The wild lupines

The wild lupine is one of May’s most stunning wildflowers.  Unlike most of the rare flowers I seek out in the spring, the lupine doesn’t grow in the woods.  It grows in open sunny areas, such as meadows and railroad right-of-ways.  It used to flourish in prairies where fires periodically burned away competing plants and shady canopies.  The lupine needs dry sandy soil.   It likes the sort of habitat associated with Midwestern pine barrens and oak savannahs.

The lupine is the nurse plant for the Karner blue butterfly, which is an endangered species.  The lupine is the only plant that the larvae of the butterfly will eat.  Unfortunately, the plant is less abundant than it once was.  To see this small stand of lupines in Michigan today was a marvelous treat.

The razzle-dazzle day

Cinco de Mayo has a private meaning, because it’s the day my husband and I became engaged.  The circumstances that day were nothing like this picture.  Back in 2009, we were in the Warren Woods, far away from any city, and the day was overcast rather than sunny.  In the middle of a woodland walk, we paused to rest on a bench overlooking a silent ravine, where the trees were still leafless and timid signs of life were just beginning to show on the forest floor. More

Resting places

A hilltop graveyard on a winter day.
Recently my family traveled to Pennsylvania to inter my father’s ashes where nearly all my ancestors have been buried.  His headstone, heaped with flowers, lies just a short distance from where his grandfather, who died at a relatively young age in a mining accident, leaving a widow and nine children, was interred nearly a century ago. More

A prayer in Chicago

Turbulent dusk, © 2016 Celia Her CityBind up the wounds of all who suffer from gun violence, those left alone & grieving, those who risk their lives as they rush to our aid, & those who have died this week in Chicago, including Arshell (19), Abner (23), Anthony (21), Ladrell (24), Alfonso (31), Antoine (31), Yanong (27), Louis (30), Johnathan (17), Johnny (27), David (22), Winston (50), Dontae (30), Stephan (22), Jamie (22), Cortez (25), Demarco (32), Julius (18), Andre (23), Anthony (44), Erik (27), John (28), Cory (28), Denzell (24), Ireal (22), Michael (61), William (25), and Lee (43).  Give us power to rise above our fear that nothing can be done and grant us the conviction to be advocates for change.

A prayer for mercy, in a Chicago church.


Over the estuary

seen from the observation platform
The recently completed Galien River boardwalk in New Buffalo spans a beautiful estuary.  Berrien County, with the aid of the Pokagon Fund, created this simple but impressive park.  It features a 60-foot-high observation platform and a long water-level boardwalk, enabling visitors to explore a locale where the waters of lake and river meet.  The observation platform, which juts out from a bluff, offers a panoramic view of the wetland below. More

My Edwardian girl

Framed picture of an Edwardian girl,© 2016 Celia Her City
The tag read “Victorian-era painting of girl in a mahogany frame with original wavy glass.”  Even though I knew the portrait wasn’t a painting but a print, possibly made as recently as the 1970s, still I bought the thing after getting the price knocked down.  The subject of the picture, and the way it was framed, spoke to me.  I figured I’d learn what I’d bought after getting it home. More

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