“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It Goes On.”
Robert Frost

Monday, September 15, 2014

Almost Autumn

It's almost Autumn! Are you ready?

On a recent road trip to a family event we stopped in at the Sica Hollow State Park which is located in northeastern South Dakota. This was only my second visit in about thirty years and I had almost forgotten how beautiful it was. This area is far enough north that the Autumn colors were already showing. Let me tell you a bit about this park.

It is an area with deep, forested ravines on the eastern slope of the Prairie Coteau Hills. The belief that it is haunted is widely held. The Dakota Sioux once used the area as their primary hunting grounds. They named the place "Sica", (pronounced she-cha) meaning evil or bad.  One reason is that the water that gushed from the many natural springs was red-tinted, most likely from the minerals in the water. However the Dakota felt that is was a sign of supernatural forces at work.

Some of the areas have a form of quick sand, that only enhanced the spooky dangerous feel of the area. Not to mention swam gas and stumps that glow in the dark! All of these natural factors led to more stories and superstition. Even as recently as the 1970's a new fear factor was introduced, Big Foot! Several expeditions searching for the hairy beast ensued without any real evidence, but it makes for a good story! Many overnight campers claim to have heard war whoops, chanting and drums. It is as if the ancestors of the Dakota are still laying claim to this ancient place.

Sightings of brown bear and big cats (cougars) only add to its danger and mystery. While we were there we only encountered an occasional squirrel. Birds singing and the water running through the many brooks and streams where the only sounds we heard. I do feel it to be a very spiritual place though and can understand why at night it might feel a bit spooky!

The sumac was turning fiery red and some of the native grasses had an almost purple hue to them. In the meadows there were hundreds of sunflowers. The sky was filled with thin clouds that made the sky appear white but it almost made the area glow with color!

This is a close up of the Staghorn Sumac. We have it growing in our area, but as yet it has not changed color. This was a favorite plant of the Native Americans.  The bright red autumn foliage is easy to identify and the large cone-like, dark red berry clusters are very distinctive. It's been used as a delicious drink and food source for thousands of years. The berries are used in a cold beverage (similar to lemonade) or in teas. I found a great site about how to harvest sumac and how to use it here. If you have access to your own you might want to try some of the recipes.

Autumn will officially be here in just a few days.  I have finally excepted that summer is over, even though it took forever to get here and didn't last nearly long enough!

How are you all feeling about the changing seasons? Let me know!
Have a wonderful week! ~~ Diane

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tim and Tina ~ A Love Story

Today I would like to introduce you to fellow blogger Mary, a wonderful writer of whimsical poetry. Some of you may already be following her fun and magical world at Lemonade on My Patio.
Mary describes herself and invites you to her blog...
"Just myself, Mary, thinking about this world of ours, our history, things we like, things we do. I love to tell stories and I'd love to hear yours!"

Why thank you Mary! I was happy to join your blog
and hear your fantastic stories!
Oh, yes, Mary tells wonderful stories! She tells stories about cute little animals like Marcia the kitty who bakes pies or Alex and Avery the reading rabbits! You may also find a poem to fire up those brain cells on Haiku Friday!

Mary was quite gracious when I asked her to write a poem for my two sweet little friends Tim and Tina Turtle! So let's begin our journey with them now....

Tim and Tina in their backyard.

Tim and Tina

Tim and Tina live beside Listening Lake
They're wonderful turtles who loving friends make!
They take slow walks in the rain...
Down lovely Lily Lane.
They only eat veggies, and never eat cake!

Walking through the rain.

Tina has developed a crush on Tim...
He's very intelligent; not at all dim!
When Tim looks at Tina... what does he see?
And Tina wonders, 'Can Tim see the real me?'
Soon Tina will confess her feelings, and go out on a limb.

Friday Tim and Tina are going out for lunch...
Tim picked her some daisies... a whole big bunch!
Tina will wear a little blue bow...
It was a special gift, from her friend, Turtle Moe!
Tina loves Tim... about this, he has a hunch!

Tina never used to be shy around Tim...
But the last couple of months... she's been shy around him.
Tina has such sweet turtle eyes...
Tim sees this; her beauty he spies!
When they're together, they're anything but grim.

Picnic at Listening Lake.

Tim and Tina lunch by Listening Lake....
It's a summer picnic, so their sweet time they take!
There's a legend around that the beautiful lake listens...
It shines and sparkles, and deep blue it glistens!
And Tim's a true gentleman; after all, he's no rake!

A stroll by the lake.

Tina tells Tim how she truly feels.
And Tim is so happy, his mind really reels!
He tells sweet Tina that he loves her too...
And he asks her, 'Tina, please marry me, do!'
Tina says yes, and the trees around them sing!
The lake has listened, and is happy... wedding bells will ring!

by Mary Raynes

Wedding Day for Tim and Tina.

Thank you Mary for turning my little idea into a magical memory where Tim and Tina will live happily ever after! Please visit Mary at her blog and say hello! Tim and Tina have returned to everyday life and are available in my shop! The photos above have been enhanced and edited for your enjoyment!

I hope you have all enjoyed your time here. 
Have a magical weekend! ~~ Diane