The Vine Sign

Here is the view from my desk.


This Passion vine has never had this many blooms at once.


All appeared after I published my “Vine Lessons” post.

I actually looked for a Passion bloom for the post and none were open.


Think what you will.

I consider it a divine affirmation(no pun intended…okay maybe intended)

of my self-acceptance as a grasper and a clinger.


(The Flower will be quiet for a bit. I will miss you. No worries.)

The Vine Lesson

All my life I have tried to be a tree.

I wanted to stand on my own.  I wanted to be tall and strong.  I wanted to shelter others.

But I am not a tree.  I am a vine.

I reach out toward enlightenment.

I cling to things that I love.

I grow in all directions, not just up.

I get attached to things.

I am not independent. I am interdependent.

I must embrace my vine-ness.

I cannot be a tree, you see.


Teeny Tiny Frogs

They are living jewels perched on the water lettuce leaves.


Their colors range from green to gold.


They are the tiniest friends I have.


They are precious to me.

I have visited them numerous times each day to get them habituated to me.


They no longer dive in or hide.


Their tiny brains have learned to ignore my shadow.

They even look me in the eye now.


Such brave little frogs!


Grandiflora: Gamrath Glass

Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens has a magnificent exhibit on display throughout the  grounds right now.


It consists of many giant, colorful glass flowers created by Jason Gamrath.


I will share just a few to give you a sampling of this wonderful installation.


He made large-scale renderings of flowers with colorful glass.


There were various types of orchids, pitcher plants, Venus flytraps and more.


I loved the colorful Corpse flower.


The pitchers in water were especially lovely.


The flytraps looked beautiful but dangerous.


These beautiful blooms towered overhead along the paths.


I sure do hope I get to see the Gamrath Glass at night before it leaves on

September 29, 2019.




Grandfather Mountain

We spent a magical day with a fun friend on Grandfather Mountain.

Our picnic spot had a view of the whole world.


We then visited with a sweet bear who posed like a pro.


We spied a pair of otters napping.


This rescued Bald Eagle seems relaxed in its new home.


There were few elk resting among the trees.


The museum had a wildflower exhibit that was a work of art.


My favorite part was the mile-high swinging bridge.


I just love our mountains!

Flower on the Move


Why Not Butternut?

Okay, I admit it.  I did not plant the butternut squash.  It came up from the compost.

It has taken over my vegetable garden and the neighbors’ yard.

The leaves are lovely.

It has produced dozens of giant squash.

I have made various delicious recipes with them.


When I try to give them away, there is a pause, then a polite ” No thank you.”

Why are folks rejecting my gifts of yummy squash?

The ones who do take one ask “How do I cook it?”

So I figured I would do some Butternut squash PR for my poor rejected produce.

First, a stout knife is needed to cut off both ends. This is the secret to easily cutting up the rest.

After the ends are removed you can do one of two things.

Baking requires removing the seeds, brushing the flesh with olive oil,  and putting the halves skin side up on a sheet covered with parchment  paper. Bake the halves until you can easily stick a knife in them.

Then let them cool and scope out the flesh or use your knife to cut off the skin.

I then go either salty or sweet with this. It can be sauteed with onions and garlic OR baked with nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin spice… It’s good no matter.

I ate some last night with no spices at all.

I also make soup in my Instant Pot.

Saute onions and sage in olive oil. Then saute a couple handfuls of the raw squash cubes with that. Then add four cups of vegetable broth with fresh ginger and nutmeg with the rest of the squash cubes.

Cook on the “soup” setting. Then I pour some out into my Ninja blender. Do NOT over-fill or it blows out the spout onto the wall and the coffee maker and the bag of coffee and the tea bag box…

This is COMFORT FOOD! I feel like I am drinking vitamins.

So now you know.

Embrace a BUTTERNUT and get cooking.




A Mountain Town

Blowing Rock is full of flowers.

I always look forward to strolling along while enjoying the lovely combinations.

There are planters and gardens everywhere.

September is especially lovely because of the cool weather.

There are many places to eat, shop or people watch.

Blowing Rock is a charming little mountain town.

I am always inspired by my visits there.


Four More Mountain Wildflowers

Here are four more of my favorites. Their beauty is sublte.

The first is in the snapdragon family Smooth False Foxglove/ Aureolaria laevigata.

It lives under oaks and its buds remind me of corn kernels.

This is two types of Spiked Lobelia/ Lobelia spicata.

The flowers are similar, but the arrangement varies.

The flowers have matured into fruit on this Partridgeberry/ Mitchella repens.

I love its creeping growth and brilliant red berries.

This Rattlesnake Plantain(Orchid)/ Goodyera pubescens is loved for its leaves.

This plant has been collected for terrariums.

Never take a wild plant home. They have needs that you cannot meet.

Love them and leave them.

Wild Flow