One must wait for the moment when “the thing” – the hill, [the creek, the tree] – ceases to become a thing and knows that we are there.”

It isn’t only that the deer, the willow, and the water “know that we are there”, but also, according to my friend spasaqsit possesom (Ron), they are darn happy we are there, and that we are noticing, becoming tuned in. Finally, they say!! Our attentive presence matters. It is imperative. This is an integral part of reciprocity.

I understand that “it is all gift”. Water, and every other aspect of our life. When I make an offering of water, I acknowledge this. As Robin writes, “Conceiving of something as gift changes your relationship with it in a profound way, even though the physical make up of the “thing” has not changed. Gratitude is so much more than a polite thank you, it is the thread that connects us in a deep relationship…”

To spend time intentional time on the land, near water, or under the sky and to pay attention is a counter cultural act. To be with the natural world in this way disrupts the dominant Western narrative of the land that is so deeply ingrained in us, even if just for the hour or two that we are out there. In subtle but important ways, I gradually change my orientation to all that is. By “tuning in” to the natural world, I let go for a time of the frequencies that dominate so much of my life. When I can settle in to a place, begin to move with the rhythms of the land, wander and explore “as if there are listeners”, I begin to know my right place here on earth.

+ Barbara Barnett’s piece called “Meeting My Judgement” was a part of the collective response to Reading Robin’s Essay, which was shared with other participants. 

*Thanks to those who took part in Brooke Arnold-Roche’s “Emerging into Spring” (https://fireandhoney.ca/) for “reminding” me and furthering many of my thoughts.

 

The Fairy Meets the Inner Critic

Fairy bodies come in all shapes, sizes and colours

 

I planned a paper fairy PLAYshop for January. Omicron came along and knocked that out of the realm of possibility – at least as a real LIVE breathing and in person PLAYshop. The Pandemic is giving our adaptability muscles new opportunities to flex!

 

Fairy paper packets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead I offered  an at home version where participants received a packet of papers to make their fairy, as well as access to instructions and templates and a short Zoom fairy consultation (really a fairy party) with me.

The night after mailing more than a dozen fairy paper parcels, I woke up from an unsettling dream. In the way of dreams, I can’t tell you anything about it, except that once awake,  this sentence popped into my head, clear as a bell. “Fairies are so insubstantial.”

“Insubstantial?!!” retorts the fairy. “That’s our superpower! Most beings are far too substantial! Insubstantial, yes! Insignificant, NEVER!!”

 I don’t think I laughed out loud then, but I have several times since. This first voice is clearly the voice of my own personal inner critic. She is not usually so funny!

Insubstantial. Flighty. Frivolous. Fanciful!! These are the kinds of words my inner critic loves to taunt me with.

One of the wise fairy makers said, ” I would just tell that inner critic to lighten up!!”

I notice that an enlivening spirit is with me when I am selecting fairy papers for people. I am happy as a clam, I love doing it, everything is a complete mess, and any notion of 1, 2, 3 or getting this done in a certain block of time is completely out of the question. Beside the point. It’s those darn fairies – trying to keep me messed up (in a good way)!

When creating a fairy, I am quietly delighted. Some parts of fairy making are quite finnicky and absorb all of my attention.  Time slips through my fingers.

Abra-cad-a-bra! People appear on the my screen. Pouffff – they are gone!! When gathering on Zoom, we fairy makers notice a companionable gaiety and levity in the air. We laugh a lot!

Collaborating with other fairy makers has stretched my ideas about fairies and the possibilities they hold. A mom and her two young sons adapted the PLAYshop to make superheroes, which got me wondering about male fairies and why fairies are so gendered. Another fairy maker started with the thought of creating “Dreaming Fairy” – the fairy who would contribute to the world we want to live into. During one Zoom fairy party, participants had songs pop into their minds when making fairies. “Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes”…and “Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day.” The songs found their expressions on the fairies created.

“Heart of Gold” Fairy

 Sometimes I wonder, did I choose fairies as a project? Or, did the fairies choose me? I think the fairies chose me! In the midst of coldest winter, a pandemic that doesn’t seem to end, and a renovation job taking me deep into our stone basement to “mud” (reinforce the walls with a mixture of sand and lime), it seems that creating paper fairies is the perfect antidote, the best winter  and pandemic elixir, a panacea of sorts.

The fairies whisper “Tread lightly”! They loosen my laughter and delight and playfulness. They lead me down new flight paths.

Up, up and away!!

To view an ongoing gallery of fairies created, click here.

