There were weeds and mosses and Vinca between the rows of stones.
Some had no shape, just carefully selected and placed stones to mark a grave.
Many had no words, just lichens and mud nests.
Some markers had been replaced with new ones that included names and dates.
Family graves deep in the mountains, miles from pavement.
We respectfully intruded. I whispered greetings and apologies.
Those living had struggled to secure this sacred spot from ATVs and dirt bikes.
Metal poles pounded deep in the earth. Thick cable strung around it in a circle, protecting the family graves from careless strangers.
I stood in silence, looking around the circle, examining the markers. These people were loved.
“Tho lost to sight, to memory dear.”
I sent up prayers for peace for the dead and peace for the living.
A sacred spot for the dead encircled in steel cable for protection from the reckless living.
I have been ignoring the fairies.
My mind has been on the pandemic, politics and bereavement.
To tell the truth, I was thinking all good magic had left the Earth.
As one of my friends puts it, “The Force has been disturbed.”
So I was pleased to find this purple mushroom
strategically placed by our trail in the mountains
where we would be sure to see it as we passed.
I have never seen the purple mushroom, ‘Viscid Violet Cort’,
so I knew immediately that it was from the fairies.
They have houses here in the mountains also, made of moss and stone.
They were letting me know all is not lost.
I was not sure if I was supposed to eat this message after seeing it,
so I left it to spread its spores.
Maybe next fall I will find a family of purple Cortinarius indes among the detritus of this terrible 2020.
My heart goes out to the fairies.
Take heart folks. There is still some good magic amongst us.
It is hard to believe that there are tiny organs in there.
A tiny brain and two tiny eyes.
Tiny feet and legs.
Life can be tiny but is always precious.
This darling little button looks good enough to eat.
Not a good idea though.
It’s an Amanita muscaria, Fly Agaric mushroom button.
In the past, it was mixed with milk to drug houseflies.
Don’t count on our North American species to produce visions.
Eating this will produce sweating and dilirium.
Eye candy only. It’s poisonous.
There is a pink tutu dancing in my garden.
Be not afraid. I am not gardening in tulle.
It’s my Pink Muhly Grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris.
The wind is blowing and it is putting on a show.
The sun makes it sparkle.
Just when most perennials are headed off stage, here comes ‘Miss Muhly’ dancing in her pink tutu.
What a great show in the garden. Bravo!
Dahlias need four things to thrive.
First, they need rich soil. I enrich mine with homemade compost and mushroom compost.
Second, they need a lot of water to grow. Mine are at the bottom of a hill with a berm.
Third, they must be supported. I have been negligent in this so excuse the messy stake job.
The fourth thing that MUST happen is cool weather. Dahlias struggle until it cools down.
Then they show off with giant, heavy blooms.
These are my three favorites, Thomas A Edison, Snow Country and Firepot.
I love the cool weather, also. I have wilted and withered all summer. Hooray fall!
During my wanderings, two brackets were discovered.
One up a tree
and one on an old stump.
Both on wood, one wood living
the other dead.
The white on was high up in a tree.
The brown one was low to the ground hidden by weeds.
The white one looked new, clean and pristine.
The brown bracket looked old, dirty, and weather worn.
One seemed heavenly,
the other earthly.
Sometimes we end up in the wrong place.
A place where we do not fit.
A place that won’t allow us to grow.
When this happens, it’s best to realize it earlier rather than later.
Sometimes this “place” is a job or a town or a relationship.
Others see that your circumstances are not a good fit, but you stick it out.
Until the obvious cannot be ignored.
Do you know this tomato?
Sometimes I have trouble leaving my yard.
There are people out there… and germs.
I am safe here.
I’d rather stay home and hang out with my friends.