Black Lives Matter: I Stand With You

Sunday, May 31, 2020
Native Cornus canadensis (Bunchberry) looking pretty after the nighttime rain.

Got up early for coffee and to sit in the stillness of dawn.  I used to think racism and intolerance were the result of sheer ignorance, but I am now beginning to understand that there are many layers of ignorance.  Those layers of ignorance perpetuate racism.  Ignorance of HOW and WHY the cycle of racial prejudice is perpetuated must first be understood.  Through self-examination, I will be giving thoughtful consideration to what actions or inactions I am unconsciously guilty of that are fostering intolerance, prejudice, or bias.  Am I silent when I should speak up?  Am I talking when I should be listening?  We must first seek to understand.  Through understanding, our ignorance will give rise to activism, fighting against intolerance in ALL forms.  We must become anti-racist by waking up--becoming CONSCIOUS--because all of us have a role to play in ending racism.  With that, I will start on my journey of self-reflection and learning, because I refuse to be a player in any form in this pandemic of racism.  


George Floyd
Breonna Taylor
Dominique Clayton
Mike Brown
Eric Reason
Ahmaud Arbery
Atatiana Jefferson
Botham Jean

Justice for every other name I cannot list here whose lives have been taken because of racism, and for every other name who has suffered in any way because of racism. 

 I stand with you.

Justice for George Floyd

Saturday, May 30, 2020
George Floyd mattered. Black lives matter. Justice. Change. Peace.

Artwork:  Nikkolas Smith
 “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy Birthday, Adam (and Robby, Neville, and Susan)!

Adam on his 36th Birthday
Happy birthday to my loving husband, Adam, who has survived stroke and stage-4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and has never let his disability define him. I met him in New Orleans when he was traveling through the US to celebrate five years in remission. Now we can celebrate ten! Every year is a gift, and everyone who knows Adam knows what an incredible human being he is. Adam gives more to those he loves than he ever takes in return. Happy birthday, Adam! 

Karli with her little brother, Robby, pre-COVID-19 (summer of 2019)
Also want to say a big happy birthday to Adam’s granddad, Neville, and my little brother Robby, who all share birthdays on May 30th. 

Adam's Grandad, Neville, celebrating his 90th birthday in Australia
Want to also wish a special happy birthday to my Aussie mother-in-law Susan, whose birthday is the 31st. Today is the 30th here in the US, but the 31st in AUS, so since we are on opposite sides of the planet, we all celebrate on the same day. ✨

Adam's Mum, Susan, January, 2020, at Jake's in Portland during a holiday visit.

Black Lives Matter: The Murder of George Floyd

Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge
Went to a quiet place today.  Watched the video last night after work of the brutal murder of George Floyd.  I watched the murder without looking away, while everything in my being wanted to leap through the phone screen and rescue him from his hateful, racist perpetrators.  All I could do was watch in horror and cry, my heart heavy with pain.  George Floyd’s life mattered.  Black lives matter.

Red-winged blackbird at Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge
It’s time I start actively listening.  Silence is unacceptable.  Knowledge is power.

Happy Birthday, Andy!

Friday, May 29, 2020
Happy Friday morning! And a big happy birthday to one of the best human beings on the planet, my friend and fellow nurse colleague, Andy!

Bumblebee on Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) blossoms. 

Baby Chickadees Might Fledge Next Week

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Chickadees are too cute for words! I was working on the unit today, and missed watching my chickadee family, but Adam took this pic, which made my day! Eileen Stark, author of Real Gardens Grow Natives told me today that usually the babies are a week or so old by the time you hear their cheeps. If this is true, these babies might fledge next week!

My Family of Backyard Chickadees

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The baby chickadees hatched this afternoon!  I have been watching this chickadee pair for quite some time, so when Adam bought me this beautiful birdhouse for Christmas this year, I hoped they might choose it.  Little did I know that a global pandemic was right around the corner.  Little did I know shortly after I hung it up facing southeasterly in early April that they would choose it.  Little did I know how happy I would be just to sit in the garden and watch this pair, called Sunny and Moe, build their nest.

There were many days I wondered if they found a better spot and moved on, but every day or so, I would see them enter the nest.  It soon became apparent that Moe was sitting on the eggs, because Sunny would come regularly and call to her, or Moe would call to him, and he would feed her, sometimes inside the nest, sometimes outside the nest.  Earlier today, Sunny was sounding his usual call, but Moe didn't leave the nest.  A few hours later, I was walking by and heard babies.  Since that moment, the two have flitted back and forth all day, bringing back caterpillars and insects to feed their babies.

It will take 6,000-9,000 caterpillars to feed this clutch.  If they can't find enough, the babies won't make it, or only half may survive.  How do they get that many caterpillars?  From our native plants.  Our native white oaks host the most caterpillars than any other species in the Northern hemisphere.  What we plant in our yards is essential to the survival of our local wildlife.  Even a small percentage is enough to support our local populations.  To find out what plants are native to your area, plug in your zip code on the Native Plant Finder on the National Wildlife Federation website.  Birds just like Sunny and Moe depend on us!

Thimbleberry: Rubus parviflorus

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The beautiful, fuzzy leaves of our native Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus). This is one that always makes me think of the PNW when I see it. No filter used here—check out the beautiful contrasting lines of the thimbleberry leaf and it’s beautiful, warm shade of green. You will often see it growing beneath our native evergreens, like Douglas firs or Western hemlocks—look for it next time you’re hiking, the berries are a tasty treat!

