Benediction of sunlight and lupines

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The magic of sunlight

Sunlight hummed its June song this morning, leaping up through branch after branch, attempting to climb higher and higher above the tallest poplar and maple and spruce trees.

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Sunshine illuminates old Studebaker in woods

Sunlight beckoned me, too, c’mon lazybones, sleepyhead, upsy daisy, how about a walk down the road to the lake?

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Sunshine on our house and fledgling garden

“Please take the camera, too,” Sunlight urged.  “I don’t think you’ll regret it.”

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Lupines in the woods

Early June wears perfume of sweet lupines, so rich and poignant one sometimes dazzles with the intense gorgeous smell.

Lupines multiply along our woods road every June, about the time of Barry’s birthday. We celebrated last Sunday and Monday.

We always know it’s his birthday because the lupines send out the first well wishes.

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Lupine intimacy

So many wildflowers bloom!  They poke their petals off long slender stems and sing praise. Praise to what?  I do not know.

Praise for the sunlight.

Praise for the soil.

Praise for the shining of themselves.

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White lupines shine

You and I–those who glimpse the fleeting blooms–make a difference just by seeing.  By acknowledging.  By deep-breathing the perfume of life, however fleeting.

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Majestic green of unfurling ferns

It’s almost the land of the midnight sun around here in the next couple of weeks–although not quite.  It gets dark around 10:45 – 11 p.m. on summer solstice.

It feels such a rich and magical time of year with the bees buzzing, the butterflies flitting, the garden seeds sprouting.

It also can be quite annoying with wood ticks, black flies, gnats and mosquitoes biting. On my walk this morning a teeny-tiny neon green innocent-looking insect decided I looked like a tasty lunch.  Owww!

Then I noticed twenty of the sweet green biters.  It was time to move on.

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Grace of a buttercup

There’s something about buttercups, isn’t there?

They are so graceful and fragile.

So tender.

I saw the first buttercup maybe five days ago.

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Shy thimbleberry blossom

Thimbleberries, for those not from these woods, taste tart and sweet and delicious come late August.  If you want to buy a jar it costs between $10-14, depending who’s selling and how the weather cooperates.  One year, maybe dozens of years ago, I made thimbleberry jam from a wild and expansive crop of berries.  Have not seen so many berries–or made jam from them–since.

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The beckoning lake

Sunlight often beckons a morning walker to the lake where one can sit and ponder and appreciate life.  It’s always helpful if one can sit long enough for the heart rate to still, the thoughts to ease, the body to settle against the earth.

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The benediction of one last lupine

Thanks for joining me on this June morning walk. What’s new in your world?  Many blessings to all!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in June 2016 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to Benediction of sunlight and lupines

  1. Carol says:

    The sun has chased away our early morning clouds and later I will go out and let it shine on me.

    • Kathy says:

      It’s such a good feeling with the sun comes out. Especially after a few days of rain. Hoping your having some sunshine this weekend, Carol.

  2. Brenda says:

    Hello Kathy ❤

    Thank you for sharing your morning walk with us! Your photos are breathtaking! I can almost smell the summery scent of the lupines and feel the refreshing lake air, just from looking at your pictures. The lupines and the ferns are my favorite.

    Spent the day yesterday, cleaning upstairs while Alex's Dad had his surgery (to replace the battery packs in his chest that power the deep brain implants he has for the Parkinson's symptoms). Alex was a big help to me and we got a lot accomplished. And while I was upstairs, I enjoyed being near the windows, watching and hearing the birds. Everything is looking green and fresh (although messy because you know–if Mom doesn't do it, it doesn't get done. See me rolling my eyes?)

    I hope Barry has enjoyed his birthday celebrations! My Mom's birthday was on Wednesday, my Grama's sister's birthday is today (Aunt Marge is the last living relative in my Grama's family) and my birthday is on Sunday. It's a busy month for birthdays!

    Thanks again for sharing the beauty of your woods. (you can keep the biting bugs though…lol)

    Love, Brenda

    • Kathy says:

      Glad you enjoyed the walk, Brenda. It was a very sweet morning to “open the door and walk outside”. 🙂

      Glad to hear you had such a productive day the other day. Gosh, that can feel so good. How fortunate you are to have Alex’s help. Wishing all your family members a wonderful birthday–wait a minute. Today is Sunday! Today is your birthday!! May this year be a golden year of settling deeper into your loving heart, letting go of what no longer serves. Blessings and happiness for you!

      • Brenda says:

        Aww, thank you so much, Kathy!! ❤ I've been praying for a better year too. ❤ Your kindness always touches my heart and makes me feel so much love. ❤ God bless you, my dear friend ❤

  3. Fountainpen says:

    Breath-taking pictures
    And such a wordsmith as well!!!!!!!


