Public Domain Nature Poem for Card Making or Junk Journaling: Back to the Farm (Part 4 of 4)


Part 4 (of 4) of a poem by Martha Gilbert Dickinson Bianchi called "Back to the Farm" and illustrated by N.C. Wyeth.

Out in the dews with the spider at his shuttle --
In that half-dreaming hour that awakes the whippoorwill
And sets the nighthawk darting sinister and subtle,
F'er the full moon complacent loiters o'er the hill.

Back to the farm!
With the friendly brute for neighbor,
Where youth and Nature beckon, the tryst who would not keep?
Back to the luxury of rest that follows labor,
Back to the primal joys of hunger and of sleep!

You can download the free high-res 5" x 7" @ 300 ppi JPEG of the illustration above for scrapbooking, card making or graphic design projects here.

Creative Commons Licence
All digitized poems and digital scans by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Public Domain Nature Poem for Card Making or Junk Journaling: Back to the Farm (Part 3 of 4)


Part 3 (of 4) of a poem by Martha Gilbert Dickinson Bianchi called "Back to the Farm" and illustrated by N.C. Wyeth.

Off to the wood lot where brier bloom runs riot
And wary forest creature no hunter's snare deceives,
Virgin growth beguiling the solemn-hearted quiet
With songs of winter fires a-ripple through the leaves.

Up to the bars in the twilight's soft reaction --
Winding through the ferny lane to barns of stooping eaves
Welcoming at nightfall to simple satisfaction,
When the reeling swallow her dusky pattern weaves.

You can download the free high-res 5" x 7" @ 300 ppi JPEG of the illustration above for scrapbooking, card making or graphic design projects here.

Creative Commons Licence
All digitized poems and digital scans by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Public Domain Nature Poem for Card Making or Junk Journaling: Back to the Farm (Part 2 of 4)


Part 2 (of 4) of a poem by Martha Gilbert Dickinson Bianchi called "Back to the Farm" and illustrated by N.C. Wyeth.

Down in the hayfield where scythes glint through the clover;
Lusty blood a-throbbing in the splendor of the noon --
Lying 'neath the haycocks as castling clouds pass over,
Hearing insect lovers a-piping out of tune.

Caught in the spell of old kitchen-garden savors --
With luscious lines retreating to hills of musky corn,
And clambering grapes that spill their clustering flavors --
Each in fragrant season filling Plenty's golden horn.

You can download the free high-res 5" x 7" @ 300 ppi JPEG of the illustration above for scrapbooking, card making or graphic design projects here.

Creative Commons Licence
All digitized poems and digital scans by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Public Domain Nature Poem for Card Making or Junk Journaling: Back to the Farm (Part 1 of 4)


Part 1 (of 4) of a poem by Martha Gilbert Dickinson Bianchi called "Back to the Farm" and illustrated by N.C. Wyeth.

Back to the farm!
Where the bob-white still is calling
As in remembered drawings when youth and I were boys,
Driving the cattle where the meadow brook is brawling
Her immemorial wandering fears and joys!

Home to the farm for the deep green calms of summer,
Life of the open furrow, life of the waving grain --
Leaving the painted world of masquerade and mummer
Just for the sense of earth and ripening again.

You can download the free high-res 5" x 7" @ 300 ppi JPEG of the illustration above for scrapbooking, card making or graphic design projects here.

Creative Commons Licence
All digitized poems and digital scans by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Public Domain Poetry for Gardeners and Nature Lovers: My Love by M. Hedderwick Browne


A Victorian poem titled "Mu Love," written by M. (Marie) Hedderwick Browne, and published in 1893. Here, the author compares the hardy personality of love to various flowers and finds them wanting until she comes to the resilient and low-maintenance heather which she holds in high esteem. Here is how the poem goes:

I
My love is not like the rose,
Nor the languid lady-lily,
Nor the pansy, pensive-faced,
Nor the drooping "daffy-dilly."

