Gardening in South Amana: A summer paradise gives way to fall
Now just a memory, I savor the beauty of our lush summer and its peaceful, pastoral setting. My wife and I live in a verdant valley dominated on either side of the beautiful Iowa River by heavily forested bluffs. The soil here is considered the richest in the world, found elsewhere only in the Ukraine. We live within the confines of a 25,000 acre game preserve, where deer, ducks, geese, swans, bald eagles, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, the occasional cougar and bobcat, and countless other animal species make their homes amid abundant supplies of food and water. Also located within this preserve are several areas considered sacred by Native Americans in the region. Evidence of their ancestors in the form of arrow heads, spears, pottery, and beads is offered up by the soil along streams and in plowed fields.
I'd like to share with you several poems I've written that reflect the inspiration drawn from the beauty and peace that surrounds me, as illustrated by my photos below. Click on photos to enlarge.
Amid the confusion of
Let me record your ancient melodies in my heart,
Pristine pond in forest above South Amana
Native American pottery shards
But a pale shadow of its
All poems © Larry Rettig 2005
Unauthorized use prohibited
Typical South Amana residence with expansive lawn and garden
Brick granary converted to residence, studio, and gallery
Lush plantings in a local garden
South Amana sunrise
Photos of swans and deer courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
© Larry Rettig 2008