Dear Followers

I will not be posting for a while.  I do not want you to be concerned.

I have other necessary tasks at hand.

I want you to know how important you have been to me these past years.

There is a reason for my garden. It came from pain.

My home has been a beautiful prison. My daughter’s epilepsy was its bars.

She is seizure-free now, but damage was done to us both.

I grew where I was planted. I had a secret garden that no one could see.

We live among woods, down a long drive, inside a gate along a river.

I shared my garden as the Flower with all of you so someone else could enjoy it.

My connection with nature always gets me through hardships. It will again now.

I will NOT be watching the television. I know what is going to happen.

My dream was to be a disease cowboy like Joe McCormick.

I have spent years studying diseases.

I was almost killed by my Smallpox vaccine as a baby. Vaccines were different in 1962.

Serum (IgGs/IgIV) from the Red Cross saved me. My dad tells the story often.

I wanted to go out in the world and save strangers from transmittable diseases.

Instead, I have been home saving my daughter from another type.

I will continue to find solace in my garden.

It is blooming profusely right now despite the weeds.

I WILL BE FINE. I know how to stay safe.

Take care of yourselves my precious followers. In a way, you saved me. Thank you.


Seeing Stars

Starflowers are in full bloom today.


This variety of ipheion is named ‘Alberto Castillo.’


Some little forager gave this bunch a trim last week.


The petals have lovely green and brown stripes down their backsides.


I love seeing stars!



Goodbye Cheraw

My son has taken a new job. I am happy for him, but I will miss his former town. Cheraw was the homeplace of the jazz artist, Dizzy Gillespie.

Goodbye Dizzy!




My Wild Friends

My wild friends live in dens.

I must to climb up banks to peek into their dwellings.

They were all out and about yesterday afternoon.  Hi, Ho nobody home!

The highest and biggest den was under some tree roots on a cliff.


This may be a coyote or a bobcat’s home.


Smaller dens likely belong to ground hogs/woodchucks or fox kits.


There were no clear tracks to identify the residents due to recent rains.

The woods are full of the trails and dens of my wild friends.


I love my neighbors.



Old Home Place on the Hill

I wandered through the woods this afternoon.

Early spring is the best time to explore.

I visited the old home place on the hill.


The house was moved about a mile away when the road moved.

What remains of the former road bed has been reclaimed by nature.


Vinca marks the location of the yard.


Spirea bushes are located on each side, now covered with brambles.


I love finding old bricks where the house used to be.


There are thousands of daffodils on the hill.


I can almost see the mistress of the house walking along this path and watching the river.


As I walked back to my house, I wondered if my daffodils will mark my home place a hundred years from now.


I hope so.


First Flowers

I am always delighted with the first flowers of spring.


I must touch them and talk to them.


Thanking them for surviving and showing up again.


Happy to see their colorful faces.


No matter how small,


I love them all.


Through the Roof

I have had to be away from home more than usual.

I spent months constructing a “Coyote Cage” inside the bunny pen so they would be safe.


I close it up at night when the bunnies go inside so that no wildlife can get in and poop.

I never leave out water or food.

When I escorted them out this morning, I noticed the fencing in the gate had been pushed out.


Something had been trapped in during the night and forced its way out.

It was either the stray cat that has been lurking about, or one of our raccoon neighbors.


I found where it had fallen through the roof.


Now I must shore up the roof and the gate before I leave today.

Barley’s bottom sticking out of a box.

Too much to do, too little time.

I’m about to go through the roof!


Fern Fiddles

The first fern fiddles are emerging from the ground.

The Japanese Holly fern, Cyrtomium falcatum, is always first.

Fronds are specialized leaves growing from underground stems.

They roll out from the base to protect the tiny new leaflets.

Other protection involves scales which drop off after the young fronds emerge.


They are also covered by hairs for defense.


Once these fronds mature, they will be tough enough not to need scales and hairs.


Mature fronds produce spores on their undersides for reproduction.


Here are spots where sporangia were last season. The spores have been released.


I find fern fronds fascinating.


Our Book is Not About Flowers

If you know of a child who has epilepsy, their family may benefit from our book.

This has been decades in the making. It follows my daughter’s journey with epilepsy from diaper to dorm room.

I wrote it for parents. Ours was a lonely journey with many twists. I want to help other parents who are trying to raise a child with this disorder.

It is full of personal stories and insights…but not flowers.

Maybe my next book will be about gardening.

Flower/Seizure Mama