Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Beauty of May


"Sweet May hath come to love us,
 Flowers, trees, their blossoms don."


I am really beginning to appreciate the beauty that this area has to offer, and in some ways it is no more apparent than around Bealtaine time. From the ephemeral flowers of the woods, the blossoms on the trees, to the lush green of new growth, sadly none of that beauty lasts long. So with that in mind, I tried to get out as much as I could to my favourite spots to enjoy it all while it is here. Below are pictures that I took while out and about during May.

















Thursday, May 24, 2018

Brigid's Flame for the Women of Ireland


Today is my flame vigil for a Brighidine order of flamekeepers that I belong to. My vigil has been dedicated to the women of Ireland. My hope is that tomorrow people will vote yes, so women there can have the same reproductive rights and freedoms as we have here in Canada.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Plan B Garden

Basil seedlings in desperate need of being potted up
Last year I had planted a bunch of perennials on my balcony garden, which was my first growing season in this apartment, after quite a few years of being lucky enough to have land to garden on. I was careful to choose plants that were at least two hardiness zones lower than the one I am in, used large storage totes to plant them in, and did my best to shield them from the elements. Even with all of that, it doesn't look like any survived the extra harsh winter we just came out of.

So instead of spending more money or babying along perennial seedlings, just to probably have them croak on me again, I am going to go the free route and grow annuals of seeds I already have. My balcony doesn't get full sun, but I am still going to chance some sun-lovers. Even if it is a fail, it won't cost me anything. And me with no garden is like a boat with no water. 'Taint happening. The following are what are going to be a part of this year's experiment:

Basil {a mix}
Black Futsu pumpkin
Borage
Broom corn
Calendula
Cilantro
Cornflower
Cosmos {Rubenza and Sensation mix}
Datura
Dill
Greens {kale, arugula, chard, and lettuces, where ever I can find room for them}
Jasmine scented nicotiana
Nasturtiums
Poppies {Angel Wings and Opium}
Scarlet Runner beans
Sweet peas {Cupani and Black Knight}
Teddy Bear sunflowers
Tomatoes {Black Krim and Indigo Rose}
Wild tobacco
Zucchini {Black Beauty & Yellow Pattypan}

I am also growing seedlings for an heirloom and pollinator garden at my work, which is in retirement/nursing for the elderly. It will be interesting to see if they remember any of the varieties that we will be growing there. I am happy to see gardens there for them to enjoy.

Hope you all are getting your hands dirty too!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Wild Leek/Ramp Pesto


Recently at a local farmers' market I picked up some wild leeks/ramps from the lovely folks at Wood Nettle Farm. Before I could even ask about views on wildcrafting practices, Tibrata mentioned the importance of harvesting them in a sustainable way, only taking some from any particular patch and only taking the leaves instead of harvesting up by the roots. That was all I needed to hear. And if you happen to be the area, they have what looks to be some amazing workshops and other events, including potlucks. I will definitely be checking those out and visiting them again at the market.

I am freezing some of my ramps, and decided to make a small batch of pesto. I have tried a few different recipes, some call to sautée the leeks, but I prefer to just use them raw. Below is how I made this particular batch, which yielded about 1/2 a cup of pesto.

2 1/4 cups roughly chopped raw ramp leaves
1/3 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

I just put everyone together in the food processor and that's it. Even easier than basil pesto. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Merry Bealtaine!


Even though this song Ilmr by Danheim is named for a Norse Goddess, it for some reason reminds me of Bealtaine. I picture a bunch a merry folks frolicking in the woods or perhaps dancing around a bonfire when I hear it.

I hope for everyone that this Bealtaine is filled with plenty of beauty, blessings and mirth. Beannachtaí na Bealtaine oraibh go léir/Bealtaine blessings to you all!

Laurel

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Waking from the Dreams of the Long Dark


Winter has seemed so long this year, and while I have been yearning for nature's green, this one has been potent for me. This dark half as with all others has been reflective, but unlike the usual serene and moonlit pond, more often than not it was the dank black of marsh or stormy waters under cracked ice that I was peering into.

A kind of spiritual ambivalence had been hanging over me for the last couple of years, and just after Samhain that cloud had finally lifted. The part of myself that dreams, walks between worlds, and gazes through the eyes of a seer had reawakened. These last few months have been unnerving and tumultuous at times, but it was exactly what I needed.  

Thankfully I have had support and assistance along the way, from some old friends and new. I am very grateful to them, and I am sure they know who they are. 

During this time I have been exploring how I do ritual and folk magic as a Gaelic polytheist, re-visiting some practices that I used to do prior to adopting this spiritual pathway. I have been incorporating and building upon them, some of which I might share here at some point. 

I hope that you all have had the opportunity to reap the gifts of the long dark. Time to shake of the fog of sleep, as summer is a-comin'. 

Beannachtaí,

Laurel

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Hello, Pretty Lady


There's just something about seeing a big moon in the sky before the sun goes down that gets me every time. Last night was no exception.


The first full moon happening this month is sometimes called the "Worm Moon", which for me is apt, since I have been dreaming of worms lately. I wonder what tonight's dreams will bring. And with spring looking like it is just around the corner, it won't be long until we see our wriggling little friends once again.


If you get the chance, go out tonight and enjoy the light that this beauty will cast in the dark.