A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category

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“Autumn Leaves” from My Maine (Poetry & Photography Collection) by Bette A. Stevens


Inspired by The Pine Tree State­—Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people—the author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons by Bette A. Stevens takes readers on a poetic journey through the state’s four distinct seasons. Whether you’re a native Mainer or from away, Stevens’s short story poems and photographs will resonate.  The collection opens with Maine Pines and People. The journey continues with the rejuvenating spirit of Spring Awakenings and Summer Songs; then on to more of Maine’s extraordinary places and people in Autumn Leaves and Winter Tales. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

Lovely poetic snapshots of Maine
“This collection of haiku takes about an hour to read, but I recommend a slower savoring of this literary treat. Arranged by season, each poem is an exquisite snapshot of life in Maine — its landscapes, wildlife, people, pastimes, heritage, and communities. They stand alone, but the book’s real beauty is how, when strung together, they create a poetic photo album that captures the heart of the state. A lovely read that I highly recommend.” ~D.W. Peach

Autumn Leaves

Selected excerpts from MY MAINE, Haiku Through the Seasons (Poetry & Photography Collection) by Bette A. Stevens

Washed across woodlands
Blazing brush transforms the world
Into a canvas

Church steeples flashing
Like beacons on the mural
From the Master’s hand

Climb to the summit
Ascending steep timbered trails
Foliage at peak

Crispy, crunchy leaves
Frolic about in the wind
Carnival classics

Skycastle pennants—
Clever couriers announce
The coming tempest

Harvesting, mulching
Gardener’s work never done
But oh, the rewards

Cinnamon, nutmeg
Pumpkin confections abound
Connoisseur’s delight 

Window panes clatter
Leaves scatter in the whirlwind
Green fields turned umber

Drifting off to sleep
Reposing in tawny beds
Autumn leaves at rest

Thanks so much for stopping by to read these selected verses from MY MAINE, Haiku Through the Seasons. Wishing everyone a blessed and beautiful autumn. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

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Celebrate the Great Monarch Butterfly Migration & Help Protect this Threatened Species!!


 

The Great Monarch Migration

Each year from August through October, masses of monarch butterflies embark on a journey from the southern reaches of Canada that takes them 2500 Miles to remote mountain treetops in central Mexico. Millions of overwintering monarchs were discovered roosting there for the first time in 1975. Here at the farmstead in central Maine, monarch butterflies visit us from early June through mid to late September. As a citizen scientist, I report my sightings to Journey North . I invite you to visit their website to find out more about our amazing monarch butterflies and find out how you can help.

Hubby Dan and I have sighted sixty (60) monarchs so far this season. The monarch chrysalis in my photo collage was spun by a caterpillar Dan discovered on a day lily leaf when he was cleaning the garden on August 13, 2019. We transferred the caterpillar and part of the leaf to our back porch. By the time I put fresh batteries in the camera and returned, this chrysalis had already been spun. On August 31, a beautiful monarch butterfly had emerged and was resting on her chrysalis (yes, it was a girl, our 2019 Matilda) about noontime. We sat and watched for hours as she dried her wings. I moved her to a nearby phlox plant where she could rest and sip nectar as she prepared for her long journey  south. One of her friends (most likely a monarch sibling) stopped by to check on her several times. By 4:45 p.m., she was flitting and fluttering through the garden before she began soaring and landed on the birch wood pile before soaring away on her long journey south.

Note: The top left monarch was one of our earlier arrivals that stopped to lay eggs on our milkweed. The others are all of our amazing Matilda who is on her way to Mexico!

Leaders from U.S., Mexico & Canada have agreed to help protect this threatened species through the NAFTA trade agreement. Groups and individual citizens continue to band together to support and protect monarch butterflies. Together we can make a difference!

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

  • Plant native milkweed
  • Provide nectar plants
  • Avoid pesticides
  • Report your monarch sighting observations to JourneyNorth.org

Bette A. Stevens is the author/illustrator of award-winning picture book Amazing Mailda, A Monarch’s Tale.

