“For in the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.”
— Baba Dioun

It is certainly the season for the admiration of aesthetic beauty – the prairies are in beautiful bloom, and reasserting my new found infatuation with spending time amongst their pleasant diversity.

compositeOn Iowa Public Radio this week there was a great program with Jim Peas devoted to the tall grass prairies of the midwest – did you know that Iowa is the only state in the nation that was once completely engulfed by the tall grasses of that ecosystem. And also, our great state was once flourishing with over 80% of our space delighting in the dancing colors – now we are reduced to less than one tenth of one percent of our natural landscape with all the little prairie segments patchworked about the land – we are indeed the most industrialized state in the nation when you think in terms of land developed for economic gain… interesting perspective even though everything is green – I always think of concrete being synonymous with industrialization. My summer love could easily become that of a lifetime, and I try to indulge multiple times a week in just resting in the tranquility of the grassland filled with bobolinks and blackbirds.

elderflowerThe elderflowers are beautifully fragrant, and as I wrestle my way through the overgrowth of the treeline in pursuit of ripe mulberries, the smell drifts to me and delights me to no end. I know that wine and jellies can be made from all flowers, so I added to my bounty yesterday afternoon with a handful of florets and an idea. The internet is such a plethora of information – there are beautiful concoctions including an elderflower-summer fruit-prosecco jelly that looks divine! So many great inspirations… and only seven days in a week!

handfulI can never harvest mulberries inconspicuously. There is still some residual purple lingering on my digits and elbows today. The berries are explosive in sweetness and flavor, and I have such a hard time fathoming the fact that I have never indulged in this exquisite fruit – the deliciousness has inspired notions of a rhubarb-mulberry jam that will be concocted as some point this week yet. Divine!

oaxacan green dentThe garden itself is looking green and happy. This photo is of the Oaxacan Green Dent corn that will make a beautiful green corn flour for my tamale making experiment. The colors and striations and varigations of the foliage continue to evolve and steal my breath and moments when I relax long enough to soak them in.

flowering onionThe flowers of the white onions playing gracious host to the pollinators the flit about the blooms. The colors in the garden are really coming on – we have white and yellow, purple and red, the pink of the smart weed, the multiple colors of the potato blossoms – ah, progress, even when slow, is so gratifying!

“At the end of the day, to sit in my garden is to finally awaken”
Nature Conservancy
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