A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Posts tagged ‘gardening’


May All of Your Days be Amazing!

AMAZING DAY 2 basAs a monarch butterfly conservation advocate and author/illustrator of the children’s book AMAZING MATILDA, I was fortunate to capture several photos of these amazing butterflies at our farmstead in Central Maine this summer. This one landed on our phlox. Read along to discover more about our amazing monarch butterflies, and about my children’s picture book as well.

Here’s wishing that all of your days be amazing!
~ Bette A. Stevens

Monarch butterflies are a near-threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

Eighth-generation monarch butterflies in the US and Canada migrate south each fall—destination: Mexico and California’s coast where they over-winter before mating to create the first generation of monarchs for the northern migration that begins the following spring.

About Bette’s award-winning monarch butterfly children’s book

AM cover with MonarchOne concern parents have is how to inspire their children to meet challenges with patience and persistence. This is the plot of the award-winning picture book, AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarchs Tale, written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens. In this story a caterpillar wants to learn how to fly. She asks all of her friends in the meadow, but doesn’t find an easy answer. Yet, she continues the quest until, at last, she becomes what she wants to be—a butterfly. AMAZING MATILDA offers adults the opportunity to inspire the children in their lives to meet everyday challenges with patience and persistence. Matilda and her friends will show them how to make their own dreams come true!

AMAZING MATILDA is available in Paperback ($9.49) and eBook ($3.99) versions OR purchase paperback and download the eBook for FREE! Take a “Look inside” at YOUR AMAZON

Stevens, a retired teacher, accurately portrays the Monarch’s life cycle in storyline and illustration. She has done extensive research on the Monarch: its diminishing habitat (milkweed plant) and its status as an indicator species in the global environment. During her research, she learned that Monarch markings are different for males and females. Males have black spots on their back wings. Hence, her story title: AMAZING MATILDA, (no black spots) was “hatched.” The Monarch is unique among butterflies: the only one of its genus that does not hibernate, but migrates instead.

  • Explore Bette’s blog to find out more about monarch butterflies, download her FREE PDF +
    a FREE poster about how YOU can help protect
    these amazing creatures
    (top tabs of blog).

[Explore Bette’s Blog]


A Monarch Butterfly Haiku by Bette A. Stevens

Royal Visitor MONARCH 2015 Haiku basI’ve only spotted a dozen monarchs here at the farmstead in Central Maine this summer. Recently, two delightful specimens danced around the garden where I encourage milkweed to grow alongside the flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables that we harvest. I grabbed my camera just in time to capture one of our regal visitors pirouette upon the peppermint. ~ Bette A. Stevens

  • To find out how you can help protect monarch butterflies—one of our amazing pollinators— download your free poster here:


  • Find out how to tell a male monarch from a female monarch and discover other amazing monarch butterfly facts
  • Enjoy monarch crafts, games, gardening and discover so much more

Download Bette’s free pdf here:

FUN & LEARNING with MONARCHS (free pdf)

Fun&LearningWith Amazing Monarchs! 2014

Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens
“Inspired by nature and human nature.”

Bette Book Collage WHITE BORDER

Find all of Bette’s books at YOUR AMAZON.

[Bette’s Blog]


Time to get the apples in (poetry) by Bette A Stevens

Apple Poem bas 2014INSPIRED BY NATURE… Nine years ago we planted five apple trees (Granny Smith, Greening, Red Rome, Cortland and Macoun) in crescent between the house and the barn here at The Farmstead. Today we harvested five bushels. No need to go to the orchard or to the market for apples this year. Wishing you a bountiful fall! ~ Bette A. Stevens


I beg your pardon: I think I’m promising a WEED GARDEN!

IMG_3176When April showers may come your way
They bring the flowers that bloom in May
So when it’s raining have no regrets
Because it isn’t raining rain you know
It’s raining violets
[It’s May here in Central Maine and lots of dandelions (the first native weed variety to spring forth and blossom/more varieties to come) are taking over the gardens at the Stevens’s Farmstead this year.]

Spring has finally sprung in Central Maine. Our beloved perennials are booming!  That dreaded indigenous variety (a.k.a. dandelions) are in full bloom up too. I’m usually out in the gardening digging and pulling those hearty adversaries out of the garden at this time of year, but that was way back when. I ruptured a disc in my lower back in February and am still suffering from a pinched sciatic nerve. The pain runs from my lower back, shoots to my right groin, hip and knee. I took my trusty stool (garden buddy) and garden tools out to weed a few days ago. That didn’t go too well…can’t bend, reach and dig even with my buddy. Went back to the barn to get clippers and managed to trim all of my rose bushes and bask in the fresh air and sunshine!

