Tranquility

The Rio Ruidoso

I walked along the river in the forest this morning. There was something comforting about the continual flow of water as it tumbled over the rocks in the river bed — living water, fed by mountain springs high above. The river bubbled with quiet sounds of swirling water and little falls. Yet, here and there, the water paused in tranquil pools before continuing on its never-ending search for lower ground.

I looked for the wild sweet peas that I saw along the banks last May, but it was too early, or perhaps too dry. When I looked up from my search, a tree was blooming.

First Attempt

Blank note cards decorated with Salvia blossoms and Dead Nettle leaves

Today, I made my first attempt at decorating blank notes cards with dried flowers from the garden. Gentle Reader, it was not as easy as I expected, and I’m not entirely satisfied with the result, but hey, it’s a start. The thin leaves and blossoms were easy to glue (except for the ones that broke), but the hard stems were tricky. I had to re-glue the one on the bottom left after I took the photo.

I was able to experiment sooner than I expected because my second flower press has a unique drying system with sponges that takes only two days. The material I pressed two weeks ago in the traditional way is still drying.

I look forward to trying more intricate and colorful designs in the future, but I don’t plan on selling my creations. I’m just having fun.

Serenade

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Little Rose’ just coming into bloom

In the early morning hours while the sky was still inky black, a lone bird began to sing outside my window. He kept up his song without interruption for over an hour, only stopping when the first dim light appeared on the horizon. Satisfied that the dawn would come, he allowed himself to rest.

I was left with the fanciful notion that the world would continue to turn on its axis as long as there was one small bird left to demand the dawn.

Later in the morning as I sat in the garden, a hummingbird darted over the cherry sage blossoms a few feet in front of me. Alas, Gentle Reader, he was too quick for my camera.

How?

Finally — a morning without wind. I bring my coffee and spiritual reading into the garden, but my book remains unopened. In the trees, the birds can’t stop singing. A bee hovers over a barely visible holly blossom. The air caresses my skin as only it can do in spring. There is new life everywhere.

How can I read about God when He is at work all around me?

Springtime Blues (Pinks)

Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa “Siskiyou” )

After working in the garden over the past few weeks, I was looking forward to sitting outside this morning and simply enjoying the view, but the day is windy and cold, so I retreated into the warmth of the house. Yet, I can enjoy the Evening Primroses from my window.

I planted them last fall after my husband helped me create a new border in the courtyard. The variety pictured above is native to Texas and Mexico, so it does well in Southern New Mexico with little or no care. The foliage charmed me all winter by staying green, and during the past week they began producing countless, paper-like blossoms that are supposed to continue through fall. The instructions warn that these plants can be quite invasive, and they did indeed spread over the winter while many of my other plants were dormant.

With foliage and blossoms like that, as far as I’m concerned, they can go for it!

Pressed Flower Beauty

My husband recently received a thank-you card decorated with pressed flower art. I liked it so much that I cut out the flower arrangement and pasted it to a piece of card stock to make a bookmark. Then I thought, ah ha! Everything is coming into bloom in the garden. What a perfect time to take up a new hobby! I can save my cherished blossoms to enjoy when spring has passed and make home-made note cards. So I ordered a flower press and bought a how-to book. Pressed Flower Art by W. Eugene Burkhart Jr. was extremely helpful. It was a little pricey, but well worth it. The book included an abundance of colored photos and detailed instructions on everything I needed to know to learn this charming art form.

Yesterday, I filled my new flower press with blossoms, leaves, and stems. Today, I am going to press some blossoms and herbs into an old phone book. Now, all I have to do is wait for them to dry.

That may be the hardest part.

April Contrasts

(The doves were too quick for the camera)

The leaves are coming out on the ash trees. A dove chases another from branch to branch. Soon, there will be a nest. Meanwhile, a wasp lays her eggs under the eaves.

One day is windy, the next is calm.

Today, I am twenty. Tomorrow, one hundred and one.

The Crown of Thorns

Thistles

On this Good Friday, I offer the following blank verse in remembrance of Our Lord’s Passion:

The Crown of Thorns
By Lynn Miyake, OCDS
The two were slaves who happened to be near.
The soldiers made them weave the crown of thorns,
And as they twisted prickling vines, the thorns
Tore open fingers, palms, and fumbling thumbs.

The soldiers nodded, pointed then at Him.
The slaves, they placed the crown upon His head,
And vicious thorns, they pierced His sacred brow --
The Blood ran down upon their bleeding hands.

The Precious Blood, it mingled with the blood
Of slaves. Then Jesus caught their gaze and looked
At them with love, WITH LOVE, as if to say,
We now, at last, are altogether one.

Watson Lane

The pecan trees haven’t come into leaf yet. A few stubborn nuts from last year’s crop still cling to the branches. Every spring, the pecan trees are the last to show life. Yet, they have their own stark beauty with the alfalfa and mountains in the background.

I come this way on my way to Mass, and I always enjoy the view as I turn into Watson Lane.

Why Did the Elk Cross the Road?

Spring comes late in the mountains where I spent the weekend. I took my camera wherever I went, but nothing was blooming. However, the Ponderosa Pines satisfied my desire for natural beauty, as they always do.

As I was leaving town, the local herd of elk were gathered along Hull Road. Very polite. They paused from time to time to let the cars go by. Many more were grazing along both sides of the road as I carefully continued on my way. There must have been 60 or 70 of them altogether.

Back home in the Rio Grande Valley, the violas and lobelia were in full bloom. Thank God for spring!