Saturday, June 8, 2019

Orchids


The morning light ricochets
through the poplars
echoing with birdsong.

Native orchids peek
through the pine needles
on the woodland trail

and huddle in the hollows
of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
They lift their cups

to toast a new day,
dozens of Lady-slippers
dance on a breeze.
                 --Brenda Kay Ledford



I attended a program on Orchids at Moss Memorial Library.  There are over 20,000 different orchids around the world.  Here in Southern Appalachia, you'll find these beautiful wildflowers in the forests, on roadsides, and even growing wild in yards.  This reminds me that God is indeed a master artist who loves beauty.


Friday, May 31, 2019

Tiger Lilies


The first day of June,
tiger lilies splash
orange juice across
the mountain roadsides.

The first day of June,
a wild turkey struts
through my front yard
and bathes in sunlight.

The first day of June,
bluebirds lift praise songs
in the poplar trees,
an azure sky watching.

The first night of June,
fireflies flicker like lanterns,
Queen Anne's lace spins doilies,
a Monarch butterfly sips nectar.
             --Brenda Kay Ledford




Image result for monarch butterfly photos free


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A Wildlife Sanctuary

A wild turkey
high steps through the rain,
his head bob, bob, bobs.

A funny creature,
he circles my backyard
past two brown bunnies

jumping over each other.
A groundhog wobbles
by the knockout roses,

two babies trailing her.
Five deer appear like ghosts
and nibble verdant grass.

Fog lifts from the mountains,
fireflies flicker high in poplar trees
and put on a night show.
       --Brenda Kay Ledford




Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Mule

Image result for Mule photos




Way back in Fires Creek lived a mountain man.  He was raised on moon pies and RC Colas.  Didn't hurt him a bit.  Garnet Johnson was healthy as a contemporary weight lifter.  But Garnet worked out raising gigantic vegetable gardens.


Early each spring he plowed his fields with a mule.  Garnet had no desire to own a tractor.  He joked that he had a four-feet drive.  "While everybody else is pumping air in their tractor tires, I'm plowing with my little mule.  I reckon I'm way ahead by having a mule."


He named the mule Kit because everything's there.  If you can't put the mule to a sled and work her, or snake wood, or whatever there's to do with her, why we'd have to name her something else.  She'll work to anything.


Garnet admitted that Kit was more of a pet than a work animal.  "She's the best mule I ever saw about kicking or anything else.  She's not a bit of trouble.  Never has offered to kick nobody."


It appears Kit was sort of a celebrity.  Charles Kuralt featured Garnet and his mule on the national CBS show, "Sunday Morning."  Garnet thought it was just a rink-dink station and didn't fix up.  He just wore an old straw hat and demonstrated Kit plowing the field.  Over night the mountain man and Kit, the mule, became famous.


But it shore didn't go to their heads.  They just kept on being themselves plain as old shoes.


by:  Brenda Kay Ledford


This story appeared in:  Mountain Places,
                                       an anthology by Old Mountain Press
                                       www.OldMountainPress.com



Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Resurrection

On Easter morning,
a sunrise service:
pink clouds turn crimson,
burning above Cherry Mountain.

The ridge line bursts forth
with new life:
purple phlox spreads
a tapestry on verdant grass,

the Brasstown Valley echoes
with a chorus of robins
lifting praise songs,
three rabbits hopping

through the dandelions
that sprinkle sunshine
on the banks of Hyatt-Mill Creek.
Crystal clear water bubbles

over smooth river rocks
baptizing the mallard ducks,
the hillsides washed with snow;
thousands of white crosses

blooming on the dogwoods.
From winter's dark tomb,
tulips pop up with rainbows,
earth celebrates the risen Lord!
           --Brenda Kay Ledford

I wish all my blogger friends a very blessed and happy Easter!

The tomb is empty! He is risen indeed!


