All posts filed under: Nature


What plants talk about

“Maybe we’re not quite as smart as we thought we were and perhaps plants are a lot more intelligent than we ever imagined.” What plants talk about is a stunning documentary following several scientists around the world who have discovered evidence of plants communicating with and supporting each other. Questions such as: Do plants work together? Can they recognize their kin? How do they recognize each other? are posed and assessed in a series of experiments. It is quite the awe inspiring video confirming many of my beliefs and understandings of the complexity of plant intelligence. One of my favorite examples is the way the wild tobacco plant changes the shape of its flowers and the time of day it blooms in response to predatory insects. You just have to watch it for yourself on PBS.

Blackberries and Bees

The blackberries are blooming and though they are totally invasive in Portland, the Himalayan Blackberry that is, they are so essential to the life of urban bees. Blackberry nectar makes up the largest part of the annual honey production and is the last big flow before they settle down to fall activities like curing the honey they collected. Today I walked around my neighborhood and watched honey bees, most likely from my hive, busy collecting from blackberry blossoms, borage flowers, lavendar, wisteria and even cedum blooms. They are everywhere. Not only do the blackberries feed the bees, but they feed us with their delicious, juicy berries. Today I ate my first one. Yum! So while I completely understand the need to cut them back in certain areas. I certainly don’t like their poky selves wrapping through my tiny back yard strangling out the raspberries and veggies I so diligently planted. It is really important for the health of our bees that we leave some of the blackberries room to grow. And even more important that …

Walking the labyrinth

After a long day I went out for a barefoot stroll around the neighborhood, just to stretch my legs and feel nature before I turn in to bed. A block from my home there is a field, which was recently mowed and in it I saw stones and white lines of paint. As I got closer I could discern the beginnings of a labyrinth. Someone has gone to quite a bit of bother to lay out this complex shape in a public place. I felt invited in to walk toward the center. I love the way a labyrinth draws me in. At first the path seems short and direct, but after a few steps it curves and turns back on itself. The meandering journey slows the mind and opens the heart. First I move in and then it again. I find myself pausing to take a deep breath and soak in my surroundings. A couple of tall trees, blackberry blossoms, familiar weeds between my toes, soft sand and little jagged rocks under my feet. I …

Clearing Roadblocks

A nice camping trip to the east side of Mt. Hood. Some folks call it Wy’east over there. The mountain itself is called Lookout Mountain. I’m sure there are other names, but I just remember how to get there. As I pulled on to the dirt road leading up the mountain I saw some fallen trees by the side of the road and it reminded me of the MovNat video my trainer from Bootcamp showed me. I started to tell my friend S about it, how the guy ran around in the woods half naked and barefoot. He jumped off cliffs into a pile of pebbles and dragged around huge logs with his bare hands. Then we turned the bend to our campground and right before us was an enormous pile of downed trees blocking the whole road. We both had to laugh at that synchronicity. Being adventurous we jumped out assessed the situation. We decided that if we moved all the smaller logs we could drive around the main roadblock and make it to …