I got a new keyboard, yay!!
The above image is my first outdoor altar that I've put together just for myself. The table top is actually marble that a good friend brought over from his place of work; it was left over after an older building was torn down or renovated, I can't remember which. The wood is from our sycamore tree that The Great Ice Storm of January 2007 took out. Since sycamore is a soft wood these blocks won't last more than a couple of years but there are always trees coming down around these parts somewhere and I have an "in" with someone who has access to trees removed by city cleanup folks. So, it's not going to be an everlasting altar but is semi-permanent. It's hard to tell from this image but most of the rocks on the ground have little, or lots, of quartz or gypsum, or both. These are rocks I took from the little stand of trees down the hill from house; it was hard work but worth it! There are also some rocks with interesting fossil imprints, a few holey river rocks and a couple of (to me) unusual rocks from Minnesota. Since I'm such a rock hound I will, of course, be adding more as time goes by. The little black thing that kinda looks like a knife is actually an old railroad tie that I saved with rustproof black paint. Ever since I found it I thought it would make a great ritual tool perhaps as a stand in for a knife or wand. However, I don't really use either in my workings so I don't know what I'll use the tie for. Maybe I'll leave it there to add to the rustic look.
I don't know why it took me so long to finally put together an outdoor altar. I've been thinking about it for year and years. I've mentioned before my disinclination, or inability, to use fancy, store bought ritual items and it still holds true. I just don't care much for the expensive, or even expensive looking, ritual tools. All of that sterling silver and brightly polished stuff usually leaves me magically cold. Yeah, it looks nice and if someone gifted me something like that I would be eternally grateful. But I just prefer old, weathered things I find along the way. The rail road tie came from the bottom of box of auction items. And many of my magical items have come from an old pickup truck that was left to rot way back behind our house. It's a really old funky truck that's at least 70 years old and chock full of treasures. Inside it was a veritable shitload of horse shoes and the remains of a big 'ol glass thermometer which I plan to dig out and add to the outdoor altar.
The vase holds a few of our roses and a bit of honeysuckle and it's just a small sampling of the wonderful blooms and blossoms to be found in these hills. I simply love how all of our neighborhood flowers are opening up. Our compost roses are going wild and our other rose bush will be covered with blooms in another week. There's pretty, but scentless, honeysuckle next to the chimney and delicious wild honeysuckle along the driveway. The peonies, planted several years ago, have finally put forth two large and intoxicating blossoms over the grave of our dear, departed Dalmatian Missy. The multi-flora wild white roses are popping out too. I love them so much and still can't believe it when people go to great lengths to kill them. They have pretty foliage, gorgeous, copious white flowers and they seem very resistant to mold and bugs. And, as if that weren't enough, they smell heavenly! Once bush can perfume an entire country yard!
Since we were nearly drowning for a few weeks everything is growing by wild leaps and bounds. We just finished mowing the other day and will have to start again this weekend. Now that we've had some dryer days folks are cutting hay like mad. All of the grasses and trees and foliage paint the landscape with a multitude of gorgeous greens. There are deep, forest greens, and vivid emeralds along with bright, yellowy-greens and every shade in between! And the sky is so brilliantly blue that just stepping outside is like falling into a painter's palette replete with the freshest scents. It's absolutely heavenly. I'm so glad spring has finally taken hold; it's healing my battered and bruised heart and psyche. Spring; it does a body, mind and soul good!
P.S. We now have bats and lightning bugs, double yay!!