Potentilla gracilis: A Beautiful PNW Native Garden Addition

Monday, May 25, 2020

My newest native species: meet Potentilla gracilis (Graceful cinquefoil), planted with associates Douglas Spirea, Oregon Iris, and lupine (think purple, yellow, and pink!).  Host for two-banded checkered skipper.  Likes moist soil.  Layer lots of leaf litter around its hardy, woody stems each fall, leaving the foliage and attractive seed heads for wildlife during the winter months. You can read more about this wonderful PNW native and its ethnobotanical uses on the US Dept of Agriculture site.

Spring Native Community: Oxalis oregana, Tolmiea menziesii, and Athyrium filix-femina

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Keep loving people, no matter what. ✨ Oxalis (Oxalis oregana), Piggyback plant (Tolmiea menziesii), and Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina) in afternoon Spring rain. ✨ Back to work tomorrow—goodnight! ✨

World Bee Day

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Happy World Bee Day!

Bumblebee with visible pollen sac on Large-leaf lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus) in Clackamas County.

No matter where you live, consider supporting our native pollinators by:

1) planting a variety of native plants to your area with a variety of bloom times February through November
2) leaving the leaves (providing a brush pile if you are able)
3) refraining from pesticide use

I highly recommend checking out valuable information located at Beesponsible--their website and Instagram feed contains many beautiful pollinator photos and a robust collection of information. Their movement and advocacy for our native pollinators inspires me every day! On World Bee Day, I want to not only recognize the important work they do, but encourage you to sign up for their newsletter and choose one thing YOU can do to support our bees.

First Nootka Rose Blooms

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

First Nootka rose bloom (Rosa Nutkana).  It’s crazy how quickly more weeds popped up with all the rain we’ve been having!  I have a little catching up to do.  I also brought home more natives last weekend, which I’m slowly getting into the ground.  These will be the last ones to go into the ground until fall.  On my way now to drop off my ballot!  It’s Election Day! ✨

Vancouveria Hexandria and Comfort Zones

First Inside-out flower bloom (Vancouveria hexandra) of the year.

Do you ever step outside your comfort zone when opportunity meets preparation?  Someone once said that outside your comfort zone is where change happens.  This little inside-out bloom is a little how I feel when I’m outside my comfort zone.  I feel like I’ve been turned inside-out.  It can be difficult sometimes to be patient with an uncomfortable process.  I’ve often heard “trust the process”, but I’ve found that trusting the process takes effort and intention—it is not a passive act to trust in something that feels inside-out.  To me, the inside-out place can be a vulnerable one, however, if you don’t take a chance, venture into uncharted waters, you might never know what you were capable of doing or experiencing.

My daughter taught me this recently.  I asked her how she would feel going to a school next year where she didn’t know anyone.  Her reply? “Mommy, I’ve already experienced that once, so I know I could do it again.” Inside-out is supposed to feel a little scary, but with the process comes a sense of accomplishment.  To be able to stand in a place with confidence and know deep down that if you did it once, you could do it again . . . that you embraced risk . . . took a step towards your fears . . . this is where we expand our spirit and mind, moving towards our truest selves.

Eileen Stark describes Inside-out flowers in her book, “Real Gardens Grow Natives” as “white blossoms that resemble shooting stars” (p. 297). In actuality, as well as metaphorically, I think she’s right.

Fringecup (Tellima grandiflora) in the Rain

Monday, May 18, 2020

Rainy Monday evening.  Fringecup (Tellima grandiflora) just starting to bloom. ✨

The Light is Always There

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Aristotle Onassis once said, "It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” During these times, I have come to realize how true this is.  The light is always there, and sometimes in the darkest moments, it is able to shine brighter.  Western yarrow (Achillea millefolium), first blooms of the year. ✨

First Nootka Rosebud: Rosa nutkana

Saturday, May 16, 2020

My first Nootka rosebud (Rosa nutkana). Once this pandemic is over, I plan to travel to the west coast of Vancouver Island, where this plant was first described at the Nootka Sound. I have planted it in a place where it can spread (vigorously spreads via rhizomes to form a thicket), providing nesting material for birds and native bees. It is also a host for mourning cloak and grey hairstreak butterflies. I hope these beautiful native butterflies find my Nootka rose! Happy weekend, friends! ✨

Right Where I'm Supposed To Be

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
I was registered for two native plant webinars today—one with a focus on design, and the other on native pairings for queen bees.  The whole day was planned, and I was going to cook up fish tacos with Chunky Mango Pico from Rachael DeVaux for the fam, but, at about 9pm last night, I looked online at my nursing unit work schedule and was like 😳 what?  Yep, I was on the schedule. 🤷‍♀️  I never work Wednesdays, but I was on the schedule for today.  One of my biggest fears would be to get a call at 0700 from my unit as I’m sound asleep in bed—“Karli, where are you?”  So, somehow I got lucky this time.  

Can’t wait to get back into the garden this weekend, but in the meantime, I’m right where I’m supposed to be.  All around shaping up to be a great week!  Hope your week is good, too! (Woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca) with ceramic pod by Denise Krueger.
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