What I Saw On My Walk Down the Road: Joe Pye Weed

It’s everywhere here and attracts butterflies like a magnet.  A flowering plant in the sunflower family, Joe Pye Weed is native to the eastern United States and Canada.

But who was Joe Pye anyway?  The plant is reported to have been named for Jopi (pronounced Joe Pye), a  Native American healer who used the plant to treat a number of ailments.  Folklore claims that Joe Pye Weed was used to treat fevers, typhus, kidney stones, and urinary tract ailments.  Both the flowers and the seeds also have been used to produce pink dye for textiles.



Mushroom or Toadstool?

Apparently there is no real scientific difference between toadstools and mushrooms. The names are interchangeable, although some people use the term toadstool for the fungi they know to be poisonous or inedible. Regardless, I wouldn’t think about eating these that popped up along our drive after a recent rain.



“The sudden appearance of mushrooms after a summer rain is one of the more impressive spectacles of the plant world.”   (John Tyler Bonner)

Grieving over what happened in Charlottesville, VA and praying for this country

Shocked and dismayed by the violence and terrorism perpetrated this day by white nationalists and white supremacists in the U.S., I pray…

From the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer 

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage:  

We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove
ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will.


Bless our land with honorable industry,

Photo credit: mlive.com


sound learning,

Photo credit: us.education


and pure manners. 



Save us from violence, discord, and confusion;
from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.

Photo credit: nydailynews.com


Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes
brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.

Photo credit: ktla.com


Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust
the authority of government, that there may be justice and
peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we
may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth.

U.S. Capitol

white house
Photo credit: history.com


In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness,

Photo credit: almanac.com


and in the day of trouble,

Photo credit: washingtonexaminer.com


suffer not our trust in thee to fail;
all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Proverbs 3 5-6 (2)

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Take a new photo

Cee’s black and white challenge this week invites us to go out and take a new photo or to submit a photo taken this week.  Here’s one I took of our Zebra Grass on Monday.

Zebra Grass plume


See more black and white photos or join Cee’s challenge here.


Second grade, here he comes!

Update on grandson Ben…

Believing for Ben

The new school year began yesterday for our little trooper, and we are so glad Ben received a clean bill of health from Dr. Berenstein before beginning second grade.  (Dr. “B” is Director of the Pediatric Cerebrovascular Program at Mount Sinai Health System in New York.)

The day before classes began, Ben and his Mom attended an open house at the school during which he had the opportunity to meet his teacher.  Before they set out, Mom took this selfie photo …

Open house

And here’s 7-year-old Brave Ben ready for his first day of second grade…

2nd grade

A couple of weeks ago, we had a lovely visit from Ben and his mom and dad.  He especially wanted to show us some of the souvenirs he received while visiting Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, and he laid it all out for us to see…

Souvenirs from Tyndall Air Base

(The post about that tour of the air base can be…

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What I found on my walk down the road: Jewelweed, nature’s anti-itch medicine

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), also is known as orange jewelweed, common jewelweed, spotted jewelweed, spotted touch-me-not, or orange balsam. It is an annual plant native to North America and has been used by Native Americans and herbalists (and my family) to treat all manner of skin rashes and even insect bites.

The leaves and the juice from the stem can be used to treat poison oak, poison ivy, and other rashes caused by plants.  Other skin conditions such as eczema as well as insect bites can be treated with poultices and salves made from jewelweed.

Some years ago on one of our camping outings we arrived at the campsite late and set up in the dark. The next morning, our daughter K’s feet, ankles and lower legs were covered in ant bites, as we had set up close to an ant hill without realizing it.  A nearby camper came to our aid by going into the woods, picking jewelweed, and having K. sit with her feet in a bucket of warm water infused with jewelweed. That was my first introduction to the plant.

I was delighted recently to find it growing and in bloom along our roadside.

The jewelweed flower actually is very small but very beautiful…


Jewelweed 2-3

Jewelweed 3

(Photos were taken with my cell phone and from a distance.)


“Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favor compared with the products of nature, the living cell of the plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life.”  (Thomas Edison)

Torch Lily

My husband said he planted this in our garden two years ago, but this is the first time I remember seeing it in bloom.

Torch Lily

“…Yellow is the colour which is closest to light. We associate the rays of the sun and the stars with it. It is the radiance of the spirit.”

(Ueli Seiler-Hugova)

Morning visitor

From my “photos only” blog…

captured for a moment

Morning visitor

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Reading aloud

Ever since my husband had a major stroke last February, he has been unable to read. One problem is that the stroke left him with hemianopia, or visual field cut, a loss of the right half of his vision in both eyes. However, it also appears that he suffered a loss of reading ability owing to damage to the centers of the brain involved in processing reading.

Before the stroke he loved to read, and his current favorite author is Daniel Silva who writes spy novels and publishes a new book every year, usually in July.  As can be seen here, we have a book shelf full of Silva’s novels…

Daniel Silva novels

The latest novel, House of Spies, was released in mid-July. It was unavailable in an audio version, so I ordered a hardback copy, and I have spent at least an hour each day since it arrived reading aloud to my husband.  The book was just over 500 pages in length, and we finished it yesterday.

House of Spies

It’s not a book I would have read on my own, but I did enjoy reading it, and surprisingly I enjoyed reading it aloud.  It has been a good experience for my husband, one he wants to continue.  (Plus it can count as one more book toward my reading challenge goal on Goodreads.com)

Tomorrow we begin an historical novel, The Conquerors,  the 3rd volume in “The Winning of America” series by Allan Eckert.  This one is over 700 pages long!

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road.  They are the destination, and the journey.  They are home”  (Anna Quindlen)


Tuesday Photo Challenge: Three

I decided to join Dutch Goes the Photo’s Tuesday challenge this week, featuring anything in threes.  This photo was taken two years ago at St. Augustine Beach in Florida.

Three on the beach

See more groups of three or join the challenge here.