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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Home ~ A Sense Of Place

 
I could have gone to any number of places to take photographs. I could have revisited places I love like the Old Mill, the Arkansas River, or one of our city parks but, I didn't. You see my favorite place to be is here; right here at home. I've walked this ground many times. I've raised my children here. I've played with my grandchildren here. I've spent many hours here working with Mr. H in our yard. We've seen a lot of changes through the 37 years we've lived here. Take for instance, the old railroad bed that is at the south end of our property. When we first moved here it was used by the Rock Island Railroad. Our daughter loved watching the train.  When she heard the whistle, she'd run to the fence and wait to wave at the engineer and the caboose as the train crossed the trestle. By the time our son was born, the track was no longer being used. We've seen the trestle in all kinds of weather. We've seen it become overgrown after it was abandoned and the tracks were removed. Living here, I know I get better pictures of the trestle if I get out in the morning and point my camera to the southwest.
 

Today after the horrible tornadoes in Oklahoma, I am especially grateful for this little piece of the world that we call home. As I'm writing this I'm sitting in my swing that hangs from a large oak tree. Time and nature has it's effects on everything. This happens to be my third swing and it looks like it's about time to stain it again.


I'm listening to my neighbor mow his grass, the birds sing, a distant chain saw, and the leaves rustling in the wind of the trees I've seen grow from small to huge.

 
I look around thinking of how I can capture it to tell the story of how it looks today. It honestly looks different than yesterday, The rain has washed things clean, the grass and trees are a gorgeous, lush green. The sky is overcast, but occasionally the sun peeks through.  We're getting ready for some more storms to pass through. Some may be severe. I'm praying for all those in it's path.
 
 
I get up and walk around with my camera and I'm drawn to the backyard by the smell of honeysuckle. It winds itself all over our neighbors fence. Mr. H doesn't like our side of the fence to be overgrown. We try to keep it trimmed, but during the spring I stall a little until the honeysuckle has quite blooming, then the fence gets  a much needed trim. This overgrown fence row is a great indication of the seasons.
 
 
Honeysuckle brings back memories; memories of my daughter and son picking off a bloom, pinching the small green end (calyx) off, pulling the white string (style), and licking the  sweet drop of nectar. It's like liquid candy from nature. Now, my grandsons like to do the same thing.
 
 
I waited for a break in the clouds so the raindrops would glisten.
 
 
 
I am innately curious. As I looked at the pictures I'd taken of the honeysuckle, I thought about how little I really know about it. I know it's sweet nectar tastes good, it's invasive and hard to get rid of, but that's about all. So I did a little digging.
  • There are about 180 species of honeysuckle.
  • Honeysuckle made its way to the United States from Asia.
  • Three parts of the honeysuckle, the flower, the buds and the stem, are used in herbal medicine to treat numerous ailments. For example, the flower is said to clear coughs and aid in asthma. Honeysuckle is also known to be a natural antibiotic and can help treat staph infections or strep throat. This kind of made me smile. I can picture myself when my throat is sore, standing in front of the honeysuckle vines licking that one little drop that each bloom, has trying to sooth my throat. How many flowers would I have to pick before relief came if each bloom only has a tiny drop of nectar? Additionally, the healing qualities of the parts of a honeysuckle can reduce rashes caused by other plants, such as poison oak. I may give this a try next the time I get too close to poison oak.
  • Honeysuckle can be a significant source of food for deer, rabbits, hummingbirds and other wildlife. No wonder the hummingbirds have avoided my feeder the last week. There's sweeter nectar to be found!
 
 
 
It's the simple things here in my place that I see each day that brings me joy.

 Home, the spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.
~Robert Montgomery
 

17 comments:

  1. Well, I can understand why your home is your favorite place to be. Just beautiful!

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  2. Cathy - wonderful reminisce of your landscape. Some things change, but I remember a long ago time when I also pulled the honeysuckle blossom and tasted its nectar. So green there - I hope your storms weren't bad.

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  3. Yes, you have given us such a special view of your beautiful home - it is completely understandable why you don't want to leave and why you chose to capture these images. Love the ones with the raindrops glistening.

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  4. You spreading your joy is a very good thing for the rest of us. Fabulous post.

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  5. Cathy, your home place is so beautiful that it's easy to see why you love it. You've captured those honeysuckle blossoms wonderfully! Sucking that tiny drop of nectar brings back childhood memories for me.

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  6. Such a wonderful story of your home and garden, Cathy. Your images are lovely, especially the honeysuckle. We all do need to be grateful each day for what we have.

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  7. I do love honeysuckle too and it reminds me of my childhood where it seemed to grow everywhere. I enjoyed all your photos of this beautiful plant. Your swing is such fun - no that's something wonderful to sit on during a summer's day!

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  8. such a lovely post Cathy, I remember those day with the honeysuckle, in fact before you mentioned your kids pulling out the stem to get to the nectar. I also remember the smell, beautiful area. I hope the storms don't come close to you.

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  9. What a lovely place to "pick". I love trains, and play on/with tracks in my images on a regular basis. How cool to have that old trestle in your yard. The other day I shot an image of the moving Amtrak as it zoomed by. I waved from behind my camera and got my own private little "toot".
    I picture your yard/land as quite large, the way you've presented it here. Perhaps it is, not...maybe just in it's own way. Licking the honeysuckle leaves. I'd like to see a selfie of THAT! Happy day Cathy.

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  10. Such beautiful shots and so calming to read. It's such a treat to see your world, Cathy, and hear your deep gratitude for all that is around you. Wonderful.

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  11. What a delight to read this story. The honeysuckle definitely brings back childhood memories. Still jealous of your train trestle :)

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  12. This is a beautiful post - almost feel I am there with you - hope the storms pass you by - Barbara

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  13. this is so beautiful cathy! i can see why you are so grateful for the place you call home. thank you for sharing it with us.

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  14. Hi Cathy ~ Oh my gosh, your photos are so beautiful! I came over from Big Picture Class forum to say hello. :o)

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  15. Don't you just LOVE to shoot rain on the flowers! Fabulous shots!

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  16. I thought of you when the storms were rolling across your part of the country. Your description of your home and the land is poetic. I can hear the love you have for your home in every word.

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  17. What a wonderful record of your home and the way it looks through the year.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!!