My Secret Place

When I was young living in the mountains of North Carolina one of my favorite things to do was wander to a creek situated on the far side of our property.  I now know it was a special place.  I don't recall feeling as though I needed an escape but maybe I did.   I can still hear the gentle trickle from the water.  As if I was right there I can still feel the blanket of nature around me.  I would spend what seemed like hours there.  There was one spot in the creek that leaves would dam up the water flow and my mission, first thing upon arrival was to free the water.  I never asked or wondered if mother nature wanted me to.  It just seemed like the water wanted to flow....

So, here on our farm there is a spot that reminds me of that same place from my childhood.  This creek is quite a bit wider, probably proportionate to a grown up version of what I saw then.  In my 'adult' creek I have depth and can see wonderful reflections of the trees on the banks edges.  If you look in the right spot you can see fish darting about.  The water is very still.  Its so peaceful.

I have read that Alamance County N.C. supplied the gold to the US government prior to the California Gold Rush.   I wonder if anyone actually panned this spot in the mid 1800's?  Maybe our fortune in gold has been left, yet to be discovered!  Hmmm, maybe I should be panning, not blogging!
Often, I peer up and down this creek and imagine Native Americans skipping across stones or even local settlers making their way down the path to a neighbors.  We've also been told there was quite an active liquor still on the property.   I learned on PBS that a still requires a water source  be close.  So, maybe, ya think it was here?  I'm always on the lookout for signs of activity from people before me.  There is a fairly large mound of stacked rocks very near the crossing, who did that and why?  Who else might have walked across this same path?  Did this 80 year old stand of Poplar trees start from a bird carrying the seed or did someone plant them?  I know, this is nothing more then an "if walls could talk" thing.  Clearly certain places conjure more curiosity then others.   Maybe its the age of all that surrounds me?

Serious though, can't you imagine parking your bum here on the banks edge, listening to nature?  Pull up a rock, it will take you awhile to take it all in.    I don't know about the rest of you but I feel closer to God in these natural spaces then anywhere.  Surrounded by the awesomeness of earths beauty.  
And, I must admit, that little girls imagination is still with this adult girl, especially in places like this.  Maybe it's the peace and quiet that frees my mind?  

Dwarf Coreopsis, also know as Mouse Earred

 I don't think I consciously declared this spot as my secret place but that's what it is becoming.  The floor of the woods has had a few years of rest from the hooves of cattle tromping about.  Now, with each new season  I am greeted by new native wildflowers that pop up out of who knows where.    This is just what's there now, spring!  The summer will behold different ones and fall, and winter...well, I'll have to see.
Wood Violet



MayApple emerges in the spring and produces a flower in May that later bears the fruit, or apple. Looking down upon the plant you cannot see the flowers, protected by the canopy of the leaves.  Just who can you imagine has the vantage point to see those flowers?

The fern, as prolific as it seems to be in the richly composted forest soil, it always catches my eye.  The bright lime green against the brown leaves...  nature, our greatest interior designer.

I've been adding to my wild flowers, being careful to include only native varieties.  Saturday mornings, after I've set up my vendor booth for the days farmers market I venture over to see Tim and Helga MacAller of FourLeaf Farm in Rougemont NC.  I like to tell myself I'm going to say my morning hello's but something unusual  lures me in further.  Always truly excited about what they have I love hearing them describe what graces their tables on that particular Saturday.  Usually, I cannot resist something, at least one little treat.

As I hurried to discover whether some of my additions I'd planted the year before had decided to charm my woodland setting, I was so excited to see....
Solomon's Seal

Dwarf Iris not yet in bloom

I also planted Trillium but cannot find any sign that it came back.  Tim MacAller told me though, "don't give up on it, it's a funny plant".  The way he said it I'm convinced it's yet to appear.  I finish this blog today, Friday...the day before my Saturday market.  I'm thinkin I'll say hello to Tim and Helga......