Foxglove Moments

Foxglove Moments

Foxglove is the name of my property, five acres overlooking the Lewis River Valley that was covered with the wildflower when I first moved here in 1996. 

May 28, 2015


Getting up my hill requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle (That was intentional. I prefer solitude.)

Not many chance it, but those who do--and survive--find a road lined with rhododendrons.

This time of year it's worth the risk.






May 16, 2015

There was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years...

Walt Whitman


This morning I woke up and became a hummingbird.
Not bad.




May 10, 2015

Yesterday I visited Tsugawa nursery, looking for some herbs to plant on my hillside, providing the mountain beavers a little herbal seasoning to go with the young rhododendrons they are enjoying so much.

A helpful attendant showed me to the herbs area, which contained a large selection:      a variety of mints, coriander, basil, sage, rosemary, tarragon, fennel, oregano--then she pointed to a whole separate table, exclaiming, "And I've got all the thyme in the world!"

Her comment occupied and entertained me all afternoon as I planted the herbs, chuckling to myself while thinking:

There is No Thyme Like the Present,
Thyme Flies,
Thyme is Money.
The Thyme is Out of Joint,
one is Killing Thyme.
Now maybe
There Will Be Peace in Our Thyme...

Planting the basil wasn't as much fun.




May 8, 2015
















Over the past two months I have been clearing the thick dense brush below my pond.

When finally finished, I laid out a "wisdom walk" on the hillside, suitable for contemplation, and planted ten young rhododendrons to celebrate.

The following morning I was heartsick to see that mountain beavers had munched and destroyed four of the ten plants before I could build protective cages around them.

With the brush now cleared away, I could see that the little critters had burrows all over the area.

"Pests," pronounced a neighbor from the bottom of the hill when I complained of the destruction. He suggested a way to get rid of them that was repugnant to me.

And there is a moral question here (There is always a moral question):

Since I was the one who disrupted their habitat, they may have their own opinion as to who the pest is.



April 16, 2015


I have witnessed any number of squirrelly creative contortions at the bird feeder, but I'd never before seen these little arboreal acrobats hanging upside down from it.









April 8, 2015


Buds one day; blossoms the next.
So natural, even commonplace,
At once mundane yet miraculous.

We have come into the season of bursting blossoms, like children watching the same magic trick, year after year, and still willing to be amazed, surprised, and delighted all over again, as seeing it the first time.

 And wondering: How do they do it?




April 2, 2015


The Reds (Rufous) have returned from their winter sojourn south, looking tanned and relaxed, with their golf games improved.

The Greens (Anna), who stuck it out here through the winter, are none too pleased. Already the nightly squabbles around the feeders, a dozen hummingbirds hovering, darting, zipping, flaring, posturing, threatening hummingbird mayhem, yet making very little body contact from what I can see.

Anyway, welcome back, Rufus.




March 31, 2015

One of the highlights of my time living in Japan was visiting the Great Buddha of Kamakura.

Cast in bronze in 1252, it's located on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple in Kamakura, about an hour south of Tokyo by train. Standing 44 feet in height and weighing approximately 102 tons, the Great Buddha towers over humble humanity.


I have a replica of the Great Buddha on my hillside.
He stands twelve inches in height and weighs approximately 10 pounds.









Yet, with the right camera angle, my little Great Buddha towers serenely over this hillside of spring blossoms.



March 27, 2015


Much of the time, wherever I go, I am glancing,
glancing here, glancing there,
eyes bouncing about.

Yesterday I glanced at my magnolia tree as I passed by and thought "Pretty."

A bunch of pretty blossoms.

But sometimes something grabs, holds and shakes me: "Pay attention!"
Not a 'bunch,' but a multitude of unique creations uniquely unfolding.








And not 'pretty'--Something far more inexpressible, beyond words, is happening here.
And you almost missed it.

So I'm training myself to break the habit of glancing and instead to "see" what I'm looking at...

which requires attention (and attending),

which in turn requires slowing down,

which (often) requires a change in my original plan,

which might mean changing my goal for this moment,

or for this day,

or for this life.



March 12, 2015


There comes a brief moment each spring, little more than a week,

when the last of the flowering plums overlap with the first of the flowering cherries,

and this hillside is awash in pinks and whites.

A mystical conjunction and combining of blossoms.

Beauty in transit.