Shabo-Mekaw in Spring


MAY, 2018


Artist’s Life



About 14 years ago, my husband and I purchased a sixty-acre tract of forest in the middle of nowhere – literally. It sits embraced on three sides by the gorgeous Kinniconick Creek, and has been a peaceful refuge, a place to meet nature up close and personal, and to us, a sacred space. And for me, a constant source of inspiration. The photo above is an attempt to express the feeling of awe that envelops me whenever I’m there.

The original cabin, right, after re-roofing, and 2nd-floor joists being put in the log cabin.

Early log cabin construction, with second floor and roof.

There was a cabin on the property, which was in pretty rough shape, so we immediately began working to restore it. Soon after that, we took down an old log house, combined those logs with some we already had and some cut from our own timber, and the log cabin was born. I’m not going to go through all the details of the intervening years; if you’re interested, there are plenty of posts where you can read about it, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Today, I just wanted to share some of the sights from my latest couple of days in the country, so please, join me for a short tour of heaven!

A 2016 photo of both cabins.

Photography has been a hobby of mine for many years. I don’t claim to be a professional, but I do enjoy taking pictures, especially when there’s so much beauty to photograph! Most of these were taken with my cell phone, which doesn’t do well in low light. Luckily, the sun was shining on us this time.

Blackberry vine blooming in the field above the pond.

The berries are delicious if you pick them at the right time.

Looking across the “swirl hole” to where the creek splits and goes around the other side of the island.

Looking down from behind the cabin toward the swirl.

A closer look at the “entrance” to the other side of the island.

Watching the movement of the water is mesmerizing…

“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”
― Robert Frost

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
― John Muir

The bright, chartreuse green of the big-leaf magnolia buds almost seems to glow beautifully against the backdrop of hemlock trees. These trees don’t grow in the part of Kentucky where I live, only an hour and a half away, and neither do hemlocks. It’s a completely different type of forest. The budding leaves are only about 8 – 10 inches long now, but when at their full growth, the leaves are longer than my forearm and hand.

Last week, the red azaleas were blooming; this week it’s the pink ones.

Butterflies love them!

Wildflowers are everywhere, especially bluets and violets.

Dwarf wild irises are always such a pleasure to see each spring…

Bluets are tiny and delicate – maybe 1/4 of an inch across – so it can look like the ground has been sprinkled with pale blue snow.

Above, looking upstream from the “swirl hole”;

below, the cabins as they appear as of now.

Wherever you go, a carpet of moss…

Looking up as I relax in the evening…

Sometimes I make little stone altars…

What constitutes sacred space for you? Where do you find inspiration?  What is your favorite spot in nature? Please share your thoughts in the comment section; I’m really curious!


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