Category Archives: places to go

Love Sand


“When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand.”  ~Robert McCammon

Sand Love by OliveLoaf Design

Photo: OliveLoaf Design, Beach at Barren River Lake, Kentucky


Spring: Barren County

Scenes from a day in Barren County, Kentucky…

Sunrise Lilacs. “April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.” ~T.S. Eliot

Earth Day Lilac Season by OliveLoaf Design

A Tiny Turtle Spotted at the Lake {Box Turtle, Barren River Lake}.

Tiny Turtle by OliveLoaf Design

Delicate Bleeding Heart Blooms.

Bleeding Heart Blooms by OliveLoaf Design

New Lily of the Valley.

Lily of the Valley Blooms by OliveLoaf Design

A Study of Bird and Insect Designed Dwellings.

Bird Insect Dwellings by OliveLoaf Design

A Young Little Brown Bat Visits the Porch.


Be Still…and You Will Hear It.

Be Still by OliveLoaf Design

“My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather.” ~Terri Guillemets

End of Summer

Sigh, the end of summer. Some final shots of the season from our beloved Bob Hill’s Hidden Hill Nursery and Sculpture Garden.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ~ Dr. Seuss

Butterfly Chair by OliveLoaf Design

Cabbage White Butterfly in Purple Asters

Cabbage White Butterfly in Purple Asters by OliveLoaf Design

Happy Bee on Aeonome

Happy Bee on Aeonome by OliveLoaf Design

{Photos: OliveLoaf Design}

forest unfurling

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

We took a shortcut to the lake through the woods behind le homestead looking for morels. We witnessed the forest unfurling, but found no mushrooms.

Budding Tree by OliveLoaf Design
Budding Tree.
Red Buds & Blue by OliveLoaf Design
Eastern Redbud, Cercis Canadensis.
Fiddlehead Fern by OliveLoaf Design
Fiddlehead Fern.
Forest Unfurling II by OliveLoaf Design
Yellow Trout Lily, Erythronium Americanum. Lily Family.
Butterweed by OliveLoaf Design
Butterweed, Senecio Glabellus. Composite Family.
Spring Beauty by OliveLoaf Design
Spring Beauty, Claytonia Virginica. Purslane Family.

“Solitude is the soil in which genius is planted, creativity grows, and legends bloom; faith in oneself is the rain that cultivates a hero to endure the storm, and bare the genesis of a new world, a new forest.” ~ Mike Norton, White Mountain

afternoon hike

Could Spring be on it’s way? We spotted our first blooms of wild daffodils while hiking trails through Mammoth Cave National Park. They are the first of the many enchanting wild flowers that bloom throughout Spring & Summer here in Kentucky.

We can’t wait to see this overlook when Spring has sprung…

Love rock.


A lovely spot to rest and repair for the hike back uphill.


Miss Sadie contemplates the view from Green River Bluffs Trail.

Echo River Spring; a blue hole.

A grand Shag Bark Hickory.

Another crop of wild daffodils to end the hike.

positively natural

“There’s a growing advantage over time to being in nature. When you have an extended period of time surrounded by that softly fascinating environment, you start seeing all kinds of positive effects in how your mind works — to be creative, to be imaginative, to problem solve, to feel good and be in a positive mood — things that allow us to be better, happier people who engage in a more productive way with others.”~Ruth Ann Atchley, psychologist {read more from the article “Nature-Creative Study Links The Great Outdoors With Positive Psychological Effects” here}

We went looking for signs of spring on a few of the hiking trails of Mammoth Cave National Park, Ketucky.  This overlook on Turnhole Bend Trail looks like a promising location to keep an eye on Spring’s progress…

Mr. D and I were seeking inspiration and a quality interaction with the teenager {Miss M}, letting the dog {Miss Sadie} run free, exorcising and exercising the winter blahs away. Looking for signs that nature had not given up on us yet…

Not so ancient arborglyphs. I was annoyed at first when I saw the carvings in this tree – how little respect humans have for nature and our planet, by leaving their mark everywhere.  Miss M astutely commented oh how fascinating it was that the tree kept right on growing strong despite being abused…

A stairway to the bottom of Cedar Sink Trail.  A metaphoric and literal staircase. While it’s refreshing to have a break after an uphill battle or endless disappointments and set-backs – you’ve got to go back up again sometime, no?  A life lived either passively or intentionally is what I’m contemplating in these woods.

You may find wondrous sights at the bottom of the overgrown sink holes and karst topography of the Mammoth trails. I love the herbaceous mosses. Although relatively fragile, they have survived the untypically cold winter by harvesting what little sun they received at the bottom of the sunken earth.  Making-do and doing the best with what they are given.


Only a little inspiration needed to create something weird and magical.


Our little adventure seemed to be just what we all needed. Miss M and I emerged from the woods singing songs we remembered from junior high choir {an impressive feat on my part} and thrilled at the spotting of a baby bat that flew right towards us and then fluttered away into the forest. Mr. D was logging in our hike mileage {you have to know where you started to see how far you’ve come} and Miss Sadie naturally, didn’t want it to end.  We drove home exhausted but I believe, happier, refreshed and more inspired.

Pumpkin Patch

Scenes from a visit to a pumpkin heaven & fall extravaganza! The Garden Patch in Smiths Grove, Kentucky.

Pumpkin Displays by OliveLoaf Design

Stacks & stacks of quirky gourds & pumpkins…

Pumpkin Stacks by OliveLoaf Design

Cute Pumpkins by OliveLoaf Design

“October proved a riot to the senses and climaxed those giddy last weeks before Halloween.”~Keith DonohueSeated Pumpkins by OliveLoaf Design

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Pretty Pumpkin Stacks by OliveLoaf Design

Pumpkin Stack Love by OliveLoaf Design

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”  ~William Cullen Bryant

Lots O Gourds by OliveLoaf Design

Fall Delights by OliveLoaf Design

Star Barn by OliveLoaf Design

“Autumn is as joyful and sweet as an untimely end.”   ~Remy de Gourmont

{Photos: OliveLoaf Design}

Cool sights collected in Indianapolis, Indiana…

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, seafoam green hydrant, bronze buffalo, Kurt Vonnegut mural,

415, cheeky grizzly, colorful mobile at Mass Ave Toys, sunburst over Monument Circle,

Spiffy at Rocket Fizz, Go Ahead and Play, a flash-frozen treat from Sub Zero Ice Cream,

colorful candy, alternative transport pride, Art Deco lobby, Monument Circle at night,

illuminated IPL building.


“Enjoy the little things in life… For one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”

~Kurt Vonnegut