Saturday, October 23, 2010


 It has been about 3 weeks since I landed on these 100 acres in western Maine.  All the flaming red sumac leaves have fallen, and the winds that howl and usher in the winter wail all night long, racing clouds across the moonlit sky.  We arrived just in time to see the plants in their last glory before winter snows and frosts set in.  It has always been that the way I find myself home, in place, rooted to a landscape, has been through the plants- familiar trees, unique species, weedy friends growing abundantly, mysteries to discover.  I've been taking slow, rambling walks in various
 places on the land to get to the plants growing around me, and find the special places that call to me.  They are the perfect kind of slow, easy walks for my injured ankle, with lots of stops to check out a plant or say hello to a tree, or just sit and feel the crazy wind whip around in my hair.
     Landmarks are beginning to show up, and I'm finding that names for those places are popping into my mind without even thinking about it.  There is Faery Row- the long line of apple, cherry and hawthorn trees in the fields below the house, and Wood Hollow- the small patch of woods left untouched surrounded by acres of fields on all sides.  It is fascinating to observe the way the land is reclaiming itself, after a heavy logging in the not to distant past, and another livestock operation that stripped parts of the land around the house down to bare gravel.  So many young trees, and weedy medicines reclaiming the bare spots. It  does mean that there are few to none of the more sensitive and climax type woodland understory plants growing here.  But perhaps the unique oppurtunity to reintroduce native plants, and help in restoring the land as it reclaims itself.
    Just yesterday at dusk I discovered a huge old Mama Golden Birch, with two shining, leaning trunks, which I'm sure is the Mama for the numerous smaller birches living among the many small Elder shrubs in the boggy area in the woods behind the house.  And I was beside myself with joy to find many small elder shrubs all along the forest edges.  It was one of the plants I had hoped to plant here, to protect the land, and for medicine, but it seems that the Fae have already been at work here!  The plants I've already found on the land here include...                                    
Trees: Sumac, Golden Birch, White Birch, Northern White Cedar, Elm, Apple, Black Cherry, Hawthorne, White Pine, Maple, Balsam Poplar, Hemlock, Aspen, Alder, Oak, Elder.  The medicinal Plants:  Raspberry, Red clover, Dandelion, burdock, yellow dock, yarrow, goldenrod, pearly everlasting, st johns wort, Mullien, evening primrose, Grape, Cinquefoil, Rose, Milkweed, Blueberry, clematis, plantain, asparagus, blackberry, catnip, and alfalfa, coptis, mitchella, bunchberry dogwood.  
I can feel the winter closing in quickly as the last leaves fly through the air on the wind, and frost covers the grass each morning.  Each day I go out and give thanks to the land and forces that brought me here, and eagerly dream about next springs garden plans and to see who else might pop up in the warm season.


The Plant Whisperer said...

Beautiful Darcey - really sweet and beautiful! It reminded me of a post by the same title that I wrote around this time last year when I was experiencing a similar feeling of becoming bonded to the land.

I'm so happy for you in your new wild hearted home.

Shamana Flora said...

thank you Ananda! I hope you will be able to come visit us in the future! This place is full of discoveries and plants! I'm so grateful!

hannelore said...

I can almost smell the moos, feel the crumbly earth, sense Winter putting out a frosty toe, thanks for sharing, it means a lot to me to read your nature related poetic writing.

"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~