The Beauty of Nature, One Last Look

The weather has turned to full on autumn, so I thought I would like to take one last look at the beauty that surrounds me here at my home.  I was inspired by a few blogging friends and a promise I made to share this picture.  Some days it feels as if the damage mankind has done to the planet will never be repaired, then I look outside and see what we create isn’t as resilient as what was intended to be here.  This plant is growing in a parking area next to the road, the tiny space between the power pole and the black top was just enough for this to take root and thrive.

WP_20130925_002The distance from the field where the sumac trees are is quite ways from  our building, you can see in this picture the distance as I was sitting next to the sumac when I took this.


And yet look what is growing between the building and the sidewalk, a small sumac.  A sumac grows from the root systems not from seeds, so that means the roots are under the paving of the parking area seeking a spot to sprout from


All around the building and the parking area I found signs of nature poking through the concrete and black top.  We aren’t able to kill everything off no matter how hard we may try.

This one is right outside my front door.

This one is right outside my front door.


This one is under my front window.

This one is under my front window.


This parking area has been paved for more than 40 years, yet look how life can still survive when given the slightest bit of sunlight reaching down through a crack.



Of course it’s not just greenery that still thrives.  We have been finding caterpillars everywhere. We call these Woolly Bears, but they are really Isabella Tiger Moth Caterpillar.  I am tempted to bring one indoors to let the little ones watch it spin it’s cocoon.



We didn’t see many Monarch’s this year nor ladybugs,  I spotted only 2 ladybugs all season. But we spotted plenty of other insects.  Our bird house was a cheap one a neighbor had gotten from a craft store, the bottom fell off, thankfully after the babies were hatched and flying. This was home to chickadees. To think without hands a tiny bird could put together such a woven nest amazes me. I have repaired the bird house, leaving the nest intact hoping they will return again next year.


Keeping the little one from picking “mushrooms” has proven to be impossible. I just make sure she washes her hands and doesn’t touch her face in the meantime.  And if you remember the story of the dinosaur eggs, she buried them in the nest of dirt in a found cup which caused them to become compost.  I never had to raise any dinosaurs at least not this year. :-)



We’ve seen an abundance of snakes this year, Recently they have crossed the path that leads to the gardens.  This has only been happening in the last few weeks, and taken me by complete surprise to the point where I have almost run over them. Luckily, none of them are poisonous.



And I think it will be a long time before the little ones forget this was the summer they learned to climb trees.



While I love the lake and can’t imagine living too far from it, it is this field that has become my sanctuary.  I will need to say goodbye to it for a few months, but I know it will be waiting for me come spring.  Where do you call your sanctuary?


“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” ~~ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

33 thoughts on “The Beauty of Nature, One Last Look

  1. Lovely post, Lois. I’m glad Nature knows what its doing and hasn’t put us in charge and, oh, the wonders of youth. Where would we be if we had never learned how to climb a tree?

    I love the pictures. Thank you for sharing them with us. :-)


    • It’s hard for me to remember why I loved climbing trees so much, but I am enjoying watching the little ones going through that stage. Hopefully they won’t lose the feelings it brings like I did. I too am glad nature hasn’t put us in charge, we sure seem to mess things up don’t we?


      • I did too, Lois, love climbing trees, when I was a kid. It made me feel invisible where I could look out and see what was going on but no one could see me.

        Makes me sad today, when I see or read of kids spending most of their time indoors and some don’t even know how to climb a tree.


        • There is one child who lives in my apartment building. He turned 13 this summer. You would think he would enjoy being out in the field My boys even older than that were outside all the time. But this child would rather sit in his room and play his video games.


          • Different strokes for different folks, I guess. My daughter’s stepdaughter had never climbed a tree. It’s a different generation these days. I hope it won’t be detrimental for them down the road.


          • They live in the suburbs and it was 10+ years ago when she was around 7. My daughter tried to teach her to climb in a small tree at their home with no success. She tried again later when they visited us in the mountains and got part way up a pine tree, when she fell and her father caught her. She’s almost 21 now and don’t think it’s on her radar anymore.


  2. Its amazing how soon Nature reclaims back that which we humans tarmacked over.. and how strong those roots and flowers are that push their way back through… Autumn is now here too, yesterday turning much cooler with strong winds that have managed to howl down the chimney :-)
    But I have enjoyed walking in the last of the warmer days and we have got stuck into hoeing and weeding, clearing the allotment ready to winter dig…. As we plan to plant some more fruiting shrubs this year… I saw that the Loganberries had done really well and were still fruiting in other allotments, so plan to plant a few to fruit next year..,

    I am pleased the only snakes we have are grass snakes but we do have Adders, which are poisonous I have only ever seen one out on the moors in my life… but it was a real pleasure to see this native snake… You can see one here… It was spring when we saw one some years ago, as it came out in the sun to warm up.