II
She's not like the pale snowdrop,
Fears of frailty in us waking,
Nor the shrinking violet,
For the shade the sun forsaking.

III
I can only liken her
To the brave and bonnie heather --
Hardy, wholesome, and not made
For a hothouse or fine weather.

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Vintage Garden Illustration for Card Making or Junk Journaling: Three Sisters with Plant, Rake, and a Watering Can


With rake and seeds and sower,
And hoe and line and reel,
When the meadows shrill with “peeping”
And the old world wakes from sleeping,
Who wouldn't be a grower
That has any heart to feel?
Frederick Frye Rockwell, “Invitation,” Around the Year in the Garden

Vintage illustration showing three sisters in the garden. The oldest is carrying a watering can, the middle one is holding a rake, and the youngest sister is cradling a small, potted plant in the crook of her arm. You can download this free high-res JPEG without a watermark for card making or junk journal projects here.

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems and digital scans by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Public Domain Nature Poem for Gardeners and Nature Lovers: In Daisy Days by Mary Elizabeth Blake

Picking Daisies, 1905 (sometimes also referred to as "Picking Wildflowers")
by German artist Hermann Seeger (1857 - 1945)

Below is a poem called "In Daisy Days," written by Mary Elizabeth Blake. Mrs. Blake's admirers included Theodore Roosevelt and Oliver Wendell Holmes, the latter of whom wrote of her: "You are one of the birds that must sing." "In Daisy Days" was published June 1902 and goes like this:

Suns that sparkle and birds that sing,
Brooks in the meadow rippling over,
Butterflies rising on golden wing
Through the blue air and deep-red clover,
Flower-bells full of sweet anthems rung
Out on the wind in lone woodland ways --
Oh, but the world is fair and young
In daisy days!

Lusty trumpets of burly bees
Full and clear on the sweet air blowing;
Gnarled boughs of the orchard trees
Hidden from sight by young leaves growing.
Scars of the winter hide their pain
Under the grasses' tangled maze,
And youth of the world springs fresh again
In daisy days.

Down in the valley and up the slope
Starry blooms in the wind are bending;
Glad eyes shine like the light of hope,
Comfort and cheer to the dark earth lending.
Buoyant with life they spring and soar
Like the lark that carols his matin lays,
Climbing to gates of heaven once more
In daisy days.

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Public Domain Poetry for Gardeners and Nature Lovers: Song and Soul by Robert Nichols


SONG AND SOUL
by Robert Nichols

See the lark leap,
Scattering dew -- one vault!
Singing, he takes the steep,
Nor to sing need halt.

O laden heart,
Which would to the height
So speed, with what ill art
Thou takest thy flighr!

Stubborn thy will,
That, despite weak wing,
Thine be the miracle
Both to climb and sing!

Creative Commons Licence
All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Public Domain Poetry for Gardeners and Nature Lovers: Who Taught the Birds? by Caris Brooke

British Birds
by Charles Collins (1680 - 1744)

*** --- *** --- ***

WHO TAUGHT THE BIRDS?
by Caris Brooke
(originally published June 17, 1893)

To and fro, to and fro,
From the chestnut tree to the meadow grass,
Day after day I watched her pass;
Where did the little birdie go?
With drooping wing and ruffled breast,
Hopping along with a broken leg,
She came to my window, as if to beg
Crumbs for the little ones up in her nest.

Far and high, touching the sky
Where the chestnut flowers are pink and white,
Every morning and every night
She carried worms, or grubs, or fly,
To a nest that was woven of moss and feather,
Where the little bird-babies chirrup and cheep,
And over the nest-edge try to peep --
Five little yellow bills open together.

Slowly, in pain, in sunshine and rain,
The mother-bird went on her weary way;
But the little ones waited that summer day,
And chirruped and called for her -- all in vain.
I opened my window, and found her lain
Just where the sunlight touches the sill --
Not waiting for crumbs, but cold and still --
Never to fly to her nest again.