“Revolutionary Dancing Fairies are Getting Out of the Kitchen” – by Diane Mullan

“Petra (green fairy) is off her Rocker!” -by Diane Mullan

“Up, Up and Away!” by Diane Mullan

 

 

 

Every Child

I often think about children in December. A lifetime ago, I worked at our community school. I remember the fraught, exciting, and sometimes magical time leading up to Christmas  as we tried to make the best possible memories for our kids. Being a parent is frequently overwhelming, and in the period before Christmas, the Overwhelm Factor looms LARGE. I recall the struggle of many parents, myself included, who could not afford many gifts, and the societal pressure to give more. And more.

Working every day with children, I sensed an acute longing that ran deep beneath seasonal shifts. What every child most needed was the truly attentive presence of at least one adult. “Don’t worry so much about all the gifts,” I wanted to say. “Spend time with your kids. Ordinary time, and special times, too.” Of course, often the advice we give, is the advice we ourselves need.  As a parent myself, I knew how hard  being truly present to my children could be. Some days,  I could hardly be present to myself! But there were moments…perhaps on a walk, or cuddled together reading a book. Baking together. Learning to skate together.  Stopping to watch a snowy owl on the way home. If December is about children, in our rush to “get it all done”, we often overlook the gift of simple (and not so simple) presence and attention that every child needs and longs for.

September 30, 2021

Continuing to think about children, I travel back in my mind to September 30th, 2021 – the first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. A day set aside for survivors and intergenerational survivors of Indian Residential  Schools to ask Canadians  “to see us, to hear us and to believe us,” after unmarked graves were unearthed and confirmed at former residential schools across the land. As this day approaches, my husband and I are spending a few days along the shores of Lake Superior. I feel a heaviness welling up inside me as September 30th approaches. How will I mark this day? I  intended to be at home, joining a walk from the present Okanese School to the site of the former United Church run residential school, both on the same reserve. As we drive, we  listen to the stories of  survivors on the radio. I  think about the  people I know – family, friends, neighbours of all ages- who have been deeply affected by the legacy of these “schools”.

That evening, I collect random pebbles as I walk the beach.  Each is so beautiful and unique. Long smoothed by the motion of water over sand, they come in beautiful colours –  dusty rose, slate gray, white, ochre. I get an idea. I drop to my knees and smooth out a circle on the beach with the palm of my hand. Smoothing sand is soothing. Listening to the rhythmic sound of the waves rolling in calms me. I remember many contented moments as a child, doing just this, smoothing sand and arranging pebbles. Absorbed.

I collect more pebbles. I choose slate gray pebbles to spell  the word “EVERY” in capitals in the circle. Slate gray gives emphasis to this word. No child is left out.

For the word “child” , I use all the colours of pebbles spelled in lower case letters. Somehow, lower case letters seem vulnerable, like children are vulnerable. With each pebble I place, I think of a child I have known or who I know now. Some are thriving, others are getting along. Too many died way before their time from violence or suicide, drugs or a car accident.  A legacy not only of residential schools, but also our colonial and genocidal actions, past and present. I notice how the sand quickly covers some pebbles, rendering them almost invisible. I clean the sand off each pebble, so that each can be seen, can takes its proud place in forming this word.

The verb “MATTERS“, I spell out in capital letters in dusty rose – the colour of the heart. I think of the many ways we invisibilize children, especially those children who are not “easy”. I remember the times I have dismissed a child’s feelings. I consider how the unmarked graves are material (matter) evidence for something Indigenous people have always known.

Around the edge of the circle, I poke clusters of pine needles into the sand. The pine needles provide a border, some protection maybe, but what is inside the circle is now open to the air. All wounds need air in order to begin the process of healing. I find two wrapped orange lollipops which are from a feast I attended in honour of children who never made it home. These go on either side of the word “child” signifying the pleasures of childhood these lost children  missed.  Spelling these words, smoothing the sand, and thinking about so many friends and relatives allows the heaviness in me to shift a little. Creating this beach art feels exactly like a prayer.

Every Child Matters – Lake Superior, Sept. 30, 2021

The Orange Shirt at the End of Our Lane – Every Child Matters

When we returned home, our daughters welcomed us with an orange shirt at the end of our lane. The orange shirt remains there. Each time I see it, I feel a slight jolt inside.  It has blown in the wind, fallen on the ground and been hung again. Each day it changes. I don’t want to get used to the orange shirt. I don’t want to forget.

The orange shirt reminds me….

