Spring-WoodsAfter a cool, damp week the sun is out! June is on the horizon and the irises are about to bloom. Most of the garden is planted and rows of tender plants have appeared in the raised beds. Lovely!

Here in Vermont the trees are a dense, lush green. Plants need to take full advantage of our four to five months of warm weather, and go about the tasks of reproducing and storing energy with vigor. By late July the foliage will begin to thin, already preparing for the autumn to come. Continue reading

Change and Continuity

Flowering!The world is flowering and so are my allergies. This year allergy meds don’t seem to be helping all that much.

I was optimistic and put on short sleeves this morning. I may have to change into long sleeves before I leave for work. We’ve had one very brief visit from the Thunder Beings so far this spring. Hopefully that will change over the next few days and they will return in all their finery, introducing change and transformation.

We humans are complex systems, always evolving into new forms. Our cultures are also alive, constantly in the process of becoming, even as they remain constant. Yet, how often we expect things, persons, and cultures to remain unchanged, to be static. Continue reading

Approaching the Equinox

Snowy-BuddhaThe Spring Equinox arrives Thursday. The snow lies deep across the landscape and this morning’s temperature is -7 F. The sunrise was lovely, casting a pastel glow on the Adirondacks across the lake. The March sun melts some snow each day, the water pooling on the sidewalk, then freezing at sundown. The sidewalks are fit only for skating and are best avoided. Evenings continue to lengthen, sunset coming well after seven now, and skiers and snow shoers utilize every available moment of sunlight. Shortly after dawn this morning there were skiers on the path behind our home. Continue reading

The Complexity of the Medicine Wheel

Bird-Feeder-In-StormAlthough the calendar suggests we are in mid-March, and thus, deep into maple sugaring season, the weather insists we are not. While yesterday was in the low 40’s F, today is in the low 20’s, and we are in the midst of a significant snowstorm.  It has been snowing all day, although one cannot say how much snow may have fallen as the wind is whipping the snow around, lowering the visibility to near white-out levels. Sugaring is on hold. I’m pleased to be home with the wood stove, rather than out driving in the increasing tempest. Continue reading

Spring, Creativity, and The Dreaming

Shadow-PlayIt’s March and cold; winter seems unrelenting. .  Close to a foot of snow and ice covers our yard. This winter Lake Champlain froze over for the first time in years. While the winter has felt severe, in reality it has been more of a normal season, much like the winters prior to 1990. The past ten years have witnessed consistently warm temperatures; some Vermont ecologists have monitored a winter temperature rise of over 5 degrees F at their recording stations in the southern part of the state. Now a winter filled with below zero nights seems cold indeed. Continue reading


TulipSpring has come, bursting onto the landscape in an intense green fire. The woods have closed in, blanked in new leaf and, this morning, fog. The annual chorus of bird song greets us at 4:30 in the morning. The rich melodies of Aaron Copland’s iconic chamber music, Appalachian Spring, fill the classical music airwaves, providing a soundtrack to this eruption of color and song.

The force of Nature’s rush into Spring at the higher latitudes is awe-inspiring. No wonder we speak of the birth of Spring, noting the rush to space and light that seems to mark the arrival of all new life. There is waiting,  anticipation, urgency, then a full headlong charge into being. Continue reading


We came home to 19 degree F weather. Today we have light snow.
The annual maple sugaring is underway. Next week we do ceremony to honor the Maple tree and maple sugaring. Apparently last week marked a good run of sugaring. Here is an explanation of the nature of sugaring.

Originally posted on Rebecca Deatsman:


We started tapping maple trees on campus this week. I would guess that most of my readers are familiar with the general process of making maple syrup – you tap the trees to collect their sap and boil it down to get rid of the excess liquid and concentrate the sugar. The Ojibwa Indians in this area were already collecting sap to make syrup and sugar before the first European settlers arrived, and there’s even a town south of here called “Sugar Camp” because the site was known as a center of maple tapping activity. But why do we tap the trees at a specific time of year? What exactly is going on with the sap?

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