Little mouths to be fed, and their mother dead --
Must the poor wee birdies with hunger die?
Watching, I saw another bird fly
Straight to the nest with a crumb of bread.
To and fro, without staying to rest,
She carried them morsels of dainty food,
Till she satisfied all the hungry brood;
Then gathered them warmly under her breast.

* * * * *

Now tell me, Who had whispered to the little birdies's heart
To fly to those forsaken ones, and take their mother's part?

Creative Commons Licence
All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Public Domain Nature Poem for Kids: Apple-Tree Hall by Elizabeth Roberts Macdonald


Here is an antique children's poem of nature and imagination by Elizabeth Roberts Macdonald, published in the October 1910 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine.

APPLE-TREE HALL

There's an old spreading apple-tree, gnarly and wide,
In an orchard (I can't tell you where),
Where Dora and I can curl up side by side,
And nobody know we are there.
We go there on Saturdays, -- that's if it's fine,
And Mother is willing, and all, --
Take our dolls and our dishes, and there we keep house
Till tea-time, in Apple-Tree Hall.

There's the loveliest carpet, all wood-brown and gray,
And the walls have a pattern of green;
The windows are curtained the coziest way
That ever was thought of or seen;
And as for the ceiling, it's blue as the sky;
And we've crimson globe-lamps in the fall --
In the spring we have pink, and in summer use none
(Such a saving!), in Apple-Tree Hall.

All the neighbors are charming, -- so musical, too!
Madam Thrush has a voice like a bird,
And the love-songs she sings (in Italian, I think)
Are the sweetest we ever have heard.
Then the dryads and wood-nymphs dwell close to us, too,
Though they are too bashful to call.
The society really is quite the best
When we're living at Apple-Tree Hall.

Oh, I wish I could tell you one half of our plays,
And the fine things we plan when we're there,
Of the books that we'll write and the deeds that we'll do
In the years that wait, shining and fair.
My mother says, sometimes, -- and so does Aunt Kate, --
That these are the best days of all;
But we think it's just the beginning of fun,
Keeping house here in Apple-Tree Hall!

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Public Domain Poetry for Gardeners and Nature Lovers: Each In His Place by Caris Brooke


A Victorian poem from 1893 by Caris Brooke called "Each In His Place." The verses are accompanied by an illustration of a pair of birds up in their nest, snugly anchored to a branch of flowering apple blossoms. Here is how it goes:

Bird, sitting there in the bright sun's ray,
You do nothing but sing all the summer's day,
While I have my lessons to learn.
Now leave your perch on that blossoming spray,
Give me your wings, and in my place stay,
Till I return.

Oh, to fly so far! Oh, to soar so high!
Till I find the gold door in the bright blue sky,
And the way that leads me to the moon;
Then good-bye to lessons, to sums good-bye,
Don't expect me back when I've learned to fly --
At least not soon.

For answer, the bird's song seemed to say,
"Will you do my work while I am away?
Do you know how to build a nest?
Feathers and wool, and dry moss and hay --
Can you fit them in, and make them stay,
If you did your best?

"You must never leave it to romp and play;
You must sit quite still the whole long day,
And not stir a peg.
And before you go, will you kindly say,
If, while you're there, you'll be sure to lay
A little blue egg?"

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Diary of a Nature Lover: Zinnia elegans 'Benary's Giant Salmon Rose'


Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.
Russell Baker

Are you experiencing sweltering heat where you live? This has been a pretty crazy end of summer in our Zone 5B garden. Temperatures were in the chilly single-digits last week but headed higher into the high 20+ degrees this week (30C+ with humidity). While most of our blooms don't seem to know what to do with themselves (some are really leggy, some are very floppy, more than a few are leggy and floppy), the zinnias that I planted in late spring are thriving and trouncing almost every other plant in the late summer garden sweepstakes.