EVERY      child     MATTERS                                                                                                                                                    Every child matters. See us, hear us, believe us. Truth before reconciliation.

Listen. Learn what I can. Unlearn what I grew up knowing. Learn about past injustices but learn also about present injustices. Learn from the brilliance and wisdom of Indigenous people. Listen.

I can offer my support in practical  and respectful ways as our neighbours and friends begin a ground search for lost children at the former Lebret Indian Residential School. Volunteers, food, money are needed.  I can also offer my prayers.

Back when I worked in the community school, we had pins that said  “It takes a village to raise a child.” So many wonderful people and creatures helped us raise our children. Can I be part of that village? Can I give back? Can I help lighten the load for other parents and grandparents?  I can try.

Every day the orange shirt reminds me that I need to live as if “every child matters”.              Every day, the orange shirt challenges me.

I am alert for the openings that help me truly live as if every child matters.

Every child matters … every day.

Orange Shirt Design by L. Delorme

 

Amaryllis

 

I have been enjoying reading accounts of people who have taken up a creative pursuit during the pandemic. In some cases, they are people in the latter half of their lives. I have particularly enjoyed watching some young people for whom creating art during the pandemic has been lifesaving and who are sharing their creations via social media. The time and space to create art has been one of the blessings of living in an otherwise limited world.

A dozen years ago, I enrolled in what is now called the Prairie Jubilee Experience. Back then it had a much longer title. My own desire at the time was to explore my spiritual life more intentionally and with some guidance along the way. This was exactly what I needed at the time. One of the unintended benefits of taking part in this two year course was that creative expression of all kinds was encouraged. We could write papers or we could hand in a painting (or a video of a dance). Throughout my life, I always found one way or another to express myself creatively, but this opportunity opened up new possibilities for me. Ultimately, I felt led to spend more and more time creating art, and to share my love of artistic expression and nature with others.

Once the course was done, however, I wasn’t quite sure how to move art into a more central place in my daily life. I could paint or create a collage in response to a spiritual question, but what would I paint without such a prompt? I decided to begin with what was right in front of me, to spend a little time each day painting the amaryllis that was growing in our window sill.

Here are some of those early watercolour sketches.

It was a great delight to observe subtle changes in the amaryllis each day. I didn’t know it then, but painting was one way to “befriend a flower”. The energy of the amaryllis astounded me. Each day, there was marked progress. All of this was happening at the same time as much inner growth was happening inside me. Then, one day, I had an epiphany. I thought I had chosen the amaryllis as my subject, but in fact, the amaryllis had chosen me. I felt there was an amaryllis inside me, reaching for the light and growing just like the one I was painting.

Since that epiphany, I have  learned that what I choose as subject matter is seldom random or arbitrary. Very often I am inspired by the very plant, or hill, or tree or colour that I need as teacher or medicine. I discover this as I paint or cut and glue papers to create an image.

Inside the Bloom, watercolour

“Inside the Bloom” framed…reflecting the outside world and in the very window the first amaryllis was in

another watercolour inspired by Amaryllis

 

Farewell, Kerry Farm Ice Rink

It’s the beginning of March, and the feel of spring is in the air.

Secret Wish: I am holding out for a blizzard or two, as we need  more moisture in Southeastern Saskatchewan.

Just before we move into spring, I will share these photos of the grasses, leaves of Grandmother Willow and that noxious weed, Baby’s Breath, as they are found in around the Kerry Farm Ice Rink, and inside the ice of some lanterns (now melted). I love them all. I love how their forms are expressed in ice, that temporal art form.

Canary Reed Grass in ice lantern

Canary Reed Grass

Although canary reed grass is an invasive species, I love her form, especially in winter against the whites and blue and purple shades of the snow.

Willow leaves on ice


Willow leaves in ice. Lantern mold is an ice cream pail.

Willow leaves in ice lantern, bottom view

Grandmother willow

Baby’s Breath in ice and growing nearby in snow

Invitation: Living into “An Economy of Abundance”

Hawthornes-  the haws are still  available in Winter (my substitute for a photo of Saskatoons in winter)

Prelude

Early in December I was invited to take a meditative walk and see if something in the natural world caught my attention. What I especially noticed was how many Saskatoon berries were still on the bush. Most were dried like raisins. I ate a handful and found them full of taste. What a sweet surprise, I thought…after all, the birds, the squirrels, the bears and we humans ate our fill of Saskatoons in the summer, and yet, there were still some left over!! What abundance! How marvellous – to savour this summer taste as the days grow darker!

