A Botanist, A Politician, and a Sage

The disputed crape myrtle

As she retold the stories of a pair of charming and heart-warming turtles — Torty New Zealand’s oldest survivor of World War I, and Myrtle, a fictional but sensitive creature who is bullied because she happens to be purple — friend and fellow blogger Gallivanta provided reassuring proof that both authors and illustrators have the power to change our world for the better. Continue reading

Trusting the Barometer Bush

Rain ravens, we called them. Sculling through midwestern skies they circled higher than our imaginations, far beyond our sight, past the scudding clouds into apparent oblivion. Only their harsh, echoing call testified to their presence. Bending over her pan of cinnamon rolls my grandmother murmured her irritation. “Have to get the wash done early. There’s rain on the way.” More often than not, she was right.

There were other signs, of course, and she taught them all.  A halo’d moon meant rain – counting the number of stars inside the ring told the day of its arrival.  When rising winds lifted and twisted the deep-lobed maple leaves, their silvered, shivering backs might as well have been engraved, “The Rain is Coming”. Continue reading