I Know Nothing Else But Miracles

As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,

Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,

Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,

Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water,

Or stand under trees in the woods,

Or talk by day with any one I love — or sleep in the bed at night with anyone I love,

Or sit at the table at dinner with my mother,

Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,

Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon,

Or animals feeding in the fields,

Or birds–or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,

Or the wonderfulness of the sundown — or of stars shining so quiet and bright,

Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring;

To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,

Every inch of space is a miracle,

Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,

Every cubic foot of the interior swarms with the same;

Every spear of grass–the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that concerns them,

All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.

To me the sea is a continual miracle;

The fishes that swim — the rocks — the motion of the waves — the ships, with men in them,

What stranger miracles are there?”

— Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Every day, there is something new and wondrous to discover.

I can’t adequately convey the scent of lilacs and crabapples blooming now, the physical relief that accompanies the sound of much-needed rain overnight, the taste of local cucumbers picked an hour before I eat them (and peas mere minutes before) — these are all ephemeral experiences and so subjective. But visual images are easily captured, and though it’s not the same encounter for the viewer as stumbling upon the unexpected miracle is for the stumbler (me), perhaps the images convey some of the thrill.

Some May miracles and amazements

Over 300 pink lady’s slippers (Cypripedium acaule) on one local trail! A few of them:


And at The Fells (Newbury, NH), yellow lady’s slippers (Cypripedium parviflorum).


Surprise animal visits on the motion camera!

black bear


Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) in my very own yard! Found when I was pulling out invasive oriental bittersweet.


Someone made a heart with the rocks on the healing stump cairn at Kezar Lake (NH).


So many dragonflies and damselflies on a local wetland trail.


Huge and glorious tulips at the local library.


Not everyone loves them, but this scarlet lily leaf beetle (Lilioceris lilii) on my fritillaria flower is an engineering marvel.


A new loon nesting platform on Lake Sunapee (NH) and later we heard loon calls!


And on Kezar Lake (NH), at least one loon is back, and so is the “loon nesting” sign.


Also at Kezar Lake (NH), in a little inlet, a mallard duck (or possibly mallard/black duck hybrid) mom and 10 chicks!


Tiny toad (American toad?) I almost literally stumbled upon on a local trail. He blends!


Fringed polygala (Polygala paucifolia) along a grassy path; I thought I remembered it here but was still surprised by how much of it there is.


Looks like a dried-up holly leaf under the lip of the rain barrel — but it’s a curve-toothed geometer moth (Eutrapela clemataria) !


These gorgeous violets appeared in the shade garden this year, next to lamium and forget-me-nots.


Found at the start of a trail head.


Dozens of red trillium near Kezar Lake (NH) recently.


And hundreds of painted trillium along another local trail system.


I’ve saved my favourite and most magical find for last. Walking along a trail at The Fells (Newbury NH) recently, I looked down and saw this wonder of nature, a Luna moth (Actias luna) drying its amazing wings after recently emerging from its winter cocoon! The first photo is about an hour before the second one; see how the colour on the wing tails, which have lengthened considerably, has changed from yellowish to greenish? The third photo gives context on the tree trunk.


There’s a False Knees comic for almost every nature occasion.

Looking (closely), listening, smelling, touching, and sometimes tasting are grounding, calming and connecting habits, gateways for discovering the miracles and magic everywhere.


  1. Enjoyed the miracles of nature through your eyes. I am on a walker and can only explore by
    reading and seeing the discoveries of others. You are a beautiful writer.

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