the most wonderful time of the year {spring ephemerals}

Nothing helps to lift me up at the end of a stressful week like spending some time outdoors.

This time of the year in particular is one of my absolute favorites for geeking out with  plants — the ephemeral wildflowers only show up for a short time each year, and it thrills me to find them! As soon as the leaves branch out completely, the forest floor is too dark to support these beauties.

I was worried that I might miss them this year being about to have a baby any day, but I waddled my 39+ week pregnant body to the woods yesterday and was happy to see how much is already in bloom.

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Red trilliums…

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Trout lily after trout lily…

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Spring beauties…

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And the chicken pox queen finding spring beauties, too…She’s getting to be quite good at plant identification!

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Hepatica…

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Virginia bluebells…

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Squirrel corn…

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Cut-leaved toothwort and spring beauties…

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Blue cohosh…

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And of course ramps…

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What spring wildflowers are showing up where you live?

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Spring is on the Way {So is the New Herbal Wellness Basket!}

You know we’re getting closer to Spring in Ohio when it’s 45 degrees outside and I’m pulling out the lawn chair to soak up the sun.

Yes, there may still be snow on the ground, but these spring rays are just begging for someone to soak them up.  I will. IMG_0811

In the past week, the bird song has increased steadily each morning.  In addition to the usual chorus of black capped chickadees and cardinals, I’ve even begun hearing the red-winged blackbirds outside.  This is surely a sign that Winter’s fingers are unfurling their grasp around Northeast Ohio.

With the warming days we’ve been out playing in the yard, and joyfully been exploring the process of tapping our maple trees.  We do, after all, live in the heart of Ohio’s maple syrup kingdom.

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Lately

I think we’re finally getting close to having a rhythm again.  We are settling in to this as our home.

As everything around us blossoms and comes into fullness, so do we.

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Homestead Update – The Beginning

We’re still in the process of getting our house move-in ready, but it’s always a treat to go visit the land we’ll soon be living with.

Without any input at all there are many strawberry blossoms!

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The Flooded Forest and Unkempt Garden

Yesterday was a wonderful spring day to enjoy nature.  We took a walk along Big Creek and you can tell from all the leaves, trees, and random children’s playground equipment scattered throughout the forest that last week’s rains caused the creek to swell quite a few feet above the banks.      IMG_0067 Continue reading

Enhance and remember your dreams with Dreamer’s Tea

Our culture doesn’t talk much about the significance of dreams, but to ignore these nighttime messages is to miss out on a valuable way of understanding and growing in our day-to-day and spiritual lives.

Dream symbolism can seem quite strange if it is taken literally, but the patterns, situations, and scenes we find in the night are the mysterious way our minds process information about our past, future, and place in the universe.  Interestingly, many of the patterns that arise in dreams are common across cultures and among people of diverse backgrounds.  The ability to dream is something that unites us all as humans. Continue reading

Back to the Garden (+ the Littlest Permaculturist)

Today was the first day I really dug my hands into the soil for quite some time.  I’ve been putting it off for a few reasons — mostly because of the weather, but also because I’ve felt conflicted about whether or not I should invest the time when we will hopefully be moving in the next couple of months.

However, the soil still calls asking me to dip my hands in, refresh my immune system, and connect with the Earthly energies.  I couldn’t resist.

A lot of today was just clean-up.  I was very pregnant last fall and didn’t get the beds taken care of the way that I should have.

There were also little surprise tasks like baby garlic plants ready to be separated and begin life anew.  Hopefully somebody will be able to harvest these culinary delights in the fall!

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Monday’s Walk

We’re still following the rule that we must go out for a walk as long as it’s over 20 degrees.  Today we actually saw temperatures in the 30s and the sun shone at times making it a lovely day for a walk.

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Happy Ostara (+ some ways to celebrate)

Happy Ostara! Today is the Vernal Equinox, a time when day and night are equal and we are headed toward longer days in the Northern hemisphere.

We are officially in the midst of Spring, even if it doesn’t quite feel like it yet in your neck of the woods.  The days are definitely getting longer and the signs of spring are all around!

Will you be doing anything to celebrate this time of rebirth, growth, and promise?  Today is a great day to do some spring-related activities and crafts! Continue reading