    • The markings on your adder snake are lovely. We don’t have any poisonous snakes but a few types which can be aggressive if you try to mess with them. Very antisocial. :-)

      Our autumn is very unstable. We get a few days of the cold then back to a few more lovely warm days. Yesterday the little ones commented on the heat of the sun on their skin and asked if they needed sun screen. :-)

      I have so many things I want to add to the garden next year. Raspberries, more strawberries, ground cherries along with more of everything I planted this year. I am starting a separate plot to grow pineapple mint in next year to keep it from overtaking the rest of the gardens. I’d like to try drying it to make my own tea.


      • My Granddad used to dry mint, I like mint tea, and drink alot of it along with nettle tea.. Drying it he did simply by picking the tender leaves and placing on newspaper near the open fire, he would crush and keep in old washed out jam jars.. He used for mind sauce :-)


        • I don’t have a fire, but think the heat from the sun in the front window should do the trick to dry it. I had mint before in a previous home boy did it take over everything. We had neighbors who would come out to ask if they could have some when they saw us pulling it. As long as the wildlife leaves it alone I am looking forward to some homegrown tea. :-)


          • IF you have an old metal bucket thats a good idea to plant your bucket in the ground then it contains it better… It spreads like wild fire.. and yes the heat from a sunny window sill will serve just as well, or in winter you could use an airing cupboard where the hot water tank is.. Ive done that before :-)


          • Thanks, I may have to carry my mint to the laundry room which gets toasty warm when being used. :-) Our water tank is in a locked room as we are all on the same system which is a boiler. My front window does get hot so I am going to try that first.


  3. Awesome, thanks for sharing. I think it’s so beautiful when I see plants pushing through gravel car parks, or pavements, or other urban man-made monstrosities. Makes me re-realise the power and strength of nature. If left long enough, I think plants would tear everything we’ve created down. Nature always finds a way : )


    • That first picture of the plant growing along the side of the road was the one I mentioned to you. I took several pictures but couldn’t capture the beauty of the blue flowers no matter how hard I tried or what angle I took them from. Glad you enjoyed the pictures.


  4. Lovely :) I have parsley growing wild everywhere in cracks around my place lol. I am soooo glad we do not have snakes here! Much as I appreciate this is their planet too and they have a right to be somewhere, they freak me out. A super large worm freaks me out.
    What a shame no baby dinosaurs!!


    • I would take snakes over constant earthquakes. :-) I think snakes get a bad rap because of some of the more dangerous ones. In fact there are many more non-poisonous snakes around than not. I can’t imagine you being freaked out by worms with all you do in the garden. I don’t think I would enjoy the gardening so much if I had fears of what could be out there.

      Well, the dinosaur eggs were a fun game while it lasted. Now to see what she comes up with next. :-)


        • You poor thing! I have an intense fear of finding ground bees when working outside. I found one nest many years ago and had several stings. I had to be taken to the hospital due to the swelling in my throat. But I only have to worry about the bees when digging, or weeding (I can’t mow anymore so that’s not a problem). I haven’t found one in years so I’ve been a bit careless about sticking my hand in weeds lately.


  5. Even though you said it was not poisonous, any snake freaks me up! I’ve never seen a real one, but I did see a dead one run over the highway near work – which was bizarre, cause it’s such a concrete jungle. That Lewis Carroll quote is just lovely.


    • Sarah, I can’t imagine never having seen a snake. I grew up camping every summer starting at the age of 6. There were snakes everywhere, especially since we were near water. I was the one who loved to chase the boys with the snakes. :-) I have a good friend who actually shakes at the sight or mention of snakes. You can even see him shudder at the mention of lizards (which I love too) that he refers to as “snakes with legs that can move faster”

      With winter soon to be here I thought it was fitting to include the Lewis Carroll quote to remind me that winter does serve a purpose and not get frustrated waiting for spring. Let’s see if it works.:-)


  6. love your pictures and thoughts on the plants managing to push through the tiniest of cracks..beautiful..

    yup, think you are right, small ones will always remember learning to climb trees….so good for them….Seems to me I see (in pics), small ones going barefoot a lot. This too is supposed to be very good, both for foot development/foot muscle development, but also for the energy from the barefoot connection to the earth (didn’t say that too well, there is a proper name for it, but maybe you know what I mean?)


    • I do know what you mean, Lynn. I have always gone barefoot I need that connection to the earth. The feel of grass, dirt even gravel are sensations I love. The little ones prefer to go barefoot as well, but when it comes to climbing trees I ask them to make sure their shoes are off as they can grab with their toes better and get a feel for where they are stepping.

      Seeing nature reclaiming the land gives me such hope that we won’t be able to destroy the planet no matter how hard some of us try.


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