Monday, March 29, 2010

Eostar Flowers Abound

Above is the newly bloomed Wisteria.  Wisteria is yet another of my all time favorite blooming vines.

"The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do."
Galileo Galilei

Below are some shots of a delightful Florida native lily called
Zephyr Lily  (Zephyranthes atamasco).

 There is an entire field of them near my Dad's place and I am in love with this (new to me) plant.


Last fall I was at a local nursery and found a box of ragged plants marked "free" .  I  quickly grabbed as many as I could and took them home.  I covered these all winter through some record cold temperatures.
They turned out to be Tampa Verbenas and what a joy they are.  They are a local perennial verbena and have turned out to be many shades of (my favorite) purple!
They are in the foreground of this picture.

Eostar is an ancient pagan holiday celebrating the rebirth of the Earth.
It is so very wonderful to be here when everything is starting to bloom!
The following is from a description on about the Eostar Bunny!

"After even the longest, most bitter winter, spring comes with the promise of regeneration. Ice cracks, snow melts, buds swell, and new shoots poke up through the damp earth. All are animated by the primal force of life renewing itself. That power of regeneration, that cycle of birth, growth, death, decay, and renewal, is what Pagans call Goddess.

In the spring, at the equinox (March 20, 21 or 22) when day and night are equal and the sun rises and sets due east and west, we celebrate the earth's regeneration with the festival we call Eostar. Eostar, or Ostara, was the Germanic Goddess of spring, and she has given her name not only to our holiday but also to the Christian Easter, which also celebrates rebirth. The symbols and rituals that mark this season allow us to both aid the powers of renewal and draw strength from them.

The egg, of course, is the prime symbol of birth and beginnings. Decorating eggs at this season of rebirth is an old, widespread custom. Coloring eggs is also something that children understand and enjoy. My women's coven for many years would do our best to replicate authentic Ukrainian "pasenke" eggs, the intricately painted and dyed eggs in beautiful traditional patterns that are a feature of the season throughout Eastern Europe. We would cast a circle, meditate on what we wanted to be reborn in our lives, and what symbols or images might represent our desires. Then we'd paint and dye the eggs in appropriate colors, and place them on our altars as a spring spell.
This holiday is especially beloved by children, and our celebration generally includes a massive egg hunt in a park or a backyard. We try also to use the occasion to teach compassion and generosity: We ask the older children to help the younger ones, or at least hold back and give them a chance to find the eggs. And at the end, just as the Goddess is generous with her gifts, we ask the children to give away one of their egg treasures to someone who doesn't have any.

And that bunny--what is she doing laying those colored eggs? She is, of course, the living symbol of fertility, rabbits being what they are. As well, the hare is an ancient symbol of magic. If you look up at the full moon and squint your eyes, you'll see why Aztec and Mayan mythology place a rabbit in the moon. Hares dash through the fields at night on mysterious errands, and have long been associated with magic. They are sacred to Maeve, Queen of the Faeries, as well as to Ostara."Starhawk

"Death can come at any minute, in any way. We do not know what is in store tomorrow, or, whether there is a tomorrow, or even a tonight! But still, we have the golden present. Now we are alive and kicking. What should we do now? Love all, serve all. "

Sri Swami Satchidananda

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I have been thinking of my life over the past year and a few things that I am Thankful for.  I am so very grateful to Annie and Jay at Blue Rock Station for giving me the chance to do some hands-on Strawbale building.  I hope to realize my dream of building my own small structure this summer and am still looking for a landowner who will allow me to rent a portion of their acreage to do this.  I will be looking more closely at Northern California and Oregon this coming summer to fulfill this dream.  If anyone out there knows of anyone who has land who would be willing to do this please contact me.  This type of building feels like it's in my blood.
I am also so very grateful to my own Dad, who has given me the breathing space to relax and spend time here on his land for a few months to really visualize how this dream will come to fruition.  He has also given me more carpentry/building skills and next week ( for one of our jobs together) I will gain (yet another) building skill, making homemade screens for a house.
Thanks Dad !
Thanks also to the folks who have been willing to loan me the money to try and fix my vw.  I am still in need of a few more bucks to do this.  If you would like to help, please contact me at
"Downtown Brown"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive."

Eleanora Duse

Yes, my soul is indeed alive and on a (seemingly) endless migration to somewhere new.  Somewhere else to start a new life, a new job.  My time here in Florida has been a time sanctuary.  Time to reflect.  Time to go within and see, once again, what is really important to me. 
Within this next year I hope to find a place to settle down and build my strawbale house.  I hope to travel, work  and live in my vw van until I find this spot.
I have wanted to make a sign like the one above for many years now.  So now I have and it will stay here as a garden ornament.  The miles, gleaned from the internet, are "as the crow flies".  It is nice to know that I can and will (most likely) always return here to this place in the piney woods of Florida.

To celebrate Spring Equinox, I spent the entire day making more new birdhouses from the old lumber pile.  Here are a few more....
The bottom of this birdbath is old and peeling.  I painted it to look like the Pigeon Point Light about 12 years before I ever lived there.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Spring Equinox

Happy Spring Equinox.
Here are some more photos from this glorious new spring.  The ones above were from the sunset a few nights ago.
Yesterday I made another "birdshack" for my garden area out back.  We have a stack of old wood from one of my Dad's dock dismantling jobs and it is perfect for re-use such as this:
The top is made from  a couple of old Ohio plates that I found lying around here .
My cabbages that I planted way back in November are nearly ready to harvest.  In the background is a new medicine wheel plot that I planted with just kitchen /cooking herbs.
Yesterday while I was out in the garden I was graced with the presence of one of the local Pileated Woodpeckers.  You can barely see it in this picture, but if you look closely you can see the red of it's head.  Their calls are one of my favorite sounds in the forest around here.  I also saw many different kinds of butterflies including a yellow swallowtail.
My new/old Azaleas continue to put out more blossoms everday.  I am in love with them. And here is the last sunset of Winter, March 19th, 2010:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Azaleas,Azaleas Everywhere Azaleas

For most of my life as a gardener I have considered Azaleas to be a much overused element in landscape design in many places. Being here in Florida during the time when they are in bloom has really changed my attitude about them. Not only do they dwarf the low -to- the- ground common landscape variety but most are over my head in height . They are really beautiful and have an amazing fragrance. My previous discrimination didn't include the amazing Azaleas that are an understory plant/tree in the coast Redwood forest of my heart. These in Florida are now a close second favorite Azalea.

