Meeting new members of the prairie community

Lynne Smith, OSB Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Living in Community Leave a Comment

On a recent sunny Sunday afternoon, I went for a walk in Wisdom Prairie. Friend of Wisdom Prairie member Ron Endres was harvesting prairie seeds along the path, so I stopped to find out what he was picking. He was gathering seed from anise hyssop and placed a seed head in my hand with the instructions to rub my hands together and then smell them. Sure enough, it smelled like anise or licorice. Anise hyssop isn’t very plentiful and Ron was glad to have come across a small patch of it. It is one of only a few prairie plants …

New England aster with rigid leaf goldenrod

September phenology

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Phenology Leave a Comment

by Sylvia Marek Phenology is a science focused on observing and recording biological events from year to year and their relationships to the change of seasons and climate. These are the “normal” phenology events we expect to see here and in the Madison area this month. We would love to hear about what you are seeing on the grounds of Holy Wisdom Monastery. Please comment on this post with what you are observing, where at Holy Wisdom and the date you observed the event. September Phenology The following September phenology is from my phenology notebooks. These phenomena do not occur at …

Argiope spider

August phenology

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Phenology 2 Comments

By Sylvia Marek Phenology is a science focused on observing and recording biological events from year to year and their relationships to the change of seasons and climate. These are the “normal” phenology events we expect to see here and in the Madison area this month. We would love to hear about what you are seeing on the grounds of Holy Wisdom Monastery. Please comment on this post with what you are observing, where at Holy Wisdom and the date you observed the event. August Phenology I have kept records of August observations for many years. My entries for August …

July phenology

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Phenology 1 Comment

By Sylvia Marek Phenology is a science focused on observing and recording biological events from year to year and their relationships to the change of seasons and climate. These are the “normal” phenology events we expect to see here and in the Madison area this month. We would love to hear about what you are seeing on the grounds of Holy Wisdom Monastery. Please comment on this post with what you are observing, where at Holy Wisdom and the date you observed the event. July Phenology The following July events are from observations I have recorded over the years: Usually …

Prayer and work

Lynne Smith, OSB Care for the Earth, Living in Community 2 Comments

It was 73 degrees in Middleton on Monday, April 8, 2019. Since Monday is a day of leisure for the sisters, I spent a large part of the day outside. I raked up the sticks dropped by the oaks during the winter in the front yard at Bingen House and listened to the birds. This will be the last week of free meals for the birds. The squirrels have learned how to climb down onto the feeder from the roof of the house, hang from the upper perches by their back feet and eat their fill from the lower seed …

Restoration and hope

Lynne Smith, OSB Care for the Earth, Living in Community Leave a Comment

Restoration is a powerful antidote to despair. Restoration offers concrete means by which humans can once again enter into positive, creative relationship with the more-than-human world, meeting responsibilities that are simultaneously material and spiritual.  –Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer (p. 328)   I made a quick trip to Illinois to visit my brother and his wife and my sister and her husband last week. It was fun to see them and get caught up even if for just a few days. It rained the three days I visited my brother and his wife in Naperville, Illinois. Since we couldn’t go …

Pathways to wisdom

Kate Stel Care for the Earth, Living in Community, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

“Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for she will be found sitting at the gate. To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding, and one who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every …

Practicing kinship at the monastery

Kate Stel Care for the Earth, Living in Community 1 Comment

As a student of theology and ministry studies, I’m often busy reading and writing theological propositions, exercising my critical eye as a reader, and learning the arts of ministry like preaching and spiritual care. I find myself thoroughly convinced of the veracity of many theological arguments and of the necessity to rethink traditional models and modes of religious community. I know many things to be true and spend an exorbitantly large amount of time demonstrating it. Such is the life of a graduate student. Since coming to Holy Wisdom Monastery, I’m wondering if I feel any of those well-reasoned propositions …

Rodent wrangling and ambiguity

Kate Stel Care for the Earth, Living in Community Leave a Comment

This week, on Tuesday morning, a group of us headed over to the garden. We hoped to beat the day’s heat and get some weeding and other work done before it became unbearably hot and humid. Sister Paz Vital and I were working in a fenced-in garden plot that contained rows of okra, cabbage, radishes, kale and a huge grouping of tomato plants. Suddenly, I heard a rustling in the corner of the garden near where we were working. The many, many weeds in that corner shook. A rabbit emerged, bounding through the garden. “BUNNY!” I yelled to Sister Paz. …

Holy Wisdom Monastery to Restore Lost Landscape

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth Leave a Comment

  This November Holy Wisdom Monastery will begin restoring 30 acres of its land to oak savanna, considered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to be Wisconsin’s rarest plant community. Oak savanna is characterized by widely spaced oak trees (between 10-50% tree canopy) with primarily grasses covering the ground. Before European settlement it was one of the most common plant communities in Wisconsin but now only a fraction remains. “Before Europeans arrived, oak savanna was more common than forest or prairie in southern Wisconsin,” explained Holy Wisdom Monastery’s Director of Land Management and Environmental Education, Greg Armstrong. After European …