Sun Setting On Our Field, by Rainer

Did the rose
Ever open its heart

And give this world
All its

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its

We all remain




Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Honeysuckle. . .mmmmmmmmm, smells good.
Mary Oliver asked the title question in her poem "The Summer Day".
"Smell honeysuckle flowers," I would tell her.

Another year in the garden!  Let's check out the habitat.
We planted many more trees.
Rainer usually manages our forestry projects.
Several new books about redwoods are now listed on the side of the blog thanks to Rainer.
The one below is a living Christmas tree and also a memorial to baby Matilda, our niece and cousin who was born and died this year.

Planting 14 redwoods along the back fence with dad.

This avocado tree was planted from the seed 12 years ago, when Rainer was born.

Another book we listed along the side of this blog is Keepers of Life: Discovering Plants Through Native American Stories and Earth Activities for Children.  That book has been a guide through the plant families for our science club.  The backyard has become more of a botanical research lab, and the mushrooms in the picture below, found by the raspberries under a birch tree, are fascinating in new ways.  

In the bag below is a mycelium for shiitakes or blue oyster mushrooms.  We're growing both in the garage.  So easy!  You just spray them with water and shelter them in a plastic bag to keep in the moisture.  Fungi Perfecti and Paul Stamets are new discoveries we're delighted by.  We're grateful to our friend Esther for getting us started. We also bought a bag of Blue Oyster plugs, which are sawdust and spore bits that you stick into a log and let nature take it's course.  Yeehaw! We love it. Mushrooms are hopeful.  Several new resources regarding fungi and plant studies are now listed on the side.

Turns out many other people in this area study nature, too!  The Telenocher Marine Lab offers great opportunities for studying algae, the plant-like life form.  And checking out your finger under the microscope is also fun.
Here in the yard, Rainer made a LOT of signs this past year. A comic garden inspired by Bloom County and other greats!
 Tonio is our landlord.

Frida had a vision of the garden in this picture.  With just a little help, she did it! Strawberries, lettuces, marigolds, pumpkins.

All from our garden, all by herself.

  In the picture below she is selling her special recipe raspberry mint lemon balm honey tea to another satisfied customer.

So, we might as well start a farm and sell all the products in this picture.  Sounds like a great plan, Frida!


The hang-n-read! One of her favorite spots to read in the garden, spider-free.

A little poem she wrote and illustrated:


Rainer set up a few new, very inviting frog ponds.  Materials: cardboard boxes, small boards as ramps for tadpoles, an old exercise ball and air mattress as liners, stones, duckweed.  As many frogs as possible is the motto here.

New bunnies!

Names: Sherbert and Hodge Podge.


Spring of 2012: another round of guerrilla gardening.  Here Alexandra, Frida and Rainer used the compost, clay, soil and amaranth seeds to make balls for future beauty-bombing missions.


A mouse was stuck in Rainer's digging hole.  This milk carton trap didn't work, but a board placed as a ramp helped the critter get out.


Remember the ring of fire during the solar eclipse on May 20, 2012? That was great.


Imagine the little worlds of life that go on.  You might not notice unless you turn over the next leaf! Sights like this make you more careful.

Here's to a fertile growing season and lots of wild encounters in the coming year!  
Happy New Year!
With love from Zak, Kris, Rainer and Frida


Esther said...

You guys rock!! :-)

zakris said...

Thanks, Esther! You rock harder!

zakris said...

Too bad the video at the end of the blog post isn't showing up on every browser....