A windy morning at the VOA

The wind is brisk. It chills the early May morning air and bends the tall grasses bordering dense fields of lavender clover.

Ducks are slow to wake

at water’s edge.

But the geese are ready to start the day.

A little house sparrow already hunts for food.

And an American Coot is out on the water.

Nature’s garden paints a picture in lavenders, white, and yellows.

A robin turns her head to watch me pass.

Another finds a worm.

While red-winged blackbirds

guard the fields

from tops of trees

and stems.

A juvenile learns his trade.

High in the sky birds chases a hawk

Eventually driving it to the ground.

The wind flips leaves on a young oak tree, bends the reeds, and ripples the water.

Geese with their goslings head for the water.

A robin scavenges a dried, stiff worm from the walk, keeping her eyes on the little white dog

who merely watches.

The man and the dog both stand and watch.

The dog-walker making it possible for me to share this walk with you.


Photos taken at the Voice of America Park – Butler County, Ohio

I’ll not forget you

This week’s photo challenge is “blue.” And although I haven’t been participating lately, I decided I couldn’t pass this one up when I went outside and saw these little blue wildflowers peeking at me from our woods.

I’m not sure what they are, but they remind me of Forget-Me-Nots, which would be very appropriate. Today is my sister Annie‘s birthday. She would have been 54 years old. She loved it when we lit the birthday candles on a cake and sang to her, or anyone else for that matter. I’ll not forget her.

In honor of Annie’s birthday, I’m doing a little book giveaway. If you would like to enter to win a signed copy of Dancing in Heaven, just visit my Facebook author page Christine M. Grote. There is a “like” button at the top. If you click it I will enter you in the Giveaway. If you have already liked my page, just leave me a message over there and I will add your name to the hat. I’ll be drawing a winner at the end of the month.

Happy birthday little sister angel.

Wild for wildflowers

Wildflowers are enchanting. I love driving along the road and being surprised by a field of flowers. In Germany as we zoomed along   in a bus from Berlin to Munich, the road passed through field after field of red poppies. Closer to home in rural areas I sometimes see a colorful sea of lavender or yellow. I love the Queen Anne’s Lace that I’ve see when I walk at VOA. Wildflowers are God’s or Mother Nature’s or the Universe’s way of decorating this planet. And they’re a thrill to behold knowing, in most cases, they were not planted by a human hand.

These, however, are not wildflowers. These were planted by previous owners near the stone patio at the foot of our back hill. I found out last year they are called Solomon’s Seal. As you can see by the weeds, this is not a high priority gardening area for us.

But the airy white flowers behind the Solomon’s Seal are wildflowers.

They line the edge of the woods and curve around the stone patio.

These yellow wildflowers are sprouting up everywhere in my woodland garden and make little bright spots in the distance.

I planted some irises I had to divide last year up in the woodland garden. I was worried about not enough sun exposure, but they are doing fine.

The yellow flower is a Golden Ragwort (also found out last year). Doesn’t it look like a charming miniature yellow daisy?

My woodland gnome plays among the wildflowers.

The woods at the bottom of the St. Francis garden are abloom with yellow, white, and orange. Since I haven’t seen this orange anywhere else, I think it may be one of the few seeds that sprouted from a bag of wildflower seeds I threw out there last year. I have another bag I’m going to try again this year. It’s pretty heavy shade there, so I don’t have a lot of hope.

I don’t know what the orange flowers are called. Perhaps another kind reader will inform me. Do you know?

All this thought about wildflowers makes me think about the flowers we cultivate and buy in garden stores. I think it may be true to say they were all, or at least came from, a wildflower at some point. Just another fascinating observation about Creation.