Birdsfoot Trefoil

~~~  For my friend, D.F.  ~~~

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This is the BIRDSFOOT TREFOIL flower that you saw here at Balsamea. TREFOIL means “plant with three leaves.”

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Nature Writers I Follow #2: New Hampshire Garden Solutions (NHGS)

“You don’t have to fly or drive anywhere to see the beauty of nature-it’s all right there in your own yard!” -NHGS

NHGS started out as a gardening blog — by a garden and landscape professional, self-described now as, “Once a professional gardener, now a helper” — who now shares with us nature studies, photographs, descriptions and more, including personal reactions to nature as it occurs in New Hampshire habitats of the same kinds I have here in the Northern Adirondacks.

It is terrific nature writing, wonderfully illustrated, and I am grateful to be a subscriber.

It is a delightful source of education about things I see every day, written in a fresh, light, personalized style, loaded with information about the things explored, in all seasons. I’m introduced to things I did not realize I was seeing! I’m enlightened about the things I have seen and long appreciated.   Continue reading

Poison Ivy Quiz | The Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac Site

Learn to identify poison ivy in a fun way at: Poison Ivy Quiz

Click yellow buttons under each photo to see the answers. It’s not really a quiz … it doesn’t keep score.  But it’s a great educational exercise, even for people who can already spot poison ivy.

Snow Falling from Trees Awakens

560 words, 18-sec. video, 2 photos

After half a foot of sticky, soggy snowfall overnight, today the temperature at Balsamea rose well above freezing.  Along our trails, rapidly thawing snow showered from the trees everywhere in these dense woods, especially from the pines and firs, those bearers of great snow-loads.

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It fell in droplets, spoonfuls, cupfuls, bucketfuls and barrowfuls. The still, windless air said nothing while each of these sizes played their particular sounds, all around me patting, drumming, shushing and thumping their way through tree limbs, branches, twigs and evergreen boughs, then concluding each phrase with a strike on the snow on the ground.  They formed an unusual percussive symphony unique to this particular circumstance, in a special variation playing upon atypical conditions in the fresh snow cover.

When or where can you hear nature using trees and snow as instruments to drench the still air in sound this way, with a variety of visual effects, too?  When do you get to sit in the middle of the orchestra as it plays?  It filled the air within a great dome surrounding me, simultaneously at every volume possible to my ears.  Some notes played a few feet from me, ranging out to ones played barely within hearing.  Some struck funny notes on my ball cap and shoulders.
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Fall Favorite Fifty at Five Hundred

Here are 50 of my favorite autumn color photos taken at Balsamea, at 500 pixels wide (or tall). If you’ve followed this blog a long time, you’ve seen these before. However, most of them managed to disappear from the blog, so, for the record, here they are again.

Click on a picture to open its own page where you can post comments on it.

OR, click any of the pictures in the series (after this first one) to switch to gallery/carousel mode where you can step through them like a slide show and comment right there on any picture.  They look nicer there because they are not bunched up so tightly as seen here.

Or just say stuff in the comments box at the bottom of this post, if you ever get there.  Or email me for all those delish things you always love saying to me privately.

Fall Color-33-20120928 fall color 22-500px

The Balsamaple Tree

Any questions?  Please post them!

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Thank you, Buddy

While close-up face to face with him and looking at each other’s eyes, Buddy slipped instantly from fully conscious into unconscious perfect peace, and then within a couple of minutes (tough guy – he needed a second dose) into irreversible, eternal oblivion at 9:06 AM today, August 5, 2015, eight years since he adopted me in August 2007.  He was about 9 years old, date of birth unknown.  He adopted me as a stray.  The last words he heard, repeatedly, were, “You’re a good Buddy.”  Nothing is more true.  Thanks, all, for your caring support.  I know that some of you have been really “there” for us, and continue so.  It counts.  It matters.
.Buddy-13

Thank you, Buddy.

I’m going for a walk now, as you would have
me do now and at least three times every day.

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Buddy, Prince of Balsamea to Die 8/5/2015

Buddy 20150801-SS0On Wednesday, August 5, 2015, The Balsamean will euthanize Buddy, Prince of Balsamea.

He chose Wednesday because there is a cord binding our hearts as three, and the third person will say goodbye to Buddy on Tuesday.  The cord has an existential role in Balsamea and its inhabitants’ relationships with each other and the world.  It has been a lifeline keeping me out of the hospital and morgue.  On countless occasions, the cord has heightened Balsamea to a state of being that banished impossibility. Continue reading