Tiny Tree Update, 2023

Of the living gymnosperms the conifers — pine, cedar, spruce, fir and redwood trees — are the most successful biologically. The needle-like leaves of these evergreens are well adapted to withstand hot summers, cold winters and the mechanical abrasion of storms. ~Claude Alvin Villee, Jr., American biologist and long-time teacher, Harvard University

Why

I felt

Compelled to

Check up on my

Tiny Tree after

A bitter snowstorm is

A myst’ry, but I did and

Voila! As you can plainly see,

He (or she) is growing and thriving

And celebrating its second birthday!

Tiny Tree is an Eastern Juniper.

Also known as red cedar, this tree

Measures forty-eight inches tall!

Who’d have given it a chance

To survive in such a

Harsh environment?

Somewhere below

Ground lies its

Bright red

Scarf!

Note: This poetry form is a Double Etheree.

Merry Christmas 2022

This Christmas may you have…
“Walls for the wind
And a roof for the rain,
And drinks bedside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
And those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire.” ~ Irish Christmas Blessing

Merry Christmas to all our friends! Monkey and I will be taking a few days off to celebrate with loved ones. We’ll be back soon!

Where Did Fall Go?

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. ~ Dale Carnegie, American writer, lecturer, and more.

Shivering beneath this coat of snow
Snow that unexpectedly trickled down
Down to the ground below
Below ground, my root system sleeps
Sleeps while Winter whitens the landscape
Landscape that one day will become green
Green when Spring comes back again
Again my red blooms will brighten the yard
Yard that needs something so brilliant
Brilliant, isn’t it, how cyclical Nature is!

Note: This poetry form is called Chain Verse.

 

Squirrel Hunt with Monkey

He that waits upon Fortune, is never sure of a Dinner. ~Benjamin Franklin, American statesman, inventor, writer, etc.

I Monkey here. Before Fall turns into Winter, I want to take you on a squirrel hunt.

What? You’ve never been on a squirrel hunt?

People, that’s crazy! Come with me, and I’ll show you what you’ve been missing!

Suited up and ready to go!

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Happy Fall 2022

The leaves, a few weeks ago so green and shiny and sparkling in the sunlight, have turned to yellow, gold, red and brown for the touch of autumn is a magic touch and autumn is in the air. ~Raymond Carlson, “Arizona Highways” magazine

Before Autumn can slip away entirely, I set out to capture some of its beauty. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed snapping them!

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Walktober 2022

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk: every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. ~Søren Kierkegaard, Danish theologian and author, considered the first existentialist philosopher

Once again, it’s time for Walktober, the annual group-walk hosted by Robin over at Breezes at Dawn. Participants each take a walk (or bike, skate, whatever) and write a post about it (with photos); then, Robin does a roundup linking to the participants so we can all “walk” together and share our amazing world.

Today, I’m headed to Monticello, Illinois (near Champaign-Urbana) to the Allerton Park and Retreat Center. There are 14 miles of hiking trails (no, we don’t have to explore ALL of them!), but lace up your sneakers and join me. It’s a gorgeous day — clear and sunny, with morning temps in the 50s, but it will warm up as we go.

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Walking with Monkey

Ever wonder where you’d end up if you took your dog for a walk and never once pulled back on the leash? ~Robert Brault, American writer

I Monkey here.

Everybody’s taking part in Robin‘s Walktober, and I want to, too. She never said pups can’t walk along — why, I have it on good authority that Princess Katie always got her own special walk! I might not be royalty, but there’s champion blood running through my veins, and by golly, I mean to tackle this walk-thing!

Mama’s taking the pictures, but I’m pointing out what she needs to shoot. The story, of course, is all me. Let’s GOOOO!

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Who Named These Things?

Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers, where I can walk undisturbed… ~Walt Whitman, American poet and journalist (often called the father of free verse)

As I walked past this house the other day,
I saw a row of flowers tall and pink.
Their lack of leaves seemed no cause to shrink
As in the breezes they did dance and sway.
What are these grand dames, I did say,
And home to research Google’s famous ink.
Amaryllis Belladonna, I think.
Quite a mouthful for such a pretty spray!

Around here they have another name,
One that’s not so long or even grand.
One, in fact, that makes my face grow rosy.
Yes, indeed, these beauties’ claim to fame
(Which probably should be banned across the land)
Is Naked Lilies. Poor pitiful posy!

Note: I tried to write this as an Italian Sonnet, but I’m not at all sure I’ve succeeded. It was way harder than I thought when I started! These are interesting flowers, but I’ve never tried to grow them (they’re toxic to dogs).

Butterfly of Happiness

If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies. ~Author unknown

When

I was

Cleaning up

Some nasty weeds

The yard men ignored,

I saw a fluttering

From the corner of my eye.

Looking closer, I saw it was

A gorgeous butterfly of unknown

Species, resting on the rocks below me.

 

Silly woman, pointing her phone at me!

Has she never seen a butterfly?

Well, then, I’m a Red Admiral —

Quite common really if you

Would keep your eyes open.

Monarchs get all the

Attention but

I deserve

Some praise

Too!

 

Note: Poetic form is Double Etheree.

 

 

 

 

Busy as a Bee

Take time to smell the roses and eventually you’ll inhale a bee.  ~Author unknown

There once was a bee who did think
From flowers he could steal a long drink.
He chose one and got busy
But left in a tizzy
Without siphoning any of the pink.

Note: This poetic form is Limerick (which I haven’t written in a long time!)