The flower images shown here are the Salmon Rose variety of Zinnia elegans from the Benary's Giant series. The Benary's Giant line of dahlia-like zinnias was developed by Ernst Benary Samenzucht, a 170-year old seed breeding company with an interesting history. Benary's Giants are truly ginormous (as my daughter likes to say), with flower heads ranging from 3 to 5 inches across, which are very ably supported by their sturdy stalks that stay upright without staking, something I can't assert about my dinner-plate dahlias (lying face down in the dirt even as I type). I haven't seen any pest activity on these beauties but this is only my first year of growing this type of zinnia so time will tell if they are as insect and disease-resistant as claimed. I think I will switch these superlative annuals around with my weak-stemmed, aphid-infested dahlias in the front yard next year, perhaps in a wider variety of colours and in greater numbers so I can also use them as cut flowers in the home.

Have you spotted any Benary's Giant zinnias in your neighbourhood or are you growing some? Share a photo or story in the comments below. :)


© 2020 FieldandGarden.com. All rights reserved. (Originally published 2017.)

Public Domain Poetry for Gardeners and Nature Lovers: A Very Wild Flower by Mildred Howells


A VERY WILD FLOWER
by Mildred Howells
(originally published 1896)

Within a garden once there grew
A flower that seemed the very pattern
Of all propriety; none knew
She was at heart a wandering slattern.

The gardener old, with care and pain,
Had trained her up as she should grow,
Nor dreamed amid his labor vain
That rank rebellion lurked below.

A name sufficiently high-sounding
He diligently sought for her,
Until he thought that "Rebounding
Elizabeth" he should prefer.

But when grown up the flower began
To show the tastes within her hidden;
At every chance quite wild she ran,
In spite of being sternly chidden.

They told her beds for flowers were best;
But daily greater grew her failings;
Up to the fence she boldly pressed,
And stuck her head between the palings.

Then to the street she struggled through,
Tearing to rags her silken attire,
And all along the road she grew,
Regardless quite of dust and mire.

You'll find her now by country ways,
A tattered tramp, though comely yet,
With rosy cheek and saucy gaze,
And known to all as "Bouncing Bet."

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Public Domain Poetry for Gardeners and Nature Lovers: Lines to a Nasturtium by Anne Spencer

The Nasturtiums, No. 2
by Thaddeus Welch (1844 - 1919)

*** --- *** --- ***

Lines to a Nasturtium
by Anne Spencer (1882 - 1975)

A lover muses

Flame-flower, Day-torch, Mauna Loa,
I saw a daring bee, today, pause, and soar,
Into your flaming heart;
Then did I hear crisp crinkled laughter
As the furies after tore him apart?
A bird, next, small and humming,
Looked into your startled depths and fled...
Surely, some dread sight, and dafter
Than human eyes as mine can see,
Set the stricken air waves drumming
In his flight.

Day-torch, Flame-flower, cool-hot Beauty,
I cannot see, I cannot hear your fluty
Voice lure your loving swain,
But I know one other to whom you are in beauty
Born in vain;
Hair like the setting sun,
Her eyes a rising star,
Motions gracious as reeds by Babylon, bar
All your competing;
Hands like, how like, brown lilies sweet,
Cloth of gold were fair enough to touch her feet...
Ah, how the senses flood at my repeating,
As once in her fire-lit heart I felt the furies
Beating, beating.

Public Domain Nature Poem for Card Making or Junk Journaling: An Open-Air Hymn by Beatrice Hanscom


A poem of thanksgiving for nature's gifts published in July 1904. The decorative border of various flowers was drawn by the artist and illustrator, Henry McMaster. You can download a high-res JPEG of the original poem (without a watermark) for card making or junk journaling here.

This is "An Open-Air Hymn" written by Beatrice Hanscom:

Not for rich gifts of gold or gems,
Not for the gauds but few afford,
But for thy sunshine, pure and free,
I thank thee, Lord.