A few weeks later, Robin Wall Kimmerer, published “The Service Berry: An Economy of Abundance” in Emergence Magazine. Wouldn’t you know it? The service berry is also called the Saskatoon berry! This excellent essay celebrates the abundance and gift of this “best of the  berries”.  Wall Kimmerer also explores gratitude, reciprocity and the gift economy using the Saskatoon bush as guide and teacher.

This essay struck me as beautiful medicine for the next decade, as well as a call to action or perhaps (worded differently) – an invitation to respond creatively and “live into” the community Robin Wall Kimmerer envisions. While some of us are anxious to return to “normal”, I think many of us would qualify “normal”. The pandemic has enabled us to see ever more clearly how our culture of excess has not served us well, and how it has favoured some at the expense of so many others and so much else (including care of the earth). Robin Wall Kimmerer is a  wise visionary and leader,  who so clearly articulates the need for a change in our priorities and direction. She does so poetically. Even better, we can read the essay or listen to her read it to us, or both!!

Here’s the invitation:

Please consider accompanying me as I read and listen to Robin Wall Kimmerer’s essay “The Service Berry: An Economy of Abundance”  over the next few months. I have divided it into 4 sections, simply because there are many ideas here and reading over a longer period of time allows us to sink into these ideas. We will take approximately a month to read and respond to each section.

I invite you to comment on a particular quote (or quotes) that stirred something in you.

I also invite you to respond creatively, if you feel called to do so. You might feel called to respond to one section and not another. Or to all four. Or to none. All are good.

A perfect example of a creative response

What do I mean by responding creatively? Think of some of the creative people you know – people who decorate their homes with that special touch, poets, make up artists, beaders, ice lantern makers, cooks and bakers, welders, tattoo artists,  wood workers, dancers,  music makers,  knitters and crocheters, story tellers, leaders in ceremony, healers, potters, sewers, seamstresses and quilters, entrepreneurs, song writers, mothers and fathers, aunties and uncles, graphic artists, tic toc creators, gardeners, worship leaders, cake decorators,  photographers, people who dress with flair, nail artists, sculptors, gardeners, snow fort builders…the list could go on and on.

A creative response could also be an action –  sharing a gift,  taking care of a piece of land, nurturing a small garden, writing a letter, “paying it forward” in a way that nurtures connection. Receiving a gift could also be a creative response – for many of us receiving well is harder that giving or sharing. As Wall Kimmerer notes, we are receiving gifts all the time and sometimes we become alert or especially aware of a particular gift we have long taken for granted.

To some extent, we are already living into “an economy of abundance”. It feels to me that doing this together in response to Robin Wall Kimmerer’s essay brings a degree of intention and community which  will make a difference  for each of us, and perhaps ripple out.

Sharing Our Responses and Comments

Your comments and creative responses will be shared on a dedicated website (with your permission). I hope to get this website up this month (February 2021).  I will send you the link to the website when it is available, and regular updates or reminders now and again. You can send your responses to me by email.

Other ways of becoming community may emerge naturally as we accompany each other in considering and living into Robin Wall Kimmerer’s ideas. If you have thoughts about how we might share our responses  with each other, please send them on to me.

How To Join In

E- mail me at poachedeggwoman@gmail.com if you are interested in taking part in some way or have questions. You will receive an e-mail with a link to each section we are reading, and subsequent e-mails with links sharing how people are responding.

Feel free to share this with others who may be interested.

Here is a  PDF of Section 1 of the essay – Robin Wall Kimmerer SECTION 1

Here is a PDF of Section 2 of the essay – Section 2 – Reading Robin’s Essay

Here is a PDF of Section 3 of the essay – Section 3- Robin’s Essay

Here is a PDF of Section 4 of the Essay- Section 4 PDF

Photo used with kind permission of Chantelle Bonk

 

 

"Sylvia's Prairie", watercolour

Sylvia’ s Prairie

Years ago I made a choice to let go of my perennial garden so that I could spend more time in Pheasant Creek Coulee with the wildflowers that were already there. Flowers requiring no care at all. I felt some sadness about this choice, but have been thrilled about the time it has freed up for me. I especially love to spend very early mornings painting in the coulee once the ticks have disappeared.

This Covid summer has been no exception. In fact, life without playshops and art sales has offered me not only MORE time in the coulee, but also daily visits! What I have most noticed is how the more I get to know, the more I realize I have not noticed before. How could I have missed that, I think? I note that I miss so many things. “I see, but don’t see”. There is always a new surprise or mystery when I visit the coulee. We see and experience the natural world with strong filters. Happily, daily visits disturb some of my filters.

