Awen Environments - inspirational living arts
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Gardening with Nature

Remembering Charlotte: Message from an Orbweaver

Photo by Nicholas TaAs time goes on I realize that so much of what we've been taught or have a tendency to fear is actually associated with balance and light. This story is about a marbled orbweaver spider that I found this summer in one of my gardens. I named her Charlotte after the spider in the book "Charlotte's Web" by American author E.B. White.  I had always enjoyed the book and later also the movie because it held a special message regarding seeing the world differently and how sometimes the seemingly impossible can be achieved 

Gardening with Faith

As my gardens continue to grow and evolve, my own faith and belief in my creativity and knowledge, as well as path in life, is challenged. This year has been a strange one with a very long, hard winter followed by an unusual spring and summer. One moment it seems normal and the next it's totally out of character with extreme high or low temperatures and weather patterns.

In my area, the flowers seem to be about a month behind their normal cycles. I have lost many plants and shrubs this year and some plants seem stunted or never bloomed at all.

Bee Feng Shui: the Energy of Space

I've been thinking lately about how my interests and my work through out the years went from working inside the home with regard for the energy of space to where my focus is presently, which is outside with the land.  This has been an ongoing process for quite some time, but yesterday when someone from Myanmar found my site using the key words "bee feng shui," I just had to explore this idea and write about it.  I've written on feng shui and I've written about bees, but I've never written about how they relate to one another.

Bee Swarming: a Message of Rebirth

This morning I went out to check my original beehive and found that half of the bees had swarmed with the old queen.  The steady streams of workers were no longer there, though I could still see bees inside the hive.  Although I never witnessed the swarm, I knew something had changed and I felt like a piece of me had gone with the bees.  It had been over a year since they had arrived and interestingly, today is a new moon in my sun sign of Leo.  Somehow I cannot see this as a coincidence, as my birthday is also next week.

A Look Back: Taking Inventory of Your Landscape

Sometimes it's hard to see the progress we've made when we're constantly putting out fires or simply trying to get through our daily routine of responsibilities.  As humans, we seem to always focus on what still needs to be accomplished, rather than what is.  I think it's vital, however, to reflect periodically on what you've accomplished and take the time to truly see the progress that's been made from several years back, a year ago or even a few months ago.
 

Dandelions: a Source of Inspiration

After a long cold winter with loads of rain toward the end, we've had a series of beautiful, warm days.  The dandelions seem to be flourishing as a result.  My lawn is aglow with a proliferation of yellow.  Today I came home to find a brochure from a rep for a commercial lawn and herbicide company offering a free consultation to help "Start attacking weeds today!" 
 
This just put me into an agitated state as I read further about how this company could help rid my lawn of "unsightly dandelions.

Restoring the Sacred to Western New York: a Story of Spiritual/Material Conflict (Part 3)

 
This story is part of a series. It is recommended that you refer toPart 1andPart 2of this trilogy before reading the following (photo of Chautauqua Lake, NY by Matt Roginski Photography above).
 
Consciousness and human intention are things that are greatly influenced by the geography of an area, but an area is also simultaneously influenced by the intentions of its inhabitants.  We only know that which we are taught, unless we choose to move outside that realm into the unknown and learn to trust our intuition and inner guidance.

Honoring the Girls: a Day in the Life (and Death) of Honeybees

This is my first year beekeeping and although I'm so happy to have my own hive and see and feel the vibrancy that these bees bring to my landscape, it has also been a learning experience which at times is saddening and frustrating. 
 
A few weeks ago I went out to check my girls (only the females work, as the male drones are just there to inseminate the queen and eventually die or are pushed out of the hive) and much to my dismay found many of them grounded or clinging to the side of the hive loaded with pollen.

The Summer of Orb Weavers

This summer I had the opportunity to experience the benefits of a re-vitalized ecosystem with many songbirds, pollinators, butterflies and other beneficial insects returning to my own backyard.  I had the awesome moment of witnessing the emergence of a beautiful swallowtail butterfly from its chrysalis just because I left a section of my yard unmowed. 
 
I saw the return of numerous  orb weaver spiders  which I've found to be the only predators of the destructive Japanese beetle.

Initiation into the Realm of Bees: a Lesson on Chaos

I'm convinced that chaos is the new norm, and that the challenge is all in how we deal with it.  A few weekends ago, after much deliberation and some setbacks due to an unforeseen incident, my son and I picked up our new bee colony from a local beekeeper.  Due to a severe accident that left this beekeeper temporarily in a wheelchair for many months, our bee colony was delayed and at one point, I resigned to the possibility that we might not be able to do beekeeping at all this year.

 
 
 
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