My friend Marilyn Armstrong had complicated surgery recently and she’s in a similar predicament as far as gardening goes. If you haven’t visited her blog SERENDIPITY yet, here’s your chance. Marilyn is a great writer and her posts run the gamut—there’s always something to interest everyone!

I’ll attempt to entertain readers this year with what Marilyn calls posts from our INDEPENDENT GARDENS! Marilyn thinks we may start a new fad. Maybe win an award or two for independent gardens—a place where weeds rule. We’ll keep you posted. ~ Bette A. Stevens

Related Link & Video



"Three cheers for Matilda," her friends shouted.

“Three cheers for Matilda,” her friends shouted. AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens

June 15 – 19

Are you an adult who loves to inspire kids?

This contemporary tale of friendship teaches kids to keep trying in the face of adversity. You can get it for FREE for five days. It’s…

by Bette A. Stevens.

That’s right!  It’s FREE for 5 days: JUNE 15-19.
PLUS, there are other FREE monarch goodies for you, too…

Help MATILDA spread the word!

Find out all about it at http://www.prlog.org/12153228-5-day-butterfly-book-bonanza-amazing-matilda-teaches-kids-patience-and-persistence.html

In today’s world where instant gratification is often the norm, AMAZING MATILDA teaches kids that THEY REALLY CAN REACH THEIR DREAMS & INSPIRE OTHERS ALONG THE WAY. Did you know that President Jimmy Carter called the Monarch Butterfly An Ambassador for The Americas?

English: Foreign trips of Jimmy Carter during ...

English: Foreign trips of Jimmy Carter during his presidency. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

AMAZING MATILDA is off on another world tour and she needs your help. She’s looking for children and friends of children everywhere to inspire with her story of friendship. Please SHARE AMAZING MATILDA’s 5-Day Butterfly Book Bonanza with your family, friends, fans and followers.You can download my FREE PDF and learn all about Monarch Butterflies, access games, crafts, coloring pages, teacher’s guides, butterfly gardening tips and so much more on my blog at http://4writersandreaders.com/fun-learning-with-monarchs/  Please SHARE, SHARE, SHARE the great news…THANKS for helping MATILDA spread the word! Bette A. Stevens

FREE eBook DOWNLOAD JUNE 15 – 19. ‘Amazing Matilda: A Monarch’s Tale,’ an illustrated adventure story, reaches kids and teaches kids (ages 4-11) that friendship and success go hand-in-hand.
‘AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarch’s Tale’ by Bette A. Stevens

“Children of all ages will be able to relate to monarch’s plight in some way… This story is a true gem and one that will inspire kids for years to come.” Renee Hand, award-winning adult and children’s book author. Hand reviews for the New York Journal of Books.

FIND OUT ALL ABOUT Amazing Matilda’s Butterfly Bonanza GET YOUR FREE eBOOK & SO MUCH MORE at


Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Nominated April 24, 2013 by JR Barker~ Children's Author

Nominated April 24, 2013 by JR Barker~ Children’s Author

First of all, I would like to thank JR Barker, Children’s Author  from http://jrbarker101.wordpress.com/the-blog/ for this gracious nomination. Please check out her awesome blog.

The Very inspiring Blogger Award, the rules are as follows:

  • Display the award on your blog
  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • State 7 things about yourself
  • Nominate 15 bloggers

Looking for a little inspiration today? Visit these 15 very inspiring blogs! My nominations are…
















Seven things about me…
My kitty’s name is “Midnight,” and she is a marvel!
My husband and soul-mate is a super-hero in my book!
I am passionate about nature and collect everything from birds’ nests to barnacle-encrusted seashells.
I love art and collect ‘art finds’ discovered at yard sales and thrift shops.
For me, the pleasure of gardening includes nurturing milkweed to grow among my flowers. Monarch butterflies deposit their eggs and before long these lovely creatures emerge from their cocoons—amazing monarchs are right here to inspire me all summer long.
I am a writer who enjoys listening to and learning from the people around me.
Lobster is one of my favorite foods.

Thanks for visiting http://www.4writersandreaders.com/

  Happy reading, writing and blogging to all!

Bette A. Stevens, Author/Illustrator


Adverbs and Dandelions by Stephen King

Bette A. Stevens:

Writing Tips from the King!

Originally posted on Silver Birch Press:


“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day…fifty the day after that…and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s–GASP!!–too late.”

From On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000) by STEPHEN KING

Photo Illustration: Halifax Light, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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