By the pond there is a Pinxter bush about to bloom.  I remember my Grandparents had one of these wild shrubs on their beautiful country farmhouse lawn.  Two years ago I noticed a nice one growing on our own property by the pond.  It took me over five years to notice it because it was hidden behind a boulder and snuggled into a pine tree.  Of course whenever it blooms I think of family, and Grandma.  The comments in the National Audubon Society Field guide say they can be transplanted into wild shrub gardens.  As there is also a large healthy one growing down the road a bit, the next time I go outside I will take a shovel and see if I can find a smaller one growing near it to move into my garden.

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One of my favorite birds is the Catbird.  Why, you ask?  Admittedly, it is a very common gray bird but I don’t care as much about it’s simple looks, what I enjoy the most about the humble catbird is its beautiful songs.  Almost every time I go outdoors the song of catbirds stops me in my tracks.

I was tickled pink to see that one was making a very nice nest in a tree by the pond.  The nest is on a branch low enough for me to look at easily, too.  It is constructed of dry straw and wet mud, which is probably why the wise bird chose to make one near the pond.  The stream is nearby as well.  I bent the branch down carefully to look inside.  The mud was still wet but the nest was lined carefully with dry grass, and the cavity was deeper than I expected.  I looked into it once and am now determined to keep my distance and wait to see if a family is raised.


The children were all busy cleaning the house on Saturday and while I was taking some pictures, Seth came all the way down the lawn to find me and ask if this cleaner could be used on windows.

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chicken house

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hummingbirds are frequent visitors to the porch


I went to check the development of the Lady’s Slippers on the dam trail.  This one was opening but still green.

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This one was up and fully open.  It was interesting to me that the two I saw on the left side of the trail were still closed, but the three on the right hand side were open.  It must be sunnier on that side.


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Another name for them is “Pink Moccasin flower”

Comments:  “One of the largest native orchids, this species is found both in low sandy woods and in higher, rocky, mountain woods.  Several hundred of these striking flowers can sometimes be counted within a small area.  Nevertheless, like other woodland wildflowers, it should not be picked.  Nor should it be dug up for transplanting, as lady’s slippers reproduce poorly and are very difficult to grow in wildflower gardens.”

Lady’s slippers are a family favorite.


These wild Lily of the Valley grow in a large patch close to the ground in the woods.  (Thank you to Johanna for helping me identify them!)


Then I visited the spot where the wild columbine grows and sure enough, it was up and in bloom.  We called these “honeysuckle” when we were children, and we nibbled the honey-filled ends.


They grew on the side of the road but the ones I visit now grow on an old rock wall in the woods. And I haven’t nibbled on them in many many years.

“This beautiful woodland wildflower has showy, drooping, bell-like flowers bearing distinctly backward-pointing, tubular spurs, similar to those of garden columbines.  These spurs contain nectar that attracts hummingbirds and long-tongued insects…….”



wild geranium, growing on the side of the road


an interesting fuzzy flowered bush that grows by our stream


unfurling ferns


interesting patch of tall grass by stream


A little bouquet of common wildflowers.


in an Ivory fiesta tumbler

I like it when David comes to visit me while I am reading on the porch.  David is currently:  reading The Outsiders, trying to grow his hair long, drawing, wearing & caring for a leather coat that he bought at a second hand store, making facial masks using youtube videos, and doing a lot of jumping/flipping/twisting on the trampoline.





And now for a short story:  As much of you are aware, Sarah needs surgery to repair an obstructed kidney (it doesn’t drain correctly, which is why she developed infection and stones).  After these particular test results came back, she had a specially-made appointment scheduled ASAP for surgery consultation— for May 24th (today).  When I checked my calendar later that day, I cried because it was the day of her very first field trip, which she was very excited about.  I felt so terrible for her,  “She’s been through so much this year she shouldn’t have to miss any of her fun day for such a dreadful thing like surgery consultation.” (the only reason why she has to attend the visit is so that they can be billed—as they should be)  So I called to ask for advise and to see if I could make the appointment a different day….but no, the doc’s schedule is very full and they had to work it to get Sarah in so quickly and in their opinion, Sarah would have other field trips and this appointment needs to be prioritized, so on and so forth.  So I agreed but didn’t tell Sarah because I didn’t have the heart.

Well………………….this came home yesterday in her folder:


That’s right.  The field trip was moved to May 31st!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s raining!


It’s like God said to me, “I got this.”  🙂



10 thoughts on “encouraged

  1. Don’t you just love it when God does stuff like that? 🙂 I am SO impressed that your children wash windows! Truth be told, I am lax in washing my windows,(I would almost rather move!) but I do love the sunshine, so I always wash the ones on the side of the building where the sun comes in!

  2. I love the story too! It’s those little things that seem so big….and they’re not too small for God to notice! He heard your mother heart, He knew Sarah’s heart even though she didn’t know what was in store…I need so many reminders, it seems, of how good God is, in the midst of the not nice things that happen. Thank you for this one.

  3. Beautiful photos! One of my favorites is the plant in the white pot with the porch in the background … I find it to be a peaceful photo somehow. Thanks for sharing the story about Sarah’s doctor’s appointment and field trip – God is soo good.

  4. Love how the Lord moved the date in His sovereignty. Love your “I got this” it made me smile😂 He worked it all out! So sweet.

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