For those deep draughts of air I quaff
When, shoulders squared and blood aglow,
I swing along the country road
Where daisies blow.

And in the sultry noonday heat,
For wayside rest, lulled by the breeze,
As, shaded by the sheltering oak,
I take my ease.

For every winding forest-path,
For every stretch of sedge and sea,
For every pebbly brook that rills
Its song of glee.

For that glad radiance when the sun
His crimson cloud of glory spills,
For every violet mist that veils
The distant hills.

For every bloom the summer brings,
For every sheaf the harvest binds,
For spring's first bud, for winter's snow
And bracing winds,

For these thy gifts -- for earth and sky
Mingling their moods in sweet accord,
For health, and for the seeing eye,
I thank thee, Lord.

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Diary of a Nature Lover: Paeonia lactiflora 'Lady Alexandra Duff'


I took a close-up photo of this beautiful cottage garden peony during the Peony Festival, held yearly in the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens.

This fully double, pale pink beauty is the Paeonia lactiflora 'Lady Alexandra Duff.' 'Lady Alexandra Duff' is an heirloom variety that dates back to 1902, having been bred by Kelway and Son, once the largest nursery in the world. It takes its name from Lady, later Princess, Alexandra Duff (1891 - 1959), the daughter of Princess Louise of Wales and Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife. You can find more information about the plant here.

Do you have this attractive shrub growing in your garden or do you know someone who has? Share a picture and let us know how it's doing in the comments section. Below is a photo of the peony in full bloom (photo credit follows).

Paeonia lactiflora 'Lady Alexandra Duff' in springtime
by Andrey Korzun on Wikimedia Commons

© 2020 FieldandGarden.com. All rights reserved. (Originally published 2015.)

Diary of a Nature Lover: Signs of Spring at the Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden


In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.
Mark Twain

Well, yesterday was a wild one, weather wise. Rain, slush, a smattering of snow that I thought was going to turn into hail... Yet somehow, I felt more cheerful than I would have even if I had encountered the same conditions a month and a half ago (when I thought winter would never end).

Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.
Doug Larson

No kidding, Doug! Isn't spring wonderful? Here are a couple of shots of emerging peony shoots at the Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden that I took last year. I haven't been back there yet to take pictures of them this year because it's been so wet and windy but I think I might just try today. The sun is out and I feel like whistling as I meander down some peony paths...



© FieldandGarden.com. All rights reserved.

Public Domain Nature Poem for Card Making or Junk Journaling: A Spring Morning by Anne Beale


From 1880, here is a Victorian poem on aged paper entitled "A Spring Morning" by Anne Beale. Accompanying the poem is a decorative border with an illustration of flower pickers in early spring gathering flowers in the open fields surrounding a big house. There is also a posy of spring flowers embellishing the foreground. You can download a high-res JPEG of the original poem (without a watermark) for card making or junk journaling here. The poem goes as follows:

How joyfully the heart doth ring
A merry peal of pleasure
At the nativity of spring,
And the earth's renewing treasure!
How the thoughts leap up, welcoming
The gladsome vernal measure!

The squirrel, in his wild delight,
From branch to branch is springing;
The warbling lark her homeward flight
In ecstasy is winging;
While every mead and grove and height
With joyous song is ringing.

The snowdrop from her winter rest
Is joyously awaking;
The merry primrose bares her breast,
A fill of pleasure taking;
The violet, from her mossy nest,
In loveliness is breaking.

Wandering 'neath the cloudless sky,
The children shout for gladness,
And deem the sun's enkindling eye
An antidote for sadness;
Then would not murmuring needlessly
Be even worse than madness?

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Diary of a Nature Lover: Erythronium americanum (Trout Lily or Adder's Tongue)


Dancing faces you towards Heaven, whichever direction you turn.
Terri Guillemets

I took the picture above while on a family walk at Toronto's G. Lord Ross Park, located in the West Don River valley north of Finch Avenue. This is a great park for a long walk with the dog as it has an extensive nature trail. We especially love it in the spring when you can see the vegetation coming back to life and in the fall for the amazing colours on the trees!

