Thursday, April 29, 2010

oooh, the beauty i've seen!

Spring has brought us so much beauty already. Every day, as I walk with wonder down dirt roads, or skirt the edge of yellow rapeseed fields, my love for this country grows deeper. This morning I took a thin path through silver birch trees bursting with green, and as I looked up at the lacey network of branches, a group of crows took off from a tree was so quiet that I could hear their wings flapping....and bits of leaf-scales drifted down on shafts of sunlight. I had to stand still for a very long time, just to be able to wrap my heart around that moment. Even now, as I sit typing this with the window open, the birdsong is so loud, the trees are so green, and the sky is so blue...and I feel the woods calling to me.
You were with me in my thoughts as I took today's morning walk, and I snapped photographs so I could share the beauty with you.

To get to the woods, I walk past the farmer's field, which is full of blossoming rapeseed now. Gold, stretching out to a horizon of blue. To the left you see the wooded hillside where I am headed...I have a bottle of water with me, and a bag for collecting wild herbs...and I have Kiki, too, of course.

I enter the woods, which is made up mainly of silver birch trees, all wearing their green spring dresses now, nodding on the breeze, towering up to the sky. The forest has a secretive quality to it. The shade and the rustling of the wind in the leaves enclose you, and the open fields are a sunny contrast.

Kiki and I stop to listen. I am listening to the birds while she listens for anything suspicious. 

We discovered this lovely patch of woodruff, my favorite herb (learn more about it by clicking on it's botanical picture, gallium oderatum, on the sidebar). It's called Waldmeister in german, which translates to Forest Lord or Forest Master. I collect some every morning, and dry it overnight to use the next day in lemonade and appleade. 

Above is another favorite herb of mine, Sanicle . So little is written about it nowadays, though it was once used by witches and herbalists for many healing potions and salves. It's not all too common here, and I always celebrate seeing it. I like knowing where to find case I need it for an emergency magical potion. 

I also love finding hunter's look-outs. I always consider climbing up and taking in the sights, but then I get scared and leave it be. I don't know how long they have been there...or how well the nails will hold. So I just take a picture. 

My whole being is soaking up the green. Trees move differently now that they have their leaves again. They are magestic, and sway, and nod. There are so many roads and pathways here in Gablitz. It would take a lifetime to know them all by heart. 

Stepping out of the woods into the bright sunlight and heading back home, I passed the rapeseed field again and took notice of all those dandelions.

And I knew: it's time to make this year's Dandelion Honey. 

I really hope that my internet connection is here to stay now. It's been frustrating to not be able to communicate with you all. I'm so happy to be back, and am knocking on wood that I'm back permanently now!

I hope the sun is shining, wherever you are...

xoxo country girl


  1. loved loved loved this write - i felt as though i was there with you. beautiful shots to take us on the journey. enjoy.

  2. What a beautiful way to start the morning! I love how you wrote it so it feels like we were there with you. You must feel so blessed to be surrounded by all that natural beauty ~ I would feel so renewed everyday.
    Have a lovely day!

  3. Thank you for taking us on this walk today - the words and the images made me feel as though I was right with you and adorable Kiki!

    In words and pictures you captured all the glory of spring's colors, sounds, smells!

    Just wonderful, thank you for sharing this beauty!

  4. oh dawn! the colours! the yellow and blue contrast so beautifully! thank you for sharing your thoughts and impressions with us. I enjoyed every word and description. Just lovely!
    Sending warm thoughts your way!

  5. Thank you for the tour. It surely is beautiful where you live. Dandelion honey? You've piqued my interest.

  6. Such incredible beauty! How fortunate you are to have that path before you everyday. The yellow of that rapeseed is intoxicating.

    Lovely blog!

  7. This is an amazing post. I think it's my favorite post of yours that I've read, and that's saying a lot, because I adore your blog. Oh, I wish we could take a long walk together. I love discovering wild herbs and other surprises on my walks, too. Thank you for the beautiful descriptions, and the amazing photos. This was a real treat today, Dawn!

    xoxo Gigi

  8. this is such a magical place that i LOOOOOVE
    to visit.

    have you read "the year of wonders" by geraldine
    brooks? her heroine learns about all the herbs, etc
    to be a healer for her village during the plague.

    you remind me a abit of her.

  9. Wow! What a beautiful post..I love all the pictures, (especially those of Kiki)but I love YELLOW so seeing those yellow fields are just amazing to me! And the fact that you know all those herbs is fancinating! Not me...I'm afraid I'd pick the
    Blessings to you and am so happy you are back!! I really...really missed you!
    xoxo Gert

  10. Beautiful photos! You are so lucky to be surrounded by such beauty! Is all that yellow dandelions? Or is it not rape seed? Confused... xxx

  11. You live in such an absolutely gorgeous area! I wish I could step out of my home and see that! ♥

  12. A gorgeous stroll and wonder pictures.

  13. So gloriously bright and green and fresh and wonderful! I'm SO glad you have these little escapes each day, and even more glad that you share them with us. Could you tell me how you make appleade with woodruff? It sounds just lovely!

  14. love your photography! thanks for sharing your woodsy walk. kiki looked so ferocious!

  15. Happy Friday dearest Dawn! I've just returned from such a similar walk with Alice & China and so loved reading this beautiful post! I love it that we see so many of the same things on our different country walks. Do you have great swathes of wild violets too? There are so many here this year, brightening up all the darkness under the hedgerows. Happy weekend to you & darling Kiki from Alice & Me xoxo ps I agree about 'The Year of Wonders' - an amazing book if you haven't read it yet x

  16. Dawn, for the past several days I've been reading your blog whenever I have a moment, so even though, except for Twitter, I'm a stranger to you, I feel that I'm getting to know you. I've come to admire your spirit, your talent, your beauty, your wisdom, and your curiosity. You've captured a piece of my heart. I wish you all the best life has to offer and somehow I just know you'll have it.

  17. Oh, Dawn, I miss walking through the European fields and woods. They were so peaceful and gentle - here, it's fun to walk, but with marshes, swamps, snakes and alligators it's rather more of an adventure and not so relaxing. I love woodruff and we are trying to grow it in our back yard. It's not doing so well.. Thanks for this treat!!! Love, Silke

  18. Gorgeous post Dawn, and you have reminded me to make your dandelion honey. I need to make it pretty soon though as Poppy loves to eat dandelions!
    Love Morwenna

  19. Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject!
    מסאז מפנק



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