Monday, May 1, 2017

May Day, May 1, 2017

California Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewissi)
with this morning's rising sun shining on the
fragrant white blossoms.
May 1 is known as Beltane in "the old country" "across the pond", the cross quarter day halfway between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. The Beltane festival has been celebrated for thousands of years by those connected to the natural cycles of Mother Earth. Here in this country May Day has been a traditional celebration marking the zenith of Spring with all her vibrancy. 

As children growing up in Iowa, my friends and I used to make "May Day" baskets and fill them with whatever early flowers were available. Then we would hang one on each door handle
 of neighbors, ring the doorbell and run away so the person would not know who delivered the May basket.

Since I cannot deliver in person a May Day basket to you, I will share with you pictures of flowers in bloom here at MuRefuge on this gloriously sunny morning.

Dwight's sculpture inscribed with Mu (the Japanese character
we have loosely translated to mean "everything or nothing,"
for which MuRefuge is named), is in the background with
Point Reyes Meadowfoam (Limnanthes douglasii ssp. sulphurea) in front.
May you each have a delightful Beltane and 


  1. An email from a neighbor who is weeding MuRefuge's coastal prairie: "Happy May Day to you Cathie! I've got Wednesday morning available to come by and do some work if that sounds good to you. Also, I'll always accept plants if none of your other friends are looking to take on the lovage! The raspberry shoots I brought home look great, thanks again for always sharing so much! I'll be sure to bring your container from the pea starts you gave me.

  2. An email from a dear friend in Santa Rose, CA:

    "Happy May Day Cathie !!! Thank you for the nurturing/beautiful cyber May Day Basket. Yes, it is beauty to the eye, heart and soul !

    I’ve just started to read the book - The Wild Wisdom of Weeds by Katrina Blair. I’m Really enjoying it.

    Love, Ann"

  3. From my soul sister in the Sonoran Desert:

    What a beautiful May day greeting and I will take it as a basket of flowers from you!
    I too enjoyed celebrating the day in times gone by. I and a friend when I was in High school and college and growing my own sweet peas in my parents backyard would fill a plastic strawberry basket with sweet peas-tie ribbon or two on it-hand out to friends, and ring door doorbells while running away from the neighbors houses on the street. Glad we have these memories as I did not see this joyous activity going on much these days.

    On your CA mock orange-those are some very nice blossoms you have. We grow mock orange on the northern exposure where they do best year-round. Has the same leaves as yours but we do not get those showy blossoms.

    Happy, happy May day!

    Love the sculpture of “MU”.


  4. Email from our son-in-law in SF, CA: "Thank you Cathie. Hope we get to see you and Dwight one of these days soon. Mike"