A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Posts tagged ‘Nature’

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SENSATIONAL SUMMER: A Monarch Butterfly Poem by Bette A. Stevens


Illustrations for Sensational Summer are from Bette's award-winning children's picure book, AMAZING MATILDA.

Illustrations for the poem “Sensational Summer” are from Bette’s award-winning children’s picture book, AMAZING MATILDA.

Much like a Monarch butterfly, the summer is quickly flying past us here at The Farmstead in Central Maine. In fact, it won’t be long before these amazing butterflies begin their great southern migration to Mexico, where they’ll aggregate (cluster in dense tree cover) to keep warm, enabling this generation of monarchs to winter over before they mate and begin the next generation’s migration north for the 2017 season.  Matilda (a Monarch butterfly and the main character in my picture book AMAZING MATILDA) and I wish you and yours a sensational summer! ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator 

We invite you to take a look inside AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch’s Tale and check out other books by Bette A. Stevens

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Milkweed – It’s Not Just for Monarchs


GOT MILKWEED? Monarch butterflies and other amazing pollinators need it and we need them! ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator http://www.4writersandreaders.com

The Natural Web

One of the most well knownassociations between an animal and plant species is the relationship between Monarch butterflies and Milkweed. Monarch butterflies may certainly be seen nectaringat various species of milkweeds…

Monarch nectaring on Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) Monarch nectaringon Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Monarch nectaring on Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) Monarch nectaringon Butterflyweed(Asclepias tuberosa)

Monarch nectaring on Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) Monarch nectaringon Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

but this isn’t unique – they also drink at a wide variety of other flower species.

Monarch nectaring on New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) Monarch nectaringon New York Ironweed(Vernonianoveboracensis)

It’s the dependency that Monarchs have on Milkweedsas the only food source for their caterpillars that makes this relationship so noteworthy. Monarchs, like many species of insects, have evolved to specialize in their larval (in this case caterpillar) food source in order togain protection from predators through the chemicals they ingest from the plants they eat. Milkweedscontain cardiac glycosides, which are toxic to many species of birds and mammals. Plants have evolved these chemicals to protect themselves from being eaten, a strategy…

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1059. Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life. ~Rumi


Grateful! ~ Bette A. Stevens, http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Sacred Touches

The Gift

Be still, my soul, and steadfast.
Earth and heaven both are still watching
though time is draining from the clock
and your walk, that was confident and quick,
has become slow.

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So, be slow if you must, but let
the heart still play its true part.
Love still as once you loved, deeply
and without patience. Let God and the world
know you are grateful.
That the gift has been given.
~Mary Oliver

Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. ~Psalm 147:7  ✝

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1034. Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of mystery. ~Max Planck


The wonder of it all! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Sacred Touches


Nature looks dead in winter because her life is gathered into her heart. She withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger. She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth. ~Hugh Macmillan

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When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.

Let us then salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed’s self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.

The humility of the Earth
That transfigures…

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The wonder of it all!


AWESOME AUTUMN basThe deciduous leaves are sparkling against the conifers and the canvas sky the here at “The Farmstead” in Central Maine. Have a beautiful week, friends! ~ Bette A. Stevens

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BROOK SONGS a poem by Bette A. Stevens


BROOK SONGS poem by basInspired by nature, I love to walk to down the brook. It’s only a quarter-mile from “The Farmstead” here in Central Maine and no matter the weather or season, the sights and sounds of the water and the abundance of nature’s bounty always manage to refresh my soul and often inspire the writer child within me. The photo for the poem Brook Songs was taken last fall. As the autumn season nears a new dawning, I put pen to paper for a draft before designing the poem on the computer. ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

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684. God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.  ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Martin Luther


Beauty abounds! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Sacred Touches

Morning is the best
 of all times in the garden.
The sun is not yet hot.  
Sweet vapors rise from the earth.
Night dew clings to the soil 
and makes plants glisten.
Birds call to one another.  
Bees are already at work.
~William Longgood

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Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it’s a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
~Pueblo Blessing

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. ~Isaiah 55:12…

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