Nature’s Garden

Other than garlic and a few perennials, I decided this year I wasn’t going to plant anything of my own.  I was just going to harvest Nature’s garden. The diversity is far greater than anything I could fit in my backyard. Today, we collected a bag of elderberry blossoms. After the petals dry and drop off the flowers they will make delicious tea.


The mulberries we ate right off of the tree as a fresh snack. If we had known we were going to find them, we would have brought a container to put them in-everyone knows vanilla ice cream is best with fresh mulberries.

mulberry for web

Gabrielle Anderson’s mulberry from Hunting Red.

Green Dragons

I went to the stable for an afternoon ride on Frank. But it was a hot, muggy day and the buffalo gnats were biting.



Frank, and the rest of the herd, had taken refuge in the woods across Dry Creek. Which is certainly not dry right now, but at least there was a convenient log for me to use to cross the creek.

log across creek

I put his halter on, and started looking for a suitable log that I could use as a mounting block. While we wandered through the woods, I came across this surprising patch of green dragons. Surprising because the woodland is small and has been grazed for years, and it is full of green briar and garlic mustard. It is a lovely spot of shade and water for the horses, dogs, and kids, but ecologically it is degraded.

leaf whorlleaf and dragon


A good reminder that life-and nature-are always full of surprises.

green dragon berries copy

Gabrielle Anderson’s green dragon berries from Hunting Red.




Prairie Labyrinth

I was out mowing the prairie labyrinth at Indian Creek Nature Center.



While there was no red to be found, the area is thick with rattlesnake master.


It’s a beautiful site for a stroll, if you’re in eastern Iowa. It’s also a good place to check back periodically, because the reds will be popping up as the season progresses.