Native language

Bald cypress adapts to growing in water in this wetland ecosystem in the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois by Betsey Crawford

When I started my landscape design business in the 1980s the staff at plant nurseries nicknamed me ‘the weed lady’ because I kept asking for plants that most people were removing. As much as I could, I wanted to plant the grasses and wildflowers, trees and shrubs native to the glacial moraine known as Long …

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Plant blindness

A good cure for plant blindness: Blue mist penstemon (Penstemon virens) in Evergreen, Colorado, by Betsey Crawford

One early May day some years ago I was walking with a friend in a preserve near her home. I had discovered the trail the day before and was so delighted with the abundance of wildflowers I wanted to share them with her. She was equally delighted. And then, as we finished the trail, said, …

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Rain

White bell flowers of manzanita species. King Moutain loop, Larkspur, California by Betsey Crawford

When my partner George died in October one of the things I dreaded was the coming rainy season.  After my brother’s death in June, I was consoled by the beautiful blue and yellow days, the long soft evenings, the silken roses in overflowing gardens. By October I feared I had only darkness and storms ahead. …

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Memories

Mount Redoubt from Kenai, Alaska by Betsey Crawford

After reading my last essay, A Year of Love and Death, on the losses of 2020, both personal and worldwide, my brother-in-law sent me a poem by John O’Donohue called For Grief. My partner George’s Irishness was a wild and wonderful force in his life. In the years before his death, he explored Celtic spirituality with …

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