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A Short Tour of Heaven: Shabo-Mekaw in Spring


14 MAY, 2018

double exposure trees and cathedral

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.

two cabins in the woods, log cabin in early stage of construction

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

log cabin being constructed with roof rafters on

Early log cabin construction, with second floor and roof.

A Short Tour of Heaven


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!

two cabins in the woods

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.

balckberry vines in bloom with pond in background
clode-up photo of blackberry blooms

Blackberry vine blooming in the field above the pond. The berries are delicious if you pick them at the right time.

the "swirl hole" on Kinniconick Creek

Looking across the "swirl hole" to where the

creek splits and goes around the other side

of the island.

entrance to where the creek separates and goes around the island

 Left, a closer look at the "entrance" to the other side of the island.



Below, looking down from behind the cabin toward the swirl.

view of the creek from above looking toward swirl hole




Watching the movement of the water is mesmerizing...


new leaves coming out on big leaf magnolia
big leaf magnolia in bloom against hemlocks

“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



close up of magnolia bloom

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.

red and pink azaleas blooming against forest background

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

mostly pink azalea blooms against forest background


tiger swallowtail butterfly on pink azalea
balck swallowtail butterfly on pink azalea

Butterflies love them!

close-up of dwarf crested iris bloom

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

close-up of bluet flowers
a blanket of bluets on the ground

 Wildflowers are everywhere, especially bluets and violets. 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.


photo of view looking up the creek with reflection of trees

Above, looking upstream from the "swirl hole";

below, the cabins as they appear as of now.


photo of both cabins mostly finished


close-up of bright green moss

Wherever you go, a carpet of moss...

looking up into a tall white pine tree

Looking up as I relax in the evening...

stacked stone altar with rocks, feather, shells

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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