Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Cabin Path is reserving THURSDAYS for Home School Groups this year. Information and posts for this group can be found :

Yahoo Groups

If you are home schooling, or if you know of someone who is home schooling, please pass this information along. Watch for upcoming events and meetings. Book Clubs, Science Clubs, Writing Clubs, and Nature Clubs are just a few of the things we will schedule. There will be workshops for toddlers - high school. Our outdoor centers are expanding, and TCP will be an enrichment resource for your curriculum. Check our schedule, and we hope to see you soon! (copy and paste)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Although the temperatures here will be in the upper 90's today, fall is just around the corner. I have enjoyed the classes and workshops with the Hill Country Montessori. This year, The Cabin Path welcomes them as a weekly part of our schedule. Located a short distance away in the community of Serenbe, the HC Montessori School is composed of some of the most innovative, compassionate, and intellectual staff and teachers around. They are involved with many community projects, as well as offering a diverse curriculum. The Cabin Path is proud to share our nature habitat, trails, and outdoor centers with them. We are also looking forward to having their ideas and help with new projects, too. Fall will be an exciting time, and although Fridays will be reserved for the HCM, we still welcome individuals, groups, and families for workshops/walks any of the other days! Watch for all of the new projects and centers coming this fall!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A side note... In February 2008, my husband took a photography workshop. As a field trip, the class visited historic Oakland Cemetery in downtown Atlanta for a photo assignment. For those of you that are not familiar with it, Oakland is the resting place of many famous citizens, civil war soldiers, "Gone With the Wind" author, Margret Mitchell, and its paths are a reflective history of the city and her people. It was originally Atlanta Cemetery, but was renamed in the mid 1800's to Oakland because of the wonderful oak trees that dotted the 88 acre parcel. I carried my camera, and found myself wandering the paths, and I soon became completely mesmerized by the epitaphs and intricate carvings on the markers. I found it to be a peaceful Sunday outing, but little did I realize that I was documenting some of the last days of Oakland in its glory. One month later, March 2008, a tornado ripped through downtown Atlanta. Most of the news attention was on the damage to high rise buildings in the city, but in the days that followed, they begin to show the destruction at Oakland. "The trees!" I thought. As I watched the news stories and pictures, I re watched my photoshow of my visit. A local TV channel did a follow up program about the cemetery and its damage. This site also has a photo slide show of the damage. How relieved I was that our trees and place were spared. There have been many storms and tornadoes this year. We have lost several trees. As I walk the trails around The Cabin Path, I wonder about the history of our place. We have the unmarked grave on the hill behind the cabin, and the rock piles and squared stones of the rock circle that are perhaps unmarked epitaphs to those that once walked over our place. I remember a verse from a Native American poem reads:
Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am not there, I did not die!

and I realize that we do live on though the lives of those who stop to remember.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Speaking of animals.....
many have asked me the fate of some of the animals shown on my web site. The goose with the arrow gets the most concern because many of our visitors saw this pitiful creature. Great news..after many failed attempts to catch him/her, (you should see the PVC pipe/net my husband a huge dipper) the goose actually loosened the arrow enough for it to be pulled out. I spoke to several vets that advised me to trim the arrow off and leave it. They all said that it evidently missed all vital organs. Well, Lance solved his own problem...he managed to work it back flush with his chest. There was a small dimple on his chest to identify him from the rest. He was able to fly, swim, and eat throughout the whole ordeal, and he/she raised a family that spring. I can no longer see the scar, but it still claims The Cabin Path as home.

Bingo, my beloved dog, died last fall. She was almost 18. She was the most gentle spirit, but she would have defended me to her death. She never chased any deer, cats, geese, but she was my shadow and friend. She loved to ride in the golf cart with me around the property, and she never left my side. I miss her terribly.

The baby deer is now grown. This season, there are 2 new spotties. The Moms wisely have them safely inside of our neighbor's fenced yard...the "nursery"...and they will be released when the Moms say it's time!

