A nature walk with Diane Kappel-Smith.

Dutchman’s breeches in Dublin, Ohio.

All the recent, rather immediate demands of a growing garden have kept me from reflecting on our trip to Ohio- from mining it for tiny kernels of insight.

But this morning, I found a crack, the kind that swells into a crevice, between the comings and doings.

As the kids worked on their book reviews, I flipped back through the photographs of our nature outings with the writings of Diane Kappel-Smith in the forefront of my mind. In retrospect, posting the photos alongside the text makes me feel as if Diane and I walked the woods together.

It’s so much easier to write about the wonder and obvious beauty of nature than it is to acknowledge the extent to which it satisfies and cultivates a craving for fantasy. Surely I am not the only woman to have trudged through muddy trails with Thoreau at my side.

Today, I walk with Wintering in my head. Or, rather, I return and revisit under the electrifying influence of a particular writer who has more to reveal to me in all the things I have seen.

Walk with me.

I would make an exception for the dense, heavy hardwoods growing in the Carpathian mountains of Transylvania. Their trunks are as thick as houses, possibly because their location on the side of high altitude mountains demands heftiness as a form of hardiness for the snow-heavy Transylvanian winters and sharp mountainside winds.

Of course, if American corporations have their way, these old trees will soon be logged to make fancy dining room tables for the rapacious consumers of Hollywood and Aspen. But I hope against hope that something happens to stop them.

BLOODROOT

The large white petals of the bloodroot plant radiate outward, but often only last for one day. One of the ways to recognize this plant is the leaf often looks like it wants to wrap itself around the flower. If you cut the stem or dig the root, it will bleed a bright red-orange juice.

Critical Thinking Exercise on Diana Kappel-Smith review (PDF)
A little something I made for the Eldest and wanted to share.

YELLOW TROUT LILY

Trout Lilies like to keep their feet wet and are common, especially along river floodplains. There are both white and yellow species here. The six petals are usually recurved like this. The mottled leaves is a diagnostic character.

I love the way the leaves resemble purple tie-dyed shirts.

A golden goodbye whose shadow is even lovelier than its hue.