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Ode to the Dandelion

Image result for dandelions




I get excited almost as much as my great-niece about flowers, but not about the dandelion.  Even this herb thrills her 4-year-old heart.


"Flower," she exclaims.  "There's a flower," Reagan adds and races with her blonde curls bouncing to pick the weed.


To me the dandelion is just a weed.  It's invasive and will take over my lawn.  I'll need to spray the yard, but Reagan sees the beauty in this plant.


Maybe I should view the world through the joyful eyes of a child.  Little Reagan finds beauty all about her, but I see the "work" involved with mowing the lawn.


So what's so pretty about the dandelion?  Maybe the color.  The bright fringed petals twirl like a ballerina waving yellow streamers.  It's like lemon drops or Grandma's churned butter.  It's like a sunbeam splashing the verdant grass.


Despite Reagan seeing the beauty in this simple plant, the dandelion has medicinal purposes.  The local health food store recommends dandelion tea as a diuretic.


The dandelion is a common herb used to reduce fever in Chinese medicine.  It contains several anti-inflammatory constituents.  The dandelion has not been tested for fever-lowering properties by conventional scientists.


Additionally, this small yellow flower dots meadows around the world.  Its roots are known as a powerhouse of healthy benefits.  Dandelion's use traces back to the 10th century when Arabian physicians revered the root for its cleansing properties and as a natural aid for digestion.


Maybe little Reagan knows more than I do about both the beauty and value of the dandelion.  Perhaps I could learn from this child if I would take time to appreciate the beauty of God's creation.


by:  Brenda Kay Ledford






Image result for dandelions


Image result for dandelions



Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Irish Tea

IRISH TEA
by:  Brenda Kay Ledford

My sister and I took a heritage tour to Ireland in 1988 with Western Carolina University.  When we landed in Ireland, our tour director served tea and scones in a cute thatched-roof cottage.  I don't drink tea at 11 am, and this was a new experience for my taste buds.

They served strong tea with lots of "rich" milk.  I had never eaten scones and found them to be a bit dry and not too tasty.  This popular pastry was cut into circles, baked, and sliced in half and served with berry jam and stout tea.  The Irish are known for their hospitality and served plenty of this to us Americans.

My sister and I were amazed how they served the Irish tea.  Milk was first poured into tea cups to prevent the hot tea from cracking the china.  What started as a custom to preserve the china, became tradition.  The Irish have discovered that pouring milk into hot tea makes it taste badly.  They call a cup of tea "cupan tae" or "cuppa tay" on the Emerald Isle.  Our tour director told us that "taking tea" is an Irish custom that has been enjoyed for centuries.  Farmers and fishermen drank the hot drink to warm up on cold, winter days.

After our trip to Ireland, my sister and I developed a taste for Irish tea.  We especially enjoy sipping the hot drink during the holidays and munching sugar cookies.  It really "hits the spot" taking hot Irish tea on cold winter days.  It's like a taste of Ireland that we brought home to the United States.

This story appeared online:  "Good Life Tea"
                                               https://www.goodlifetea.com/blogs/news/irish-tea
                                               January 04. 2019

A thatched-roof cottage in Ireland.

An Irish trap transporting "rich" milk to the village.

I wish all my blogger friends a very happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Memorial Sculpture

                                                  Photo by:  Ashley Kairis, staff writer
                                                                    "Clay County Progress"


THE SCULPTURE

At Moss Memorial Library,
a cub sitting on Mama Bear's lap
reading a children's book.

Everett and Jane Devaughn,
pillars in our historic town,
the memorial sculpture at Moss Library.

A hummingbird sipping nectar,
Mama Bear wearing a flower,
a cub sitting on her lap.

Seeking knowledge as silver,
a memorial to the mountain couple,
Mama Bear reading to her cub.
                    --Brenda Kay Ledford


Orchids

The morning light ricochets through the poplars echoing with birdsong. Native orchids peek through the pine needles on the woodland...