Thursday, February 26, 2015

Heartbeats and Prairie Wind Are the Same Impulse

Today in two of my English classes we're finishing Linda Hogan's stellar book Dwellings, where she says there are occasions where we can hear the language of the earth -- through water, grasses, etc (but only if we are patient enough to do so). I asked my students if hearing a breeze through corn or prairie grass, or listening to waves on a beach, made them feel peaceful, relaxed, connected. Almost all raised their hands. We watched a video on fractals seeing how every biologic and terrestrial phenomenon is a mathematical equation -- even our heart beats. I wonder if our our hearts carry the same mathematical fractal rhythm as the wind or waves, and if knowing this will make us less apt to harm the world which is us. We are not so separate -- only our desires and misunderstandings make it seem so. Love is simple when you hold still, let go, and fall into life.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bald Eagle o'Rama

Oh, if only I'd had charged ANY of my DSLR batteries this image would be better. Still, we counted about 45 eagles on Branched Oak Lake the other day; others reported nearly 100 in recent weeks as they fish along the ice's edge.

A record 146 nests were recorded in Nebraska in 2014, with 111 active. Eagles were federally and state endangered as recently as 2008. In less than 25 years baldies have gone from virtually gone  to fairly numerous! See what we can do? Go forth and help life thrive.

Monday, February 16, 2015

We Need 40-80 Acres Now! Help!

Do you know of anything around Lincoln or Omaha? Nursery trends are supporting native plant landscape design and plant purchases, and educating the buyer at the point of sale through more sophisticated and innovative layouts, workshops, and display gardens are tops. These are all in our business plan and model. Add on top of that hosting weddings and artist residencies and maybe farming seed as we engage the community on behalf of prairie and its wildlife, and our dreams seem most promising. The biggest stumbling block is the price of land -- and we'd be open to leasing if we had some mutual guarantees. It could take a few years to get this all revved up, and life is speeding by. Prairie up!

In other news, had a packed house of 120 for my talk this weekend at the most awesome Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in the Loess Hills of Sioux City, IA. We learned about sustainable, low maintenance garden design using native plants for pollinators -- selfless gardening that's aesthetically sweet for us AND wildlife. Many in this inquisitive and energetic audience remained to speak with me for 45 minutes after the presentation! It was energizing and motivating for me, as I'm sure it was for many others -- I love it when that happens. Say it again -- prairie up.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Garden Thoughts on a Snow Melting Day

"The Benedictine monk Thomas Merton said, “The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.” Merton’s profoundly moral and enactive perspective points to a vision of all of life as interdependent, entangled, and embedded. This vision orients one toward action that is fundamentally unselfish and selfless. This is “principled compassion”; compassion with a clear moral foundation based on courage, love, and positive regard for and respect of all beings and things."

Read more from this powerful piece on living a life of intention that serves our ethical imperatives, and develops defiant compassion. How do we garden in a world of our making? The questions get bigger, as the responses must be, too.  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

It Finally Snowed Impressively!

I am so happy. Being stuck inside a warm home, the wind howling, the trees and stems and spent flowers topped in snow, cardinals dashing from cedar to seed -- it is overwhelmingly gorgeous and energizing. When I get my full measure of each season I feel more complete, more whole, more part of my home. Today I feel a measure of this:

"All through autumn we hear a double voice: one says everything is ripe; the other says everything is dying. The paradox is exquisite. We feel what the Japanese call 'aware'--an almost untranslatable word meaning something like 'beauty tinged with sadness.'" — Gretel Erlich in The Solace of Open Spaces

Pictures of Saturday's sticky 1" of snow, then the last image of what is between 6-8" this morning.