Thursday, July 29, 2010


…in the prairie at Prairie Pond Woods, where the butterflies this year are indescribably abundant! Even when I walk out onto the front porch or into the garage, they flutter up from the floor like swarming flies. 

The two butterfly bushes flanking the back deck are consistently dripping with 15-20 tiger, zebra, and black swallowtails, frittilaries and skippers in each. Every time I take a photograph, I’m disappointed because there is no way to capture them all nectaring and flitting about. 

And the prairie looks like a major air show with butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies and bees darting from flower cluster to flower spike and back again. This season is dominated by Tiger Swallowtails According to my phenology journal, last year it was Monarchs…at least at Prairie Pond Woods. And earlier this summer it was Mourning Cloaks, one of my favorite butterflies with their black, yellow and blue coloration.

Many species of butterflies will continue on into the early fall, and some even in to the late fall, so there is plenty of time to see this amazing display. There are still 3 women’s retreats scheduled for 2010, one in September, October and November. 

And don’t forget...Prairie Pond Woods is available for individuals and couples for reflective or creative retreats. Book all 27 acres for a day, a weekend or a week! 

Monday, July 12, 2010


About 4 pm this past Friday at Prairie Pond Woods, I walked outside to do a bit of bird watching for my breeding bird survey.  After roaming around to the front yard to see what was perched in the Big Walnut, I turned to go back around and spotted this dynamic storm front headed my way from the north.  This thing had layers upon layers of wispy, bulbous, solid, dark and light cloud formations, and they were moving fast in all directions!  

"This does not look good" I thought to myself, and wondered if these were the right conditions for a tornado to develop. But I am a sucker for thunderstorms, so I ran inside for my camera just as small drops of rain began to fall.  I kept tracking through the house from front porch to back deck to watch it gain momentum. 


 What happened though surprised me.  There was no momentum.  No thunder blasted in the distance.  No lightening spread across the sky. The dark clouds just shifted, morphed and jetted across the sky letting go of a lovely, light shower that watered the parched earth.  "Hmmmm," I thought, "this is a lesson in life."  I was ready to head for the basement and start praying.  Sometimes I can react to people or situations like that...with fear or avoidance...instead of embracing it and letting it transform me.

The next morning the air was clear, cool and more breathable than it had been in weeks.  Everything along the Refresher Course seemed to have a quenched peace and glowed with droplets of the life-giving rain.  The calm after the storm.  

It reminded me of how I feel after a good cry...