  4. msmcword says:

    As always, I enjoyed your photos and I cannot get enough of them.
    I also have done some more photoblogging myself as well at


    • Kathy says:

      Nancy, so glad you enjoy them. The camera must have thought you might. 🙂
      Will be visiting blogs one of these days when we’re not splitting wood!

  5. dorannrule says:

    Thanks for including me in your magical woods walk. Bill and I also live on the edge of a forest but I have never seen wild lupines.

    • Kathy says:

      Dor, it’s so interesting how different flowers grow in different areas. I never even saw lupines in lower Michigan. They must like the colder northern climates. They are one of the pleasures of living this far north.

  6. Oh Kathy — thank you for that glorious virtual walk-along. Your photography is breathtaking!

  7. debyemm says:

    I love sunlight on green leaves especially against a brilliantly blue sky and even more especially after days and days of dreary gray wetness. But then, I did grow up in a desert where not much rain tends to fall.

    Wish we had Lupines here !! Barry’s Lupines are somewhat like my Azaleas are – fragrant and colorful birthday wishes.

    It is biting fly season here again and I don’t miss their annoying persistance during the off season !! Thanking all that is good that there are seasons for respite !!

    The seasons of natural things – whether mushrooms or berries – do vary from one year to the next making the abundant years all the more special and appreciated.

    • Kathy says:

      Happy weekend, Deb. You are right about Barry’s lupines and your Azaleas. They kind of herald your birthday celebrations for both of you. It’s interesting contemplating how growing up in a desert might effect a person, versus growing up in a forest. I actually grew up in an area of cornfields, bean fields and apple trees. You could see so far. I actually miss it, but the vista here where everything is so encircled has assisted in turning the energy inward and now. Perhaps…

      • debyemm says:

        Interesting to note about the vistas of desert vs forest – my Dad felt claustrophobic here because the forest closes in – especially in summer. Winter is better for seeing more distantly the land’s features here as the leaves fall and open up the view. My Dad had a sundeck at his home in New Mexico and we could see the lake and then the mountains beyond that.

        • Kathy says:

          My friend, Melinda, who lives in California visited here and felt that same claustrophobic feeling. I used to experience it a little bit and even wrote a blog about it called “Horizon Envy”.

  8. lisaspiral says:

    Beautiful walk in the woods. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Diane H says:

    Love your pictures!

  10. Carol Ferenc says:

    Oh, how I’ve missed being near that stunning inland sea and the forests that surround it. I’m only two hours away by car and I feel the need for a day trip. Thanks for sharing your lovely walk, Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, you will have to come visit the lake sometime soon–it sounds like she is calling you. So happy to have sparked your desire for a trip.

  11. john k. says:

    The next closest thing to experiencing nature is to experience it through someone who loves and understands it. Thank you for today.

    • Kathy says:

      Hopefully you’ve been able to get out in nature lately, John, and experience some of her beauty. Are you up here for the Lake Trout festival? Barry’s crew caught about 60 fish yesterday (threw most of them back) but no really big ones. They had a lot of fun, though.

  12. Bonnie says:

    Your delightful pictures beckon me to walk and enjoy. The lupin are blooming here as well, and I wait for them each spring. I too like the little buttercups. I have the lupin in the ditch, the buttercup beside the foundation of the house – not nearly as interesting as your walk, but the beauty is the same. Thanks for taking me along.

    • Kathy says:

      Bonnie, glad you enjoyed. It sounds like your climate is similar to ours and you have many of the same flowers and plants. Happy to take you along for a walk!

  13. Connie T says:

    I love you pictures.

  14. dawnkinster says:

    Love lupine. We have some here in the yard. It came and went this year before I realized. Glad to see yours.

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, you just taught me something. I didn’t realize lupines grew downstate. I don’t remember seeing them when we were growing up. Do you have to plant them or do they grow wild in the ditches?

  15. Karma says:

    What a beautiful celebration of spring! So lovely. I wish scents could be incorporated into blog posts – wouldn’t that be fun? You and Dawn and Robin and Gerry all have beautiful spring posts as your most recent entries. Very inspiring! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Now that’s a thought, Karma! That would be very sweet indeed. 🙂 Will be visiting some of those other spring posts soon. Except we need to get some wood split first… Are you counting down to the end of the school year?

      • Karma says:

        Yesterday was my last day! Ahh! I have something I need to focus on for the next few days, but after that I really do plan to get back to blogging! 😉

  16. Robin says:

    This was so delightful, Kathy. I love your lupines and feel blessed just by seeing your pictures of them. I had never seen lupines until I went to Maine and Canada a few years ago, and I fell in love with them. And yes, there is something about buttercups. They always make me smile. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, your message came in on my phone yesterday when I was walking along the Portage Canal up in Houghton, about 45 minutes north. Now, for some reason, it feels like you were walking with me. Do you ever have that feeling? When a text or a message or email comes in and suddenly the person is right there with you, part of the walk?

