Nature-led Community Photos: A Tree

My sincerest gratitude to those of you who participated in our latest photo submission, A Tree. If you participated in both this photo submission and last month’s submission, Unknown Path, then you have double my gratitude! Please partake of your favorite hot or cold beverage and bask in the glow of my love and gratitude! I hope you can feel it!

A “Beach Tree” on the English coast By Inexplicable Device, https://inexplicabledevice.blogspot.com/

We start our tree tour with this lovely “Beach Tree” interpretation shared with us by Inexplicable Device after he’d switched back from Selkie form.

Not knowing whether I was going to be a stickler for pictures of literal trees only, he also provided us with this dizzying gaze up into some kind of old pine tree. The image reminds me that some tree species can develop such thick lateral branches as to develop their own microecosystems on a single branch! I read about this phenomenon years ago in a National Geographic magazine. I will do further research in an effort to provide a proper post about it, because I think it is a fascinating topic.

A Pine Tree in Norfolk, England, UK By Inexplicable Device, https://inexplicabledevice.blogspot.com/


Aspen Trees North Shore MN USA By Kelli Fika


Banyan Tree, Norton Museum, West Palm Beach, FL, USA Mary Reynolds


Magnolia tree Southern Pines NC By Cathy Litchfield, https://Grounded-Wisdom.com


Sweet Chestnut Castanea sativa, Castle Ward (a National Trust property), County Down, Northern Ireland By Ashley, https://8-arrows.com


Sycamore Tree, New York, NY, USA By Kerfe Roig, methodtwomadness

Bark close-up


Christmas Bush or Pohutukawa (Maori name) or Metrosideros kermadecensis somewhere in New Zeland By Dinah, https://moreidlethoughts.wordpress.com/

Java cassia (aka pink shower, apple blossom) tree Cassia javanica, somewhere in Australia, By Dinah, https://moreidlethoughts.wordpress.com/


North Devon England, UK, Spring 2022 By Ms Scarlet, https://wonky-words.com/blog/


Longwood Gardens, Kenneth Sqaure, PA,USA By Mistress Maddie, http://mistressmaddie.blogspot.com/

Added @ 8:30pm PST – New Addition – My apologies to Lisa. I forgot this was still in my other email box!

Baobab  tree, Botswana, Africa, August 2019.  Photo by Lisa Troute, Jupiter, FL


This concludes our photo journey of trees for the September photo submissions.

Should we do more Monthly Photo Submission prompts?

(*Please let me know if I’ve accidently missed a submission or need to make a correction.)

Exercise: A study in patience

I’m going to pick a tree and take a picture of it during each season. If I take the first picture this week for Fall, by this time next year I’ll have a seasonal progression of the tree. If you like this idea, feel free to do it as well. You can share your tree’s seasonal progression here or post it on your own blog and send me an email, so I know to look for it and reblog.


Thank you for stopping by and being part of the Nature-led community!

A Trip to Florida 2022

Greeting Nature-Led Friends!

Suprise! Last week I was in Florida! I have now returned to my boggy delight that is the Pacific Northwest, but not without bringing you all some sunny pictures of interest, education and ominous warnings about where not to swim.

Footprint in sand

As one of my favorite Tom Waits songs goes, “We made feet for children’s shoes.” This one is now a youth size 5.

Swamplilly Spp unknown

This plant is dressed for a party.

Palm roots

I scared this Tolkienesque palm tree Ent from walking away.

Bleeding Glory-bower

Another party plant having a ball!

Eeek, a spider!

Golden Silk Spider

The biggest spider I have ever seen in my life in the wild! It’s as big as my hand, and my hands are not small! Consequently, I just read this article from National Geographic about another similar spider that is making its home on the Eastern shores of the United States, the Joro spider (similar to this one, but more cold-tolerant.) https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/these-large-invasive-spiders-could-spread-throughout-us

Swim with Gators? No Thank you.

Nope, definitely not going in that water.

Maybe when you go on vacation you like to relax, but to me, relaxing is a foreign concept I just can’t seem to gasp. It is my curious nature to always be on the prowl for new learning experiences. As part of my enjoyment in traveling to new places is to support the local work of fellow nature lovers. Here are two places I like to support every time I go to Florida:


Loggerhead Marinelife Center https://marinelife.org/

This turtle rescue organization is currently going through an expansion and remodel. There was only one sick turtle there at the time of our visit. I would assume current sick and injured turtles are being cared for elsewhere.

Turtle Hatchling diorama

Cast of Turtle skeleton

Busch Wildlife Sanctuary https://www.buschwildlife.org/

Blue Jay, Cyanocitta cristata

Sleepy young fox, everyone quietly say, “aaaaah”, so cute!

Cypress Knees

I love the phrase “cypress knees.” I don’t know why this one in the foreground looks like it’s giving me the finger though. Rude!

That’s it folks! I hope you enjoyed the pictures! Have a great rest of your week!

Do you have a favorite picture?

Snow Prints and Raven Warnings

Photo by Mimmo Lusito on Pexels.com

Hello Nature-Led Friends, Thank you for being here! I’m still chewing over my thoughts for the post about Deep Adaptation. I’ve started three versions, but none of them feel quite right.