The cabin cats have all been spayed and neutered. Two have disappeared..I suspect coyotes. Callie and C.C. love the freedom, and they have the shelter of the cabin and the barn. I feel that it would destroy their spirit to confine them to a house, but I worry about them constantly. An old yellow "Grandpa" Tom has also taken up at the cabin, and he's next on the list to be neutered.

Maddie is a fairly new addition. She is an Australian Sheperd from a rescue. Badly abused when she was a puppy, she was returned to the shelter two times before my daughter saw her. She cowered down if she was approached, and she would be so frightened that she would wet on herself. Months of patience and lots of love have helped her, but she still frightens easily, and it has been challenging. She is so sweet...I cannot imagine anyone harming her, but she still bares the visible and invisible scars of abuse. She has a safe place now. Jesse was found at the barn when he was about 6 weeks old. A mystery still, but he and Maddie are best friends.

Stormy, the white horse, passed away a year ago last fall from Cushing's Disease. He was 22. The purple on his head in the picture was from a berry patch! He loved to scratch his head on the tree, and he often looked like an Indian war pony or a mystical unicorn! He greeted me every morning with the most wonderful neigh..even up to the day he died! Some mornings I forget he's gone, and I expect to hear him. He had the typical Arabian attitude, but he is missed. He was part of our family for 12 years. He's buried at the far end of the pasture, and it is now called "Stormy's Point"

Those are a few of the updates. Some sad, but all of the critters have love, care, and a safe place. They give so much and ask so little. The 2 new kittens have almost doubled their weight, and they are thriving. I'll be posting more updates, and I have been keeping a journal of their stories that may turn into a book! I'll let you know! See the Photo Show, "One Safe Place" on my web site. The web site is and click on the sign post "STABLE" The Photo Show is at the bottom.

Monday, June 30, 2008

For those of you who follow the events at The Cabin Path , you know that animals play an important part in our place. On my web site, I have a Photo Show called "One Safe Place" with many of the animals that we have rescued..(or is it that they rescued us!) I have seen the magical interaction between children and our critters. I hope one day to expand and have an animal therapy program here. The horses, cats, dogs, and wildlife seem to have that secret key that unlocks the soul. They give unconditional love, and they do not judge. A life lesson for all.

We have 2 new additions....2 tiny kittens. Barely 5 weeks old, their family was forced to give all of their pets away because they are being evicted, they will have to move, and they can no longer afford them. Tears streaming down her face, the lady begged that we take them. Having just lost Kuffs, (also a rescued kitten and a family member for 16 years) I suppose we do have a little more room. I have seen stories on the news about hard times for animals. I know how much our feed bills have gone up, and I imagine it will only get worse as the cost of necessities rise. I will need to have a few extra workshops to help pay for shots and neutering, but that will be no problem. Please support your local shelters and rescue groups.

"Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace."
Albert Schweitzer

Monday, June 23, 2008

Last week, I received a call from a neighbor. "We have a baby deer trapped inside our fence!" I, too, was concerned that the little guy was away from his Ma, and it needed food. I searched wildlife rescue sites and read up on the feeding and care of baby white tailed deer. I promised to help the little guy, but I knew that deer would take care of their young unless something major had happened. I waited until the next morning to make sure that Ma was indeed gone.

I received a call the next day. "The Mama jumped back in the fence and is feeding the baby AND there is another Mama and she had her baby inside the fence, too!"

DUMB animals? I think not! Coyotes have become a problem in our area. Last year, I noticed a big decline in the number of Spotties. I had to imagine that coyotes were to blame. Evidently, these two very resourceful Mamas figured that a fenced yard would protect their babies. I see them every morning and every evening as I feed the horses. They stay close to the fence and keep watch. One of the Moms is an old timer around here, but I believe the other one is a first time Mom. How amazing it is that they teamed up to protect their young. I told my neighbor that they should feel honored to be trusted with such a gift. Yes, there are many life lessons to be learned from nature.