      • Robin says:

        How nice! I would certainly enjoy a walk with you. 🙂 I have had that feeling, especially now that I actually remember to carry my phone with me.

  17. Val says:

    Where we used to live, there was a small nature reserve that had been built on the site of abandoned railway sidings and within a very short time a great number of lupines took over and, do you know what? Til I read this post and saw your glorious photos, I had completely forgotten their lovely scent. Thank you so much, Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      Val, I am delighted to have brought back that memory for you. Their scent is so gorgeous, especially when there are a lot of them. Don’t you love writing a blog when it becomes a virtual experience for a reader? Happy weekend!

  18. Debbie M. says:

    Thank you for the sensory walk as I sat at my computer!

    • Kathy says:

      Debbie, if you leaned just a little closer to your computer, surely you would have actually smelled them. *grin* Glad you enjoyed!

  19. Meditation in prose and photography. Reading this post, I do feel like I’ve had a particularly beautiful session of meditation. Breathing in the buttercups, one of my (well, actually top on my list of) favorite wildflowers. Lupines comes second. Ahhhhh. Thank you for this.

    • Kathy says:

      It seems like meditation is mostly coming out of the typing fingers these days (except for the blog post on barbecue & cousins). Probably because that’s whatsa happenin’ around here lately! I do like reading your blog posts but am having trouble carving a space for reading these days. Gardening, wood splitting, work, work, work! OK, maybe should go meditate now. lol!

  20. Lori says:

    Nice. Thank you for sharing your peaceful, light-filled walk.

  21. I Wilkerson says:

    The lupines are gorgeous–good call on bringing the camera for your walk. How I want to go on a photography walk!

    • Kathy says:

      Inger, hoping you carve a space to go walkin’ with your camera. Those lupines were so beautiful it felt like they were just begging for a photo or two. Glad you enjoyed!

  22. christinelaennec says:

    Beautiful post. (I wonder why the flowers are spelled without an -e- in Britain?) I have some lupins in my garden, grown from seeds a lady at my church in Aberdeen gave me. Lovely to have that remembrance of her.

  23. emaclean says:

    Beautiful! And so peaceful….

  24. Sheryl says:

    There’s something really magical about the long summer days.

  25. Your lupines are so beautiful, breathtaking! Wish I could smell them…

    Do you use an insect repellent on your walks?

    Since you are farther north in latitude and your summer solstice day is so longer than mine – is your winter solstice day shorter than mine as well? I did get to experience a long day like that in May in Norway. It was quite something going to bed in daylight and then waking up in daylight, too…

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Barbara, thank you, the lupine are still enchanting, although they’ll soon start going to seed.

      No, I do not usually wear insect repellent on my walks, unless the Universe indicates that would be a good idea. (The Universe apparently does not always know of the severity of bug-biting, or it refuses to tell!) I am trying to remember to wear some when unloading and stacking our wood, especially after a rain or when they are biting hard. Also got a bug hat this year with netting and that’s really helpful in the garden when you need to be kneeling or sitting for a longer while.

      As for our long days, I think much of the reason is that we’re so close to Central Time Zone. In fact we’re almost right above it. So light-wise, if we were in CTZ, it would be dark at 9:30-9:45. It’s probably the opposite on winter solstice. We’re probably not quite like Norway…or Alaska. It gets dark about an hour earlier in the Thumb of Michigan.

  26. Heather says:

    I am so glad you grabbed the camera. I want to frolic in those lupines! And walk to the lake to ponder.
    Happy birthday Barry!

  27. Lovely! My sister lives in the UP, and is passionate about it.

  28. Stacy says:

    I hardly recognized your house without all the snow! The sunlight looks very comforting where you are. Here in Louisiana, it’s the time of year when I want to escape it – my spirit becomes drawn to change when change is not something I usually seek. ♡

    • Kathy says:

      It’s the best time of year here, Stacy, all green and beautiful and warm. I can imagine that you might want to escape the heat if you lived down there in Louisiana. How ’bout heading up north?

      • Stacy says:

        Fortunately, Norm is taking me to the Pacific Northwest next month. Maybe one day I will make it to Michigan. It’s on my list. XO

        • Kathy says:

          I hope you enjoy the Pacific Northwest, Stacy! I loved visiting my daughter in Oregon last summer. The waterfalls were sublime…and the coast marvelous. And Portland was kinda cool, too. Looking forward to going back there someday.

  29. Barb says:

    Wow – I love seeing your Lupins blooming, Kathy. Our wild ones are smaller than yours but very fragrant. I have hybrid ones I grow from seed that look like yours. They’re up and green but not blooming yet. Happy summer!

    • Kathy says:

      Glad you enjoyed these, Barb. I wonder if your wild ones are smaller because of your relatively cooler mountain climate? Barry said he found photos on-line of hybrid lupines of many different colors. Didn’t know they came in so many varieties!

  30. Pingback: The medicine way | Lake Superior Spirit

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