Last week I was visited by what I like to call an “Uncommon” Raven or Great Mountain Raven, but modern Ornithology doesn’t make this distinction among Ravens. It came down from the mountains to perch at my window. We looked at each other and it made sounds like an animated child. “Hello, old friend.” I said. “Are you the Raven I met before? We watched the sunset from the top of Mount Si and then I walked back down in the dark.”

Here at the lower elevations the Common Ravens are as small as the American Crows. One often needs to look at the tail feathers and beak to tell the difference. Ravens have triangular tail feathers and a thick broad beak (as shown), while Crows have square tail feathers and skinny beaks. To see a Raven such as this is an honor and a blessing. The Raven is an important figure in the stories of the Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific Northwest tribes. My favorite is the Tlingit tribe’s story How Raven Stole the Sun.

Cold Temperatures and Snow were already in the forecast, so I took the visit from Raven as a sign to prepare the landscape for my wildlife friends. I piled up a few extra places with sticks and stones and raked a few leaf piles close to the bushes for extra buffers.

Native Plant Douglas Spirea (Spiraea douglasii) with a log stump border in the snow

The Douglas Spiraea (aka Hardhack) creates thick brush for rabbits and other small creatures to hide in. The stump log border around it provides extra protection from wind-driven snow drifts and creates cavities for insects, garter snakes and salamanders.


Teeny Tiny Squirrel prints
“Doug” Eighth of his/her name the Squirrel


Daisy the Dog, loves to snuffle animal tracks in the snow. These are a pair of coyote tracks.

Winter is mating season for coyotes. They hunt in packs and pairs in search of prey. By the end of January coyote pups will be born. There’s a coyote den in the wetland next to us. I’ve watched six generations of coyotes grow up here. Some people are afraid of coyotes or consider them nuisance animals, but they’ve always been here. This coyote family has lived here longer than I have. My human neighbors often refer to them as “Melanie’s coyotes.” Not because I feed them (I never feed wild animals), but because they hang out in my field so much, even while I’m work out there. These generations were born familiar to my scent. I think they and all the other wildlife around here can smell that I don’t eat meat. They also know I hold no prejudices against them. Each deer, coyote, bobcat, Cooper’s hawk, black bear, etcetera in this neighborhood is an individual to me and not just a product of their species.

“Hey Lady, Are you coming outside?” (Zoomed in so the picture is a bit grainy)

In other local news, some idiot at a tree company ruined a perfectly good Douglas Fir tree on the street behind me. I’m all for a good crown cleanup which involves bringing down large broken branches in a controlled manner and removing a few, A FEW branches for trees close to buildings. Large tree branches that have the potential to fall to the ground and kill people are known locally as “Widowmakers.” In the U.S. Navy, “Widowmakers” is the nickname for submarines. Personally, I find it unattractive when more than five branches are cut from the base to “lift” the tree crown.

My favorite Douglas Fir tree and Doug the squirrel’s home tree. I had it’s crown cleaned up about five years ago because its next to my driveway.

A Healthy Douglas Fir tree _Doug’s Tree
An over-sheared Douglas Fir one street over that now looks like a bottle brush.

I predict this over-sheared fir tree will die from stress and disease within five years. Four of its neighboring trees were removed at the time it was sheared (two weeks ago) and about 30 other trees that had created a large, beautiful stand of trees were removed earlier this year to make way for more housing. Climate Change is death by a thousand cuts to the power of 10, by individual property owners, cities, counties, corporations, states/prefectures and countries.


A Hummingbird Feeder in the winter

The only thing I feed in the winter are the Anna’s Hummingbirds who don’t migrate. I have a few plants that bloom in the winter for food, but not enough yet. I put 10-hour hand warmers held with orange knit socks (formerly my knee-high socks from a ‘Velma’ Scooby Doo costume I did a few years ago.) I bring it in at night, so it doesn’t freeze.

How does one top off a snowy winter’s night at home? With a hearty, rustic vegetable soup of course!

And finally,

Don’t Look Up – A movie on Netflix

Sometimes when we don’t know what else to do in a situation, we laugh about it. Don’t Look Up is a movie where a PhD Candidate and her Professor discover that an asteroid is headed for earth. They give the U.S. President months of warning and time to act, but when there is a potential for money to be made, the plan to blow up the asteroid is scrapped in an effort to mine as many resources as possible and then blow it up, but the plan fails.

It’s a dark comedy and not everyone likes a dark comedy with their existential crisis. I think the critics are missing the point. It’s supposed to be outrageous. It’s supposed to be over the top. Its satire based on our societies worst modern qualities. I’m glad people are talking about it, because so often when I think about the problems in the world it often comes down to greed. Greedy people who profit off the environment, who profit off of racial injustices, who profit off of social-economic unbalances. We could have a better world, but will we? I don’t know. I’m willing to fight until the clock runs out.

It can be so frustrating at times! Here’s a story from August that shows how a big environmental impact plan was effectively sabotaged due to greed and mismanagement in Dubai.

From 1 Million Trees to a Tree Graveyard: How Dubai’s conservation Plans went awry – The Guardian


Additional Links:

All About Birds Common Raven and American Crow Comparison: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Raven/species-compare/59858041

A brief collection of Raven Tales from Pacific Northwest tribes: http://native-languages.org/legends-raven.htm

Plant Profile: Douglas Spiraea: http://nativeplantspnw.com/douglas-spiraea-spiraea-douglasii/