The babies have a large email following. Our neighbor sends out daily updates and pictures. Yes, they eat Hostas, flowers, and veggies, but we have taken so much of their habitat. It's nice to share.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

On my walk this week, I have discovered more wildflowers. The Paw Paw with fruit, Hearts a Burstin', White Milkweed, and a white flower that I am still researching. Its bloom is similar to the Fly Poison, but the leaves are different. I have ordered another wildflower book for the SE United States and a book on rare wildflowers in Georgia. I am hoping that I can identify several that have gone unnamed.

Georgia is starting off the spring hot and dry. The only memory of the storms a few weeks ago are the browning leaves from twisted and fallen trees. We need rain. We have already passed the 90 degree mark, and I am afraid we will repeat last year's record drought. I notice a reduction in the number of plants...probably the results of drought and loss of habitat. I joke about the future and "Tree Zoos" but I realize that it may not be so outrageous. "Green" is in right now. Let's hope it's not too late.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Another walk....another discovery! I have said that finding wildflowers and plants is like a treasure hunt, and identifying them is like a puzzle, but books and the Internet are helpful. Nature can blend and camouflage, as well as surprise! Today, I had a taste of both. I found a vine growing at the labyrinth that had muted purple-brown flowers. I have identified it as Carolina Milkvine (Matelea carolinensis) I plan to build a trellis and help secure it.

My second discovery was by accident. While walking near the Gathering Room, I bent down to pick up what I thought was a deflated balloon, but it's texture and smell soon let me know that it was some type of growing thing! It was somewhat grotesque looking. Bright orange, tubular, and VERY stinky. Mother Nature having a little fun! There were no leaves, so I was not sure if it were a flower or fungus. Quite a surprise. After searching my wildflower books, I concluded that it must be in the mushroom/fungus family. I found a site from UGA on Georgia mushrooms, and found it to be one of the most informative sites I've seen. I have put the link with the information and picture the Dog Stinkhorn (Mutinus caninus) . I have also posted my pictures of both of the discoveries today. Two new finds for The Cabin Path.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wednesday, The Cabin Path was visited by Don Wells and his wife, Diane. Don is a member of the Mountain Stewards, a group that is collecting data on signal/trail trees and Native America history. Using a GPS , Google maps, and mapping software, they are tracing the trails and and settlements around the SE United States. "MY" tree was blown down by Hurricane Opal, but it was a favorite place to sit, read, and dream as a child. I remember taking my horse, Penney, down the trails and jumping off of her and onto this giant, bent tree. It was a like woodland lounge chair with a gentle curved backrest. Thirty years later, I would tell my children about this magical tree, and they, too, played on it. When our oldest was a senior in high school, she took many pictures of this tree. It helped her to be awarded a photography scholarship to college, and it left me with my favorite photograph of this tree. A few years ago, I learned about signal/ trail trees. They were used by Native Americans as a road sign of sorts to mark important places. We believe that this one marked the rock circle on the hill that overlooks our lake.
The tree seen in the pictures is believed to be a Prayer Tree, and it is also located on the property. It will take a core sample to date it, but it has all of the characteristics of a tree that was used in prayer ceremonies. Pines were used by the Utes and Plains tribes. Evergreens would carry their prayers to the skies year round, and this group is finding that pines were also used in the Southern states. The Cabin Path seems to have an important Native American link to the past.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A walk around to see all the trees down from last weekend's storms led me to new discoveries. The upper part of the property had suffered the most damage. A swampy bog area filled with River Cane and Switch Cane is now the resting place for 3 huge giants. Two oaks and one maple are now uprooted. They took down the top of an old Dogwood as they fell. They led me to a new area that I don't visit often. A grassy leafy flower..looking alot like monkey grass..had a tall white plume. A tentative ID is Fly Poison... not rare, but interesting..and the little three lobed flowers, but I'll watch them carefully. I believe they are Hepatica, but will ask a few friends about them. I spent most of the afternoon with all of my wildflower books and downloaded pictures. Amazing that these treasures have gone unnoticed. It took downed trees after a storm for me to discover them. sometimes takes a storm to notice what has been in front of you all of the time.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Summer Camps:


Each Camp Session is 1 Week Long
Register at

Hours of 9:30 - 3:00 AGES 8-12
Bring a sack lunch, drink, and a healthy snack. Bottled water will be provided at no additional cost. Also apply sunscreen and bug spray or send it with your child. Please wear walking shoes!

