First Asiatic Lily of many

Asiatic lilies (Lilium asiatica) are considered to be one of the easiest to grow and hardy blooming plants you can enjoy in your garden. They come back each year and sometimes will actually multiply! We always enjoy our colorful lilies.

May morning in the garden

It’s only 40 degrees F on a sunny mid-May morning. Still there is Nature’s beauty on display.

Red young growth on the rose is due to the presence of anthocyanins. This coloration protects the bush from UV rays .

Chives flower

Asiatic lily thinking about blooming

The first rose bloom of the season


Crow showed up and we talked

Last fall Sher and I were visiting our daughter, her husband and our 8 year old grandson who live in the Seattle area. One day I was in our daughter’s backyard  taking photos of some of the leather medicine bags that I have been making.

My personal medicine bag trimmed with the colors of the 4 directions, a silver feather and a gift from the sea.

While I was arranging another leather medicine bag for photos, I heard a loud “caw-caw” from somewhere up the street. Almost immediately a large black crow landed in a small tree about 15 yards away. Crow then began to “talk” to me with varying tones and volume. I responded to him, and thanked him for sharing his space with me.

Crow and I shared space and spirit together for several minutes. Sharing time with animals is so inspiring to me, and I consider them exceptional opportunities to relish the chance to be at one with animals, Nature and Earth.  I asked him if I could take an image of him. Crow did not want his image taken, and he flew off as we said our farewells.

I cut some pieces from an apple for me, and then I took the rest of the apple and put it in the tree where Crow had been perched while we conversed. It is always a nice gesture to leave a gift whenever you have contact with Nature. When I have been gifted by Nature with stones, feathers, shells or even a leaf or flower I always leave a gift in thanks for the find.

Black Onyx from Peru

A few day later we all went to a wonderful gem and mineral store in the fun town of Snohomish. I needed to get some sage for cleansing and smudging ceremonies. In this store I was immediately drawn to a display of beautiful carved crows made of black onyx that had been imported from Peru. I was strongly drawn to one and he went home with me. My past interaction with Crow reinforced that the black onyx Peruvian crow was supposed to be. Yes, I believe Crow joining me for a bit was indeed a good sign.


Medicine wheel four quarters

The term “medicine” is not always just a means for healing. It can, in some belief systems, also refer to the knowledge and power found in every life form. In many cultures around the globe the circle and cross of the medicine wheel is also know as “the four quarters of the world”.

The basic medicine wheel is in four parts and represents the four directions, each with a color, element, and one of the four “races” of the world. North is white, represents air and the animal people. South is red, represents water and plant people. East is yellow, represents fire and human people. Finally, West is black, represents earth and the stone people. Positioning of these may vary among the many medicine wheel traditions found around the world. For example, having south’s color green (for the plant people) instead of red is not uncommon.

Sustainable farm in North Little Rock

Original 1910 orphanage

North Little Rock, Arkansas is home to the St. Joseph Center, a non-profit organization based on a historic building that was once a children’s orphanage run by the Catholic Church.  The impressive structure was built in 1910 and currently there are several Artist’s Studios inside the spacious old building that houses other functions. As a Harvest Hosts site, we used our membership to park our RV free for the night.

Currently the St. Joseph Center is an educational and working farm. The grounds are really beautiful. The first thing Sher and I did after we parked was to take a stroll around the main building, enjoying the old statuary and flower beds. We also got our first look at the garden plots. Turns out that there is a large citizen garden space  where locals can come and, for a modest fee, have their own personal garden plot.

Bull, right and cow

Recently sheared ewe

A couple of very friendly mommy cows

The Farm Stand, in other words the store, offers locally sourced goods ranging from in season produce to canned veggies, jams and jellies, pickles and cheeses. Local sourced flour, grains, and even meats are for sale. We certainly took advantage of Michelle’s opening the store for us and we made several purchases including pickles, pickled green beans and peppered Colby Cheese.

Raised garden boxes

View of the lovely grounds






There are quite a few head of livestock on the farm. Steve directed us to pastures and pens where goats, sheep and beef cattle make their homes. The sheep had recently been sheared ready for the hot summer. I enjoyed seeing the good quality cross bred cattle. Several calves were still on their mothers and would have been fall calves. There are also chickens supplying a great supply of free range eggs. There are two sets of beehives, and we purchased some delicious honey produced by the honey bees right there on the St Joseph Center grounds.

The honey we bought came from these hives

Sher and I enjoyed our visit at this educational farm. Owner’s Steve and Michelle made our visit to this sustainable operation very pleasant.   Recently North Little Rock was hit by a series of tornados. Fortunately the St Joseph Center only suffered the loss of several beautiful old trees, but no animals or buildings were damaged. Here is the farm website.