Beans and Mountains

I don’t pretend to be a photographer, but reading Xenia’s post this morning inspired me to be a photographer just this once.

In these strange times I’ve definitely needed — and found — sanctuary in two places. The closest is in the midst of my Scarlet Emperor Bean garden in my yard. I first grew these beans two years ago — this is the third season — from seeds I bought the year before. That year I was about to have a hip replacement. I started the beans in the house. I named them after Chinese emperors. I planted them outside soon after I got home from my surgery. They grew to be seven feet tall — something I wasn’t even prepared for! I watched them grow in a kind of wonderment and let them go to seed. I harvested their beautiful purple and black seeds to plant in the future. Last year we had a chilly kind of summer and the beans I planted didn’t do well, but this year?

It’s difficult to explain how watching them grow has been so incredibly heartening. I love them and maybe it’s mutual. They are now ten feet tall and are also delicious.

Scarlet Emperor Beans reaching for the sky

My sanctuary all my life has been nature. I’m fortunate to live in a remote part of Colorado that is surrounded by wide open spaces and mountain ranges on all sides. This year my dogs and I have spent a lot of time out in the Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge. I’m pretty sure of having plenty of social distance.The Refuge is home to the Monte Vista Sandhill Crane Festival in March. It’s a wild and beautiful place with fantastic skies.

Mt. Blanca
Mt. Blanca (winter)
Mt. Blanca, March
Sandhill Cranes in front of the Sangre de Cristo mountains

This week we invite you to share what Sanctuary means to you, where you find it or how you create your place of calm and healing. In your post, please make sure you include a link to this challenge and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can find your post in the WP Reader.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #108: Sanctuary

35 thoughts on “Beans and Mountains

  1. Beautiful images and words dear Martha and what wonderful sanctuaries you have. I love the bean garden and the taste of home-grown vegetables is always special. You live in an amazing area of natural beauty and it’s such a treat to see the cranes find their sanctuary here too. Thank you so much for sharing 🤗💖 xxx

    • I dream of going to the Scottish highlands. One of my ancestors was from eastern Scotland — Largo, Fifeshire. I know NOTHING about the place. He was captured at the battle of Dunbar, shipped to Barbadoes as a prisoner of war/slave. Moved to Maryland where he was indentured for 2 years and then ended up owning his own plantation (and slaves). The funning thing is Jackie Kennedy/Onassis bought that property when JFK died.

      So, I guess if I ever got to Scotland, I’d have to go see his part of the world. ❤

  2. I love your sanctuaries (at least the nature green thumb on me). I love your pictures..

    • Thank you. I can’t take credit for the bird photo, but they are so prevalent out there and so beautiful that… None of the pictures I have taken show them very well. I just have a phone.

  3. It just dawned on me, when you said how tall they’ll grow, that Scarlet Emperor Beans are the same as Scarlet Runner Beans, the first plant I grew as a child. I was amazed at how tall they grew and the next things I tried were morning glories and honeydew melons. I liked to watch things that would grow a lot in our short growing season.

  4. I think I love your beans too. They have such beautiful flowers! Sparky’s beans are done and had very plain white flowers. He planted what he thought were pole beans but only one was a pole bean – which grew very tall and grabbed onto the downspout from the eaves. Sanctuary is a difficult thing to find right now. It almost feels like I’m trapped in a noir film…

    • I have that noir film feeling a lot. Last night I walked Bear at the high school — normal summer thing, fantastic clouds (sunset). The people all around know me and still wave rather urgently. I don’t think anything makes me sadder or more aware of our situation than that. It’s so beautiful and so sad. I realized that’s why I haven’t been taking that walk very often this summer and I never walk on my street because there are neighbors with whom I visit in summer every year. They love to see Bear and to visit. Small town life is very sweet in this way. I’d rather deal with mosquitos and deer flies out at the Big Empty than feel the loneliness we all share right now.

  5. I’m a beach kid, have been for most of my life. It is where I feel complete. I am extremely fortunate that I can go wander the sand and sea every day. Blessed, I am. Apparently, we are both blessed.

    • We are both blessed. I lived in San Diego for 30 years. The first year I lived there, I had no idea how to go to the beach. It might seem unbelievable, but I got it wrong. Over time I learned and I loved it. My valley is an ancient inland sea, as it happens. I love mountains and hills and stuff, but they’re out of my range of abilities now, so this immense plain is a real gift to me.

  6. Beautiful pictures, Martha. Mt Blanca looks stunning, and thatshot of the beautiful little yellow-headed blackbird is superb.

  7. Harmony in your words and images, Martha. Mountains and open spaces are treasures to be grateful for. You are a lucky woman.

  8. Your sanctuary is beautiful Martha. And I’m in awe of the bean growth. Just amazing! I enjoy your pictures. 💚🤗

  9. seven feet tall, what a nice surprise! I love your sanctuary series. The last photo is beautiful!

Comments are closed.