Some of the activities include:

Nature Walks
Creative Writing
Nature Journaling
Paper/Book Making
Treasure Hunt
Fairy Homes
Labyrinth Walks
Nature Photography
Native American Study and Dig
Fossil Printing
Tree Project/Study
Plein Air Painting
Eco-friendly Projects
MUCH MORE! Including a week long project filming and editing a NATURE DOCUMENTARY! Each child will receive a copy to take home!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day.. Mother Nature's Day! The alarms, accompanied by the flashes of lightning, woke me early. According to the warnings, we had about 20 minutes until they were overhead. The storms looked fierce on radar, and we were in her path. I quickly turned on the coffee pot...a cup of courage.. and hurried the cats and dogs into the basement. I filled my coffee cup and called the rest of the family to take cover. Reluctantly, they followed thinking it was another false alarm. We settled in just as the power went off. The crackling old radio named our road as ground zero, and we sat in the darkness while the rain pounded outside. It passed quickly, but it was still so dark. It seemed like hours until morning's light arrived. I started out for the barn and dodged debris all the way. The driveway was blocked by two uprooted trees, but I determined that there were no wires down. As I passed the Gathering Room, I saw chairs and tables scattered around the deck. As I approached the barn, Muffin welcomed me with a neigh. The cabin, barn, and hay barn were all standing. Large limbs blocked the roadway, but I soon saw that all of the horses were frightened, but okay. Callie, the cabin cat ran to meet me, and even the new baby geese seemed to be fine. After feeding all of them, I then began to walk the trails. Limbs, pine cones, and leaves littered the way, however, no large trees were down. The labyrinth cove appeared to be untouched until I walked the path by the lake. There was a row of huge oak and maple trees all bowed and broken, and one huge oak completely uprooted. They all lay like dominoes along the bank, but the large old beech tree was untouched. Across the trail, the path of the wind picked up again, and there were more old friends down.
Mid morning, the lights and power were restored. I then realized the extent of the damage in our area as the news showed picture after picture of destruction. Homes and property were changed forever, and life seemed a little more precious to everyone that was interviewed. I'll start tomorrow with the clean up feeling blessed that we were spared the worst of the weather. A powerful wake up call this morning! Yes, it was Mother's Day.. Mother Nature's Day.

Monday, May 05, 2008

It was an amazing workshop! Fairies were the theme, but it was a time for yoga, fellowship, reflection, and laughter. Patrice Dickey, life coach, led us to find the magic in our lives. New friends and fairies were created, and we ended the day with a labyrinth walk. Thank you Patrice. We should meet often and keep the magic alive.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

'The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a
green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and
deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the
man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.'
- William Blake, 1799, The Letters

Monday, April 21, 2008

The neigh of the horses, the honk of the geese and peeps of the babes, the treasure hunt for new wildflowers, and the greetings from the deer. Can you blame for NOT liking mornings? A labyrinth walk completes it and me...or at least helps me cope. There is magic in this place. It is filled with memories and inspiration. I walked up to the hill above the cabin and sat for awhile. I want to add a memorial spot there...copper stamped leaves or name etched bricks, but some kind of tribute to those that are no longer with us physically. There is a stone marker, too old to decipher, but a headstone for someone or something. I also want to build a small chapel there..a "little church in the wildwood". About 50 years ago, my family was a major part in the organization of UMC in our community. There was a young, energetic student minister that was assigned to take a census in the area to determine if there was enough interest to start a church. John was the kind of person that could never meet a stranger, and he won the hearts and souls for miles around! Long story, short: the church was built! The song, "The Little Church in the Wildwood" was its theme song. So many voices blended together, and now so many of them have passed on. Yup, I'd like to add a little chapel in the wildwood to The Cabin Path.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