Showy Locoweed (the flowers not out yet, but an impressive plant, so furry and luxurious!)

Showy Locoweed in bloom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great joy has been wondering about the mystery of an emerging plant – before it blooms. Who are you? What colour will you be? In the case of Showy Locoweed, it was several weeks between emerging leaves and eventual blossoms. Well worth the wait!

Now, I am appreciating the varieties of seedheads, and finding great beauty in this stage of plant life. How can the delicate pink and white bell shaped flower of Spreading Dogbane become a brilliant red pod sometimes measuring four inches long?

Spreading Dogbane-the pod

Spreading Dogbane- flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These last few weeks, I have perched on my stool, looking down. I am intrigued by the shapes and forms and postures of plants. I have always loved the distinctive shape of Indian Breadroot* or the particular curve of milk vetch leaves on the stem. Or the deep green of Indian Breadroot contrasted with the silvery green of wolf willow and sage.

“Underfoot”, Watercolour, 14.5 ” x 14.5″

My first painting, entitled “Underfoot” highlights the leaves of Indian Breadroot when the blossoms are dying. In the background are the fading leaves of the prairie crocus. At this time ( early July) Ascending Purple Milk Vetch (blue) is in full bloom, as are Gaillardia (yellow) and Hedysarum (pink). Broom is just coming into bloom and it’s bright fake grass green colour contrasts with the other shades of green.

Detail of “Sylvia’s Prairie”

“Sylvia’s Prairie” was painted over several visits the last ten days of July. Silver Leaf Psoralea ( a cousin of Indian Breadroot) is highlighted in this painting and I love how its silver leaves contrast with the green of Western Wild Bergamot (shown here without blossom). Other blooming plants include Purple Prairie Clover, Harebell, Pink Prairie Onion, and Low Goldenrod. Flax seeds and the empty rust coloured seed heads of groundsel as well as wild licorice leaves are here also.

The title of this piece came as a wonderful surprise. Once I was finished and was looking at this painting from a distance, I thought, “These are Sylvia’s (my late mum) colours.” In fact, I could imagine her wearing a shirt just like this. I was struck by how our parents are always with us, even when we have no idea they are present. Years ago, when my mum visited the prairies, she loved to smell the sage. She always picked some to freeze in a baggie, and pull out from time to time, just to breathe that distinctive prairie smell deeply. So, it fits that two types of sage are in this painting as well – women’s sage and pasture sage.

In some ways, I am pleased with “Sylvia’s Prairie”. Yet, at the same time, some dissatisfaction  pushes me to explore further. I like the energy and movement in an earlier attempt to get to know Silver Leaf Psoralea (below). I begin August wanting to spend more time getting to know Silver Leaf Psoralea better by sitting with her, drawing and painting her, trying to express other dimensions of her incredible beauty and wildness.

* Indian Breadroot is also known as Prairie Turnip.


Pheasant Creek – Some July Wildflowers

Western Wild Bergamot

Western Wild Bergamot, a wonderful peppery  leaf added  to tea

Skeleton Weed

Hedysarum, above and Northern Hedysarum, below plus a little yarrow

Northern Hedysarum

Juniper is not a flower but so lovely and fresh with new berries coming

Low milkweed started blooming in June, but I am discovering patches of her for the first time, and she continues to bloom in July

Green Milkweed

Silvery groundsel going to seed…in this photo the seeds of the bottom three have flown away. I painted this seedhead last winter not knowing what is was

Smooth Camus, close up, new to me this year

Smooth Camus

Late Locoweed (see May for Early locoweed)

Harebells

Giant Hyssop

Skunk bush

Western Red Lily

Wild LIcorice

Brown Eyed Susan’s

Many flowered aster

Purple Prairie Clover – who could resist this plant?

White Prairie Clover, cousin to Purple Prairie Clover

Dotted Blazingstar

Short Stemmed Thistle

Short Stemmed Thistle

Field Geranium, naturalized

Red Clover

Plains Cinquefoil

Yellow Evening Primrose

Yellow Evening Primrose

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PInk flowered Onion

PInk flowered Onion

Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)

Spreading Dogbane

Showy Locoweed

Beautiful Sunflower

Silverleaf Psoralea

Smooth Aster

Prairie Coneflower

the seedhead of yellow flax

Hairy Golden Aster

“Underfoot”, Watercolour, 14.5 ” x 14.5″

“Early Morning”, Watercolour, 10″ x 8″