Also called adder's tongue, the yellow trout-lily (Erythronium americanum) is one of the earliest wildflowers you will see in spring, sometimes appearing even while there is still snow on the ground. This particular picture is somewhat unusual because it shows the flower with its head tossed confidently back, unlike its usual tendency of nodding shyly on its thin, gangly stalk, its face hidden away from you. Since the blooms are diminutive and shrink timidly into the embrace of deep layers of dead leaves, you really have to look closely to detect this ephemeral wildflower. You will have better luck locating it by looking for its green and brown spotted leaves that makes the plant look like it has tied an army jacket around its waist!

Here is a wonderful article on this little flower's name origins and how to propagate trout lilies in your backyard garden from the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Have you ever spotted this plant? Leave a comment and let us know!

Yellow trout-lily (Erythronium americanum) in Guelph, Ontario, Canada
by Ryan Hodnett on Wikimedia Commons

© 2020 FieldandGarden.com. All rights reserved. (Originally published in 2016.)

Public Domain Nature Poetry for Gardeners and Nature Lovers: Spring Song by S. F. Flin

Windflowers, 1903 (sometimes also referred to as "Windswept")
by John William Waterhouse (1849 - 1917)

Below is a Victorian poem by S.F. Flin called "Spring Song" that was originally published in the April 1860 issue of Godey's. I thought it seemed to fit well with the image above.

The Spring is drowsy and numb with cold,
Her hair is sodden and dank with rain,
Her garments are faded and tattered and old,
She never will dance and laugh again.

The robin is trying to make her smile
Sometimes, with a flutter and timid shout;
And there seems a gleam on her cheek awhile,
When through trailing vapor the sun peers out.

But she only opens a dull, blue eye,
And giveth a shuddering sigh of pain;
She has only wakened, alas, to die!
She never will dance and laugh again.

Behold! thou prophet, false and fond --
Who is it tripping adown the dale?
Who is it has sprinkled the hill beyond
With tufts of the liverwort blossom pale?

She has planted cowslips along the brook,
Has wandered the thickets of hazel through,
And into each sly and sunlit nook
She has flung a cluster of violets blue.

She has hung the willow with tassels fine,
She has painted the buds of the hickory,
And the robin is drunk with the draught divine
Of her breath in the blossomy cherry-tree.

Ha! ha! 'tis she, with her sweet, old smile,
Her tresses tossed by the breezy South;
One rosy, silk, soft hand, the while,
Scaring the bees from her honeyed mouth.

Dancing her chaplet above her eyes,
Laughing over the emerald plain --
Ha! ha! I knew she would waken and rise,
Laughing and dancing and singing again.

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Public Domain Nature Poem for Kids: The Song of the Bee by Nancy Nelson Pendleton

Image © 2020 FieldandGarden.com. All rights reserved.

THE SONG OF THE BEE
by Nancy Nelson Pendleton
(originally published September 1897)

Buzz, buzz, buzz
This is the song of the bee.
His legs are of yellow,
A jolly good fellow,
And yet a good worker is he.

In days that are sunny,
He's getting his honey;
In days that are cloudy,
He's hoarding his wax;
On pinks and on lilacs,
And gay daffodillies,
And columbine blossoms
He levies a tax.

Buzz, buzz, buzz!
The sweet-smelling clover
He humming hangs over;
The scent of the roses
Makes fragrant his wings;
He never gets lazy,
From thistle and daisy
And weeds of the meadow
Some treasure he brings.

Buzz, buzz, buzz!
From morning's first gray light
Till fading of day light,
He's singing and toiling
The summer day through,
Oh! we may get weary,
And think work is dreary;
'Tis harder by far
To have nothing to do.