FYI....someone is using dwthecabinpathm to spam people. It is not us. How do people do this, or why do people do this? Anyway, just venting here and will find an anti spam program.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Morning at The Cabin Path....Every morning I feed the horses. It begins a journey of new and unexpected discoveries. This morning, I was greeted by horses, the cabin cats, deer, the geese, and new wildflowers. Tiny yellow violets are beginning to bloom. The Trillium are also emerging, and several have buds. The Bluets are tiny purple/blue of my favorites, but certainly not rare. The yellow Green and Gold were everywhere, and a few remaining Rue Anemones, Dwarf Iris, and a surprise...a blooming Pink Lady Slipper!! Many more are budding, but they were not even visible last weekend. Lady Slippers are very particular about their environment. They require a bacteria in the soil to flourish. Many Lady Slippers are killed by well meaning transplanters. They might survive a year or so, but they will eventually die. Perhaps that is one reason I welcome this wildflower with such warmth every year. We share The Cabin Path as home, and I don't think I would adapt to a transplant very easily, either.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Baby geese....a sure sign of spring. Over the weekend, seven of the new babies arrived at The Cabin Path. I'm sure there are some that perceive these creatures as "pests" but I have a true admiration for them. I have heard that geese mate for life. They are very protective of their spouses, and they will attack almost anything that threatens their nests. During nesting time, they will fight off anything..including other geese.. to defend their eggs, but if they sound an alarm "honk" because of some danger, all of the geese on the lake will fly to help defend the one in trouble. After the eggs hatch, both parents watch over the young. I have seen them spread both wings over the young to hide them from a hawk, and I have watched as they seem to mourn the loss of a baby with a neck twisting movement and a low clucking sound. They are very devoted to family, and they watch over the babes until they can fly. Their loyality is to be admired, and their instincts are amazing...and they are just cute!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The leaves are coming back! I am always amazed by their magic. There is always one spring rain that makes them pop, and then they disguise the fallen limbs and flaws of the winter into mystical hiding places for the wood sprites and fairies. With the aid of some very creative workshop helpers, the fairy village is repairing and rebuilding. Come and dust off your imagination. Believe!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Native Azaleas and Beavers! This is NOT a good combination. I realized too late that the beavers were enjoying these beauties way before their time...not for the flowers, but for the easy access of these plants that grow along the bank of the lake. Ironically, the plants that I tagged with dangling surveyors tape (to label for cuttings) were the ones spared. Evidently, it was just enough movement to frighten them, and the labeled plants were untouched. A lesson learned. The nipped bushes will grow back in time and be fuller plants, but this spring is a little less colorful because of their gnawing. The predicted freezing temps may also take away some of the spring color...yet nature continues in spite of the obstacles. Another lesson learned.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Springtime at The Cabin Path is a magical time. Wildflowers begin to bloom. There are nests and new babies all around. This year we are adding a bird and butterfly area near the labyrinth. Reading and writing "rooms" are tucked among the trees, and offer a quiet time for reflection and meditation. We are a work in progress, and I never want to come to the end of the list! Come and join us for a walk, or come and help us with a project! We will be finishing the chinking on the log cabin....messy, hard work, but it always leaves me with a reborn sense of appreciation for those pioneers! Trails always need sticks picked up..and often you'll discover new mysteries when you reach closer to the earth. There will be a Box Turtle study ongoing. These small creatures are suffering from lack of habitat, along with the White Tailed Deer, fox, and yes, coyotes. Discover the many kinds of dragonflies, trees, and plants. The Cabin Path is a place to relax and enjoy the wonders of nature.