IF TREES COULD TALK....
Not long ago 13-year-old Jake, one of our grandsons, was gazing out our kitchen window at the woods behind our house. With a look of nostalgia on his face, he said, "Nana, I have such good memories of those woods." This delighted me.
For years our woods was the official domain of our grandchildren. It was their kingdom. They filled it with their enchanting fantasies transforming the woods into a place of magical adventure. They constructed fortresses out of brush and cleared paths that meandered. And they dug holes. What is it about children and holes? They appear to be born with an innate need to dig. They seem instinctively attracted to shovels of all sizes and shapes.
Those days when our grandchildren had free rein in the woods and could do almost anything they pleased are over for the most part. A few years ago my husband and I reclaimed ownership of the woods. But the woods will never belong to us entirely. Those youthful spirits remain and seem embedded in the trees themselves. Some days if I close my eyes and I am really quiet I can hear the sound of dry leaves crunching as they give way to young feet rustling about in their midst. Or maybe it is just a hyperactive squirrel causing all that ruckus I hear.
This is Shagbark Barney. Shortly after we reclaimed ownership of the woods, we nailed his happy face with all that moss stuck between his teeth to this tree. We intended Shagbark Barney to be something the younger grandchildren would enjoy. It turns out that the little ones are afraid of him, not that I blame them any.
In the distance under our stately old oak tree, which is the centerpiece of our woods, is our contemplation bench. In the forefront is a large bed consisting of hosta, brunnera macrophylla, corydalis lutea, and a groundcover of deadnettle. The delicate brunnera blooms are azure blue. The corydalis produces lovely bright yellow flowers. The deadnettle with its interesting greens produces dark pink flowers. Be sure to enlarge the photo by clicking and see if you can spot Woody our woodland gnome.
Ah, someone is planning something here looks like. I spy some books. And what is that, a tea cup? Let's zoom in below for a close-up.
Tea and Tennyson
I dedicate this arrangement to Paul of Original Faith, because one of his posts in which he talked a little about Tennyson was the inspiration for me to go on a hunt in my house for that antique copy I own of Tennyson's poems. Eventually I found it. When I did I thought how nice it would be to sip tea and read Tennyson's poems under that stately old oak tree. To be honest I have yet to do that, but the thought is such a delight and doesn't the arrangement make for a pretty picture though.
I have not given a name to this little iron woodland creature yet. Any suggestions?
This is our faithful canine companion Max looking for Woody. We adopted Max a few years ago through Collie Rescue. He has been a wonderful dog, and what a beauty.
Looking south through our woods. As you can see the woods just keep going from our property to the next and on to the next.
This is looking north through our woods. The woods just keep going in that direction too.
And now for a view from the edge of the woods of the back of our house. This photo was taken in the early spring a few years ago. Not much as changed though.
The two lovely young ladies in the photo above are our granddaughters Rachel and Jackie. As I told everyone in a previous Sanctuary post, our place is kid friendly. In 2000 our oldest daughter was experiencing financial hardship due to a divorce. She and her four young children had to live with us for a few years until she could get on her feet. In preparation for the children to be in our home, we bought this super duper swing set/slide/clubhouse/sandbox/gym combo and put it together. It was an instant hit with all the grandchildren. And this is one of the reasons our grandson Ricky calls our place "Nana and Papa's park."
Another shot from a different angle of the swing set affair. Note the American flag in both shots. Are we patriotic or what?
These are the steps leading up to our deck where a plethora of potted flowers are waiting to delight your eyes in part III of Sanctuary. Each step here hosts a pot of daisies. A bit of sad news....since the photo was taken all the daisies have gone to that big flower pot in the sky. I have no idea what I did to kill them off, but I must be guilty of something. Oh, and excuse the condition of the paint on the trim. Shortly after this picture was taken, we painted the trim.