"Happy Spring!" says the Yellow Daffodil

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I think that all flowers are beautiful and can bring a smile to your face.  But the harbinger of spring, the yellow faced Daffodil, was created to warm our hearts and make us smile.  It’s like the sunshine right there before your eyes.  Some even call it a “yellow miracle.”  When you think about it, the bulb sits dormant all winter long, taking a long nap, just waiting for the right time, when the sun has warmed the soil, to pop up and blossom in yellow brilliance.

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Color theorists tell us that too much yellow can be over stimulating, but small spots of color sprinkled in our garden, or around your house,  brings us good cheer and happiness, in this small, perfectly-sized yellow package.  Just seeing them, with their bright green stems stretching toward the sky, and their heads nodding in the breeze, can make anyone leave their gloomy feelings behind and be present in the moment.

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So if you have the chance, treat yourself, or someone you love, to the sunshine flower, the Daffodil.  Put a cluster on your kitchen table to greet you when you enter the room.  Or place them on the night stand so upon wakening in the morning, they greet you with a smile.  Enhance someone’s mood by leaving a cheery bokay on the doorstep of a friend. They have the capacity to fill our heart and mind with warmth and happiness.  Spoil yourself or share them with someone as a reminder that they are loved.

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Stinking Beauty

Today, I choose peace, quiet and stillness.

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The peaceful scene in Spring by the Klawock River in Southeast Alaska on Prince of Wales Island.

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Early morning sunlight striking the new Skunk Cabbage leaf growth, untouched by the bears.
They must still be hibernating.

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The bright yellow lilies pop their heads out of the ground with a splash of color welcoming Spring.
What a great way to escape the gray and dreary days of Winter.

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Close up and personal.

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Raindrops on Skunk Cabbage leaves.  Adult leaves have been know to grow five to six feet in length.

More information about Skunk Cabbage can be found here. http://natureinstitute.org/pub/ic/ic4/skunkcabbage.htm

What do you see?

Stepping Stones to the Path

What is it? 

  1. Craters on the moon
  2. Capturing shadows in the Badlands
  3. Foot steps at the start of the trail
  4. An archaeological dig in the desert

hike_geek_sabrina_williamsNature’s arch.

Tree Character

Trees fascinate me, especially when they have such character.

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Silhouetted against the azure sky . . .

The answer to “What is it?” is #3.  It was nature-made footpath to the start of the hike and I just loved the way the shadows were casting depth.  When I looked at them on my computer screen, the it didn’t look like a foot path at all.
What did you see when you first looked at that photo?
And speaking of walking … here’s what Thoreau penned about walking  …
When we walk we naturally go to the fields and woods… Of course, it is of no use to direct our steps to the woods, if they do not carry us thither. I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit. In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations, and my obligations to society. But it sometimes happens that I cannot easily shake off the village. The thought of some work will run in my head, and I am not where my body is; I am out of my senses. In my walks I would fain return to my senses. What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods? I suspect myself, and cannot help a shudder, when I find myself so implicated even in what are called good works — for this may sometimes happen.
Click here for the full length essay.

And speaking of trees . . . Check out the Tree of Life!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

giving_thanks_salmon_skunkcabbageLunchtime doesn’t get much better than this!!!

Fresh Coho, onions and beach greens wrapped in skunk cabbage leaves,

cooked over an open fire on the beach the Tlingit way.

A question was asked by a reader (below) about what Skunk Cabbage tastes like.  Here’s some information about that …. probably more than asked for but very interesting . . .
Skunk Cabbage is botanically known as Lysichiton americanus.  It grows in the muskeg and wet wooded areas in the Pacific Northwest and the Island where I lived, Prince of Wales Island.  It’s called Skunk Cabbage because of its distinctive “skunky” order that permeates the air.  The smell attracts flies and beetles for pollination.
Most people consider it a weed but it is the harbinger of spring for bear food.  They eat it when they first come out of hibernation.  When we walked in the woods we would know when spring was about to arrive because the stalks would have been nibbled upon.  That’s when we would start making loud noises to scare away the bears.  Who wants to encounter a groggy, sleepy-eyed bear just waking up from a long winter’s sleep, especially before his morning coffee, I mean Skunk Cabbage snack?
Natives used the plant for medicine to cure burns and swelling and in times of famine when most of the plant was consumed.  It has a spicy or peppery taste and not suggested that it be eaten because it contains calcium oxalate crystals, which give your tongue and throat a prickling sensation that can result in intestinal irritation and even death if eaten in large quantities.
Its large, wax-type leaves were used by the Native in food preparation and storage.  In the photograph, we used it to wrap our salmon and bake under a fire.
And that’s the story of Skunk Cabbage.  I have more photographs of the beautiful, calla lily-like yellow flower that I will share in future posts.  I used to bring them into the house to enjoy their cheery, sunny color.  I didn’t mind the smell but it was offensive to others, especially after being in the house for a few days.

Weekly Photo Challenge: My Neighborhood

We have taken up a new hobby …. hiking the hills and valleys in the neighborhood at least a few times a week.  And, it’s been absolutely amazing.  It’s great exercise and we get out to enjoy nature.  Not to mention …. the views are amazing.

Green Rolling Hills

Looks like others have been here before.  Even though there is graffiti on all the beautiful rock formations,
looking past all of that, the view is breath taking.

Lone TreeWith just an elevation of a few hundred feet, this lone tree has a beautiful view of the surrounding San Gabriel mountains.

Rock Face

We discovered this ghostly rock formation about half way up the climb.  Oh, the stories it could tell.

View from one plateau

Only a portion of the way up the steep, ass-burning workout, we stopped to turn around and look at the view.
That little white speck by the gate is our car.

Panoramic View from the Top

Ahhhhhh!  Finally at the top.  We concluded that those far mountain ranges are about 30 – 40 miles away.
Estimated elevation about 1200 feet according to Google Earth.

Sunset

And what climb wouldn’t be complete without the sunset?  Absolutely Beauteous!
And to think, this is all within a ten minute drive from our house.

As we stand high above the rest of the world, we can hear the traffic of three intersecting highways.

Where is everyone going?

Why are they in such a hurry to get from here to there?

How many of them stop to appreciate the beauty all around them?

Take time today to enjoy your neighborhood and the beauty that surrounds you.
There is beauty just outside your door.

Awaken your life to infinite possibilities!!