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Free Nature Graphic: Pelicans on the River Bank by Hugo Charlemont


Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?
That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth,
at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains,
everywhere and that the present only exists for it,
not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.
Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Landscape painting by Hugo Charlemont (1850 – 1939) titled "Pelicans on the River Bank." I found the original file on Wikimedia here but you can also download my colour-enhanced version (14" x 9.75" @ 300 ppi JPEG) without a watermark here. Great as a cover for a nature journal but you could also use it as a greeting card or frame as wall art.

Creative Commons Licence
Colour-enhanced reproductions of public domain fine art are shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if using this digital file or if you wish to share this work.

Diary of a Nature Lover: As Maples Bloom


The maple trees are in full flower in Toronto, lighting up the surroundings with their sunny blooms. Individually, these flowers are small, barely even covering the palm of my 3 year-old daughter's hand. Collectively, they shroud each maple tree in a cloud of golden yellow and can be extremely striking from a distance. These flowers mature into maple "keys" which soar easily when the winds blow them helter-skelter, and are great fun for kids as they fling these "helicopters" and watch them spin through the air. Probably not as much fun for an ardent gardener as these keys take root very easily wherever they land!


I really liked the Rainer Maria Rilke quote that I used in the second picture, and tried to find the poem where it was supposed to have been taken. After scouring the Internet, I discovered that he never actually wrote those exact lines! The closest version I could find was a translation by Robert Temple of the following stanza from "The Sonnets to Orpheus":
Spring has come again.
The Earth is like a child that has learned to recite a poem;
No, - many, many.
And for the difficulty
Of learning them now, the prize is bestowed.

It was quite disconcerting, in a way, and I wondered if I should use the more accurate translation. In the end, I decided to leave the quote as-is since it appears quite frequently in popular quotation databases, and I felt that the sentiment suited the image nicely! Let's just chalk it up to poetic licence! :)

© 2019 FieldandGarden.com. All rights reserved. (Originally published 2012.)

Public Domain Nature Poem for Card Making or Junk Journaling: An April Song by an Unknown Author


From 1881, here is a Victorian poem called "An April Song" by an unknown author. Accompanying the poem is a decorative border with an illustration of a blossoming tree and various spring flowers plus a scattering of assorted planting paraphernalia in the garden. You can download a high-res JPEG of the poem for card making or junk journaling projects here.

The poem goes as follows:

Earth's heart with gladness glows again,
Gone is all wintry gloom;
The sun peeps through my lattice-pane,
And fills my little room
With life divine, and bids me fly
My books and pens awhile,
To wander forth beneath a sky
That wears an April smile.

Old loves at every step I meet,
Sweet fragrance fills the air;
Such songs of praise that birds repeat,
As move my soul to prayer.
E'en primrose clusters on the banks,
And violets nesting low,
To Him uplift a look of thanks,
From whom all blessings flow.

The hyacinth hangs her languid head,
And waits the gentle May,
Now drawing near with noiseless tread,
To kiss her tears away;
The fields with daisies are besprent,
As white as flakes of snow;
And from the whispering woods are sent
Joy-murmurs, soft and low.

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.

Diary of a Nature Lover: Renewal

Image © 2020 FieldandGarden.com. All rights reserved.

RENEWAL
by Dora Read Goodale
(first published 1887)

There's magic in the air today,
There's promise in the sun;
The very brooks begin to play,
And frolic as they run.

The hive is all astir with bees,
The slender willows shine;
The sap is mounting in the trees,
And swelling in the vine.

The swallow comes from far away
To seek her summer nest,
Whose narrow hanging walls of clay
Await the welcome guest.

At ease upon the cottage floor,
His head between his feet,
The shaggy setter guards the door,
Or dozes in the heat;

And there beneath the fitful ray
Of many a yellow beam,
His aged master, bent and gray,
Is laughing through his dream.

O, pleasure pricks in every vein,
And grief is turned to joy,
For Earth herself is young again,
And Time is but a boy!

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if you wish to share this work.