Here’s what two readers have to say:

“A beautiful message of love, patience, perseverance, and belief. The story is told with a frog, bird, rabbit, and the butterfly as the main characters. A perfect book for children mainly to teach them about the cycles of life and the importance of patience, perseverance, and keeping faith in a dream.” ~Karen Ingalls

“I can’t wait to give this to my grandchildren and will enjoy our reading time together with this delightful tale!” ~ D.L. Finn

Amazing Matilda (2019) is on her way to Mexico! 

 

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Have an Amazing New Year! (Poem + Monarch Butterfly Resources from author Bette A. Stevens)


Have an Amazing New Year!

 

May your days be blessed and beautiful

May your nights, sweet dreams supply

May your New Year be amazing

As a monarch butterfly

© Bette A. Stevens

Learn about Monarch Butterflies

Bette in her garden with one of the monarch butterflies that emerged from its chrysalis at the farmstead in central Maine.

Monarch butterflies offer an amazing view into the intricate nature of the wild. Their scientific name—Danaus Plexippus— Greek for “Sleepy Transformation,” gets part of the story right, but not the epic whole. Monarch butterflies embark on an amazing migratory phenomenon as they have the ability to hibernate and metamorphose.  International conservation efforts to protect and restore monarch habitat are ongoing. These efforts may help improve the near-endangered/endangered status of the species; but we, as ordinary citizens, can easily help the monarch butterfly recovery right in our own backyards and gardens.

Wishing all of you and our amazing monarch butterflies…
“An Amazing New Year!”

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

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“Time to get the apples in” (POEM) by Bette A Stevens


Inspired by nature and human nature…

In 2002 we planted five apple trees (Granny Smith, Greening, Red Rome, Cortland and Macoun) forming an apple tree crescent between the house and barn here at The Farmstead in central Maine. This year we’ve harvested six bushels from the trees, and our ‘neighborhood’ deer have cleaned up all the drops. No need to bend, rake and set out the fallen fruit for the wildlife, they’ve already harvested their seasonal snacks. No need to travel to the local orchard or market to pick and purchase apples.
Wishing you a bountiful and beautiful fall!
~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

Time to Get the Apples In

Poem by Bette A. Stevens

Pies, cobblers, jellies, cider, applesauce and more…
To make and bake
To eat and partake
From our garden
Not the store

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“Autumnal Archway” (HAIKU) by Bette A. Stevens


Autumnal Archway

Haiku by Bette A. Stevens

Summer gate closes
As autumn’s brilliant archway
Beckons—nature’s call

© Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

About the author

Maine author Bette A. Stevens pictured with a male Monarch butterfly drying its wings after emerging from its chrysalis.

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book about a monarch butterfly; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource  incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP—a coming-of-age story and family drama set in 1950s and 60s New England.

Stevens is currently working on her first poetry book—MY MAINE, a seasonal haiku collection—which she plans to publish fall (2018).

 

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Monarch Butterfly Haiku by Bette A. Stevens (+FREE “Help Protect Monarch Butterflies” Poster)


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch butterflies are a threatened/near-endangered 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.

Plant Milkweed Today

Monarch Butterfly HAIKU by Bette A. Stevens

Regal messenger
Standing at the podium
“Plant milkweed today!”

Did you know that monarch butterflies and the monarch caterpillars’ host plant milkweed is one that monarchs rely upon for their survival?  This summer I was able catch a glimpse of 43 of these regal creatures dancing around my gardens where I encourage milkweed to flourish among the flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables that we grow and harvest here at the farmstead in central Maine. I even managed to capture five of them with my Canon PowerShot~ Bette A. Stevens

Four more of the 43 Monarch butterflies sighted at the farmstead as of August 25, 2018.

 

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

PROTECT MONARCH BUTTERFLIES free-poster

More about monarchs

  • 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)

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

Find AMAZING MATILDA and all of Bette’s books at YOUR AMAZON.

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