Online Magazine

About Us
Support and Donate

 Voices of Peace
 Voices for the World
 Voices of the Nation
 Voices of the Northwest
 Voices of Spencer Creek
 Bummers & Gummers
 Environment in the News
 Best of the Web
 Letters to the Editor
 Arts & Letters

Article Search

About Us
Support and Donate

Last Updated:
May 2nd, 2005 - 16:45:13 


Favorite Links

American Friends Service Committee

Friends Committee on National Legislation

National Catholic Reporter

British Broadcasting Company

The Guardian

Christian Science Monitor

LA Times

SF Gate


The Register Guard

Environmental News Network



Swans Commentary

Federation of American Scientists

Car Free Times

Indy Media

Common Dreams

The Nation

Utne Reader

Eugene Weekly

Willamette Week

Portland Tribune


The Travels of our First Webmaster

Voices of Spencer Creek

The Sunnyside of Spencer Butte: The Tree and Me and Lady Slippers

A Simple Song of Spring

By Lois Barton

Posted on Apr 1, 2005

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

"Abstract Tree Forms," 1932 by Emily Carr, courtesy and copyright of The Vancouver Gallery, B.C.

Hail, sister tree!

In God's universe

you and I are one.

You support my life

with oxygen to clear my blood.

I exhale carbon dioxide

to nourish your growth.

I sometimes rue your rootedness

as I cavort from here to there

but you dance with freedom and grace

when passing breezes travel through.

Then when a gale comes along

fir branches shed their tips.

Is Mother Nature pruning back

small twigs and bigger sticks?

That traveling air that flows by you,

what far off flavors does it carry?

telling you of foreign places;

of times and people both so merry?

Do you send along in turn

a fertile taste

of your time and place

for other trees across the seas?

So now I see that rootedness

needn't be a handicap.

Your world view may far exceed

My limited travels o'er the map.

March, 2005

"Calypso," by Michael Kemp

My daily walk the other day had a specific destination. I walk to keep this 87 year old body mobile as long as possible. The destination on this particular day was to discover whether my favorite spot for finding calypso orchids in bloom was actually colored with those little "lady-slipper" looking plants. This is the season, and my neighbor had reported that he found some. My spot is very shady, and the bloom there is often later than in more open places.

I brought home three flowers, feeling apologetic about having picked them, for although I have understood that picking is fatal to that particular plant, my botanist friend says if the root connection with the underground humus is unbroken, the plant will probably survive. However it may take a few years to build up to another bloom...

Years ago when chatting with my neighbor Elsie about the "good old days" of her childhood (that would have been in the "30s) she told me her mother and she used to pick bouquets of these lovely wildflowers in the woods on the place where we now live, and take them to sell at the Farmers' Market in Eugene. I remember when every few pennies were a godsend, back during that big depression. And I shudder to think how many plants they may have damaged by that picking, but today there are still places in the same woods where those orchids make a brave showing each spring.

The Pacific States Wildflowers book describes calypso orchids as follows: "Each plant has a single bright pink flower on a leafless stem above a single oval leaf. The slipperlike lip petal is tipped with two horns, mottled with orange, yellow and white, 3 to 10 inches in height."

Copyright ©2005 by Lois Barton

Now Available on Compact Disk: Stories from The Sunnyside of Spencer Butte

Three and a half years of years Lois Barton's stories–so you can read them without going online!

Lois Barton's Selected Works
Volume I, Chanticleer's Tales
Send $10, plus postage of $1.50 to
84889 Harry Taylor Rd.
Eugene, OR 97405

Writer and historian
Lois Barton

Lois Barton is an 85 year old mother of eight children. She has lived on the same rural acreage just south of Eugene, Oregon for more than 50 years. All their children learned to milk, to keep the woodboxes filled, to do their share of household and garden chores. Her first book, Spencer Butte Pioneers, was published in 1982 when her youngest started to school. Since then she wrote five other books: Daughter of the Soil, now out of print; One Woman's West; A Quaker Promise Kept; and Through My Window, autobiographical sketches, sequel to Daughter Of the Soil.

Through the years Lois has been a 4H leader, president of the neighborhood association, a precinct committee woman, election board clerk, editor of the Lane County Historian, and a life long Quaker. She spent a month in Southeast Asia in 1974 as a member of a church peace mission, after working for ten years as director of the Eugene Chapter of the World Without War Council.

Follow the links of the Voices of Spencer Creek for the most recent articles by Lois Barton, including The Sunnyside of Spencer Butte: Cranberries,
The Sunnyside of Spencer Butte: Endurance Riding,
The Sunnyside of Spencer Butte: Butterflies and Community Development,
and The Sunnyside of Spencer Butte: The Last Gift.

See more of Lois Barton's articles in West By online magazine's archives:
Visit the Heron Rookery
Sauerkraut and All That
Charlotte's Overdose - Just who is Charlotte and what did she take?
The Midwife- The midnight call awoke an unusual midwife.
The Mystery of Fox Hollow - Fact and fiction meet in this story of the origins of Faith Rock.
Trees, Tame Trees and Squirrel.

© Copyright 2000-2004 by West By

Top of Page

Latest Articles

West By Northwest
Resurrection of West by Northwest Online Journal
Restricting Pesticide Use for Salmon Recovery?
Memory Project: Rose Wilder Lane, Ghostwriter in the Sky
Current Highlights: Marine Reserve Proposals Get Cold Shoulder
Current Highlights: Web Map's View of the Ocean Floor
Current Highlights: Oregon Liquefied-Natural-Gas Terminal Approved
Current Highlights: Poison Forces All to Pay for Timber Firms’ Profits
A Summer Solstice Sonnet
Spencer Creek Storybook: Remembering Mother's Day at the Longhouse, and Not Up, Up and Away
Drilling Instinct
Collie Rescue