In December I transplanted 3 "elderly" bushes that my Dad's neighbor wanted to get rid of.  I worried because of their age that they might not survive the transplant. So I added several inches of mulch and kept them moist through the record freezing temperatures here. They have proceeded to Thank me with an abundance of fuschia-pink colored blossoms .  They have taught me that we are never to old to start over in a new place and survive, maybe even thrive.

Here's a short tidbit about Azaleas from Wikipedia:

In Chinese culture, the azalea is known as "thinking of home bush" (xiangsi shu) and is immortalized in the poetry of Tu Fu and is used to rich effect in contemporary stories such as "A Sea of Blood-red Azaleas," in the collection Taipei People by the Taiwanese author Bai Xianyong. Also, Mobile, Alabama houses the Azalea Trail Maids. These 50 girls chosen by interview process serve as ambassadors to the city while wearing antebellum dresses.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Art for Roadtrip

To support my art with your donation and help me to repair my vw van to drive out west to my new job!!!
Contact me at
To see a spread sheet of the variety of my mediums click on the slideshow then click on "View All"

Vertical Clay

Here's a great link and pictures that Lloyd Kahn recently posted on his blog.  I go there every few days to renew/respark my dream of building a strawbale house.  One of the things that I want to incorporate is cob and clay in a variety of places.  This is a really inspiring website.  Check it out.
Also here's another plug for Lloyd Kahns books and blog.  He is the most amazing creative spirit .
His books Shelter, Homework and Builders of the Pacific Coast have inspired countless numbers (millions perhaps nowdays with the internet helping) of folks all over the world.
check out his blog by clicking on the link to the right in my Favorite blogs list.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Here is a glimpse of a collage that I did yesterday.  The base of it is a couple of beautiful newspaper photos of a mural on a bicycle shop wall in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I think of Mary as Mother Earth or The Goddess.  This modern mural inspired me to create this to honor the Mother of the Spring.
Below are a few shots of an amazing sunset yesterday.  All different types of clouds were rolling in off of the Gulf of Mexico.  I love clouds.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

This is the front porch of one of the most amazing little libraries that I have ever encountered throughout my travels.  It has been an amazing sanctuary for me this winter.  It's been my office and connection to the outside world.  For such a small town,(Dunnellon) it's collection of "enlightened" materials is incredible and has helped keep me stay connected to my spiritual/artistic path via books, magazines, music.... and unlimited internet access to enable me to keep on bloggin'.  I love these rocking chairs on its front porch.  So representative of the southern "old Florida" hospitality.
Above is a birdhouse that I recently painted in my Dad's front yard.
All of the spring migrators are starting to come through, so I am hoping that one pair of them will pick our house to occupy for a little while.
And just a few days away....
Happy Irish Day Y'all!!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

"God made so many different kinds of people;
why would God allow only one way to worship?"
Martin Buber

and Thanks Lloyd Kahn for printing this poem in yer blog:

"Each that we lose takes part of us,

A crescent still abides,

Which like the moon, some turbid night,

Is summoned by the tides."

-- Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

 I Love this image of The Medicine Buddha...

Recycled Windchimes...

I have been experimenting with the black/white feature of my phone camera lately.  Here are some windchimes that I made from some of my Dad's old circular saw blades.  They actually have an amazing subtle tone (unless there are galeforce winds of course) that are perfect for meditation and calming.  I hung them with some fishing line and they can always be taken down if we need a blade in a pinch!
There is nothing like a bell tone such as this to bring us all back to the present.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Rainbow Springs State Park

I went to an art festival at our local Rainbow Springs State Park this past weekend and it was a glorious spring day.  The Azaleas and Redbuds are in bloom and I took a few pictures with my phone camera.  It was nice and inspiring to see some other watercolorists and mixed media artists painting local scenes.  This place  (now callled The Rainbow River) was a sacred gathering ground for the Timucuan tribe for thousands of years.
It's waters bubble out of a spring and stay a constant 65 degrees year round, so it is a wonderful place to swim and sit for peace.  In the 40's and 50's it was an amusement park complete with a glass sided boat and the whole "Old Florida" kind of resort.  After it closed it was grown over for years.  During those years I was coming down here to visit my grandparents and Dad as a teenager and we had full access in solitude to the headwaters.  Later the State of Florida bought it and made it into a state park.  It is just a really wonderful oasis here in this north central Florida town of Dunnellon.  Here are a few pictures:

I love the way the picture right above looks like an impressionist painting.
Here are a few more....

Lately the local "waterboard" has been talking about putting chemicals into this river to keep down the growth of a few "unwanted" plants.  I fear for the wellbeing of the manatees, fish, alligators and other river life here.

I do hope that in my lifetime, people stop using these poisons.

 Happy International Women's Day and Happy Birthday to Brad Reynolds!!!!

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."
Donna Roberts

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Here is a picture that I took out my bedroom window at sunset yesterday.
I didn't plan the special effects but I liked the way it came out.
More wonders of a digital lens I reckon.
And below is one I took of the full moon a few days ago...