Category Archives: plants

#318: Tiny Epiphany

Sunrises are like God saying, Here I am, I love you!
Big splash, as it were.
It takes more focus to see Him in the small:
baby lettuce
(in the greenhouse)
rosemary blossoms
carnation bud,
and if you miss Him there…
I have loved you with an everlasting love’

#315: Nantucket Ecosystems

Non-native plants need protection
from winter’s storms:
Burlap wrapped ‘privacy screen’
Opposite these, and closer to the beach,
an entire ecosystem thrives:
Bordered by scrub pines, looking closer:
beachgrass, with an extensive root system
 which holds the sand, and
lichens, which feed off the very salt spray and 
blazing sun that kills plants not suited to the dune ecosystem.
Scrub pine and beachgrass and lichens aren’t tough–
walking on this patch would kill it in one season.
What they are is, in the place God meant them to be.
That’s where they thrive.
So, if I’m not thriving, 
is my heart in the place where God means it to be?

#301: Daikon and Turnip Harvest

It’s happened.
A week till Christmas and
Nantucket has her first hard frost.
Ice crystals on the lichens on the garden fence.
 Time to put away the outdoor projects:
And harvest the turnips and daikon radishes:
The frost sparkles on the turnips:
 A generous harvest in a bright winter sun:
Lord, we are truly thankful. 

#275: Everyday Wonders

Day before yesterday we had
a full, double rainbow over the island.
I was just leaving work and there it was.
I called home to tell the kids and they
went out on the roof for the best view.
Rainbows lift you right up, don’t they?
Anyway, as I didn’t have my camera on me,  
Click Here for Dr. Hinson’s picture of the rainbow.
You don’t have to wait for a rainbow 
to wonder at beauty,
grass has its charms.
As do the tiniest asters,
And red sumac against the sky.

#266: Island Flora Takeover

Winter is coming just in time.
The plants are getting too big for their britches.
Sneaking into my house:
By messenger bag.

And by bike.
Growing huge underground.
And overwhelming road signs.
In the spring I’m all about encouraging growth,
now, a bit of judicious trimming seems appropriate.
Is the Lord telling me the same?
Pruning, in both the heart and the yard,
is a good thing.

#260: Sargasso Seaweed

Wandering along the beach after a storm,
inspecting the wrack line, is a family past-time.
One expects to find:
 Herring gulls,
Scallop shells, eel grass,
not this:
 Sargassum, a brown algae which grows hundreds of miles away,
in the Sargasso Sea:
Lacey yet tough, to travel intact, all this way.
Makes me wonder about all the plastic we toss out.
How much of it ends up there?
Sir David Attenborough is a favorite naturalist
of our household. 
His sense of wonder in his ‘Trials of Life’ videos
exactly captured how we see God’s creation.
Here’s a short video he did on plastics and the oceans.
Something to think about.
A wee tad off-topic, but I wanted to share the thrill:
this little blog has now topped 10,000 hits.
Thanks for reading,
I couldn’t have done it without you.

#257: Transportation Trials

Every Islander has a story.
The last second dash to the boat.
Missing the boat and catching the last plane home.
Geting stuck in Hyannis and staying
 at the Heritage House–Islander Rate.
So much simpler for the milkweed:
Wherever it lands, is home.

#249: Nantucket Mushrooms

There are plenty of wild mushrooms
fruiting this time of year.
We have a couple of 3″ puffballs to add
to our omelets tomorrow morning.
But we also have a mushroom farm.
This is Todd Leftwich, explaining how it’s done:

He starts the mycelium here:

Then transplants it to bales:
 wherever he pokes a hole…

Pink oyster mushrooms. 
Nantucket is full of these tiny entrepreneurial businesses.
One of the ways we are made in God’s image
is our ability to create.
Nantucketers have it in spades. 
More to come!

#237: Giant Pumpkins

We haven’t grown an Atlantic Giant pumpkin for a few years.
They take up too much room in a garden we need
 for food and flowers.
They are, however, an essential element of the County Fair.

What is it about giant vegetables that’s so thrilling?

Ray Owen’s , the one to beat. 543 lbs.
He wins almost every year.

Not this year:

Marcus Goulding’s–662 lbs.

And the thumbs up pumpkin of 2011,
grown by Matt Avery, 736 lbs.
A Nantucket County Fair Record!

Oh, the joys of small town life.

#229: Island Morning Blessings

Everyday blessings, 
a chance to give thanks.
Streptocarpus on the steps.
In a pot I got at the Take-it-or-Leave It.
Home-baked bread,
of many grains, so flavorful a half slice satisfies. 
Sunrise over dew-covered dune grass.
Praise the Lord,
for the Lord is good;
sing praise to his name,
for that is pleasant.