Category Archives: seasons

To Us a Child is Born

housesnow580 “The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lied and stole and smoked cigars and used the Lord's name in vain. They hit little kids and cussed their teachers and set fire to Fred Shoemaker's old broken down tool house.” The year our daughter turned twelve, she was the narrator for the community college performance of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”. The very next year, we moved to the country. To our dismay, our new home was just down the hill from that community’s … Continue Reading ››

Last Call for Wildflowers

Verbena Hastata--blue vervain
Verbena Hastata--pink vervain --often seen with Joe Pye Weed and Ironweed.
The spring flowering plants tend to get way more of the attention than those in any other season. And there is no great surprise in this. In spring we have waited across the dull, dreary monochrome months from November to April for some sign of life and color. Bloodroot, Hepatica, Trout Lily and all the usual early spring emergings are the stuff for which Wildflower Pilgrimages and Naturalist Rallies are convened for eager botanists. Fall wildflowers, not so … Continue Reading ››

Natural Abundance: For Good or Ill

IMG_4389raspberries480Should we expect a hard winter this year to come? That might be the conclusion of some Floyd County "plant by the signs" folks. If there's lots of acorns, it's Nature's (or God's--choose your source of Providence) way of making sure there's the potential victuals laid by come winter for those busy ants or squirrels or home gardeners who plan ahead. We've never seen the pasture grasses so high across the meadows and fields of Floyd County as they have been this spring and early summer. (Ours, unfortunately and yet for another summer,  … Continue Reading ››

Our Martins

The tall pole for three years held up an empty two-story penthouse that could have sheltered up to a dozen pairs of purple martins and their young. Until this spring, those little hotel rooms were empty, and only once before--early last spring--did a single martin circle cautiously, almost landing, but moving on. So I held my breath in early May when not one but two martins spirographed high over the barn, in time spiralling lower and lower in their tight or sweeping bezier swirls, finally landing on the front porch and tentatively inspecting apartment 1B. They quickly deemed it acceptable, and … Continue Reading ››

Seeing the End: What Would You Say?

After a night on the futon to distance my contagion from the wife, I've admitted at the end of four days of symptom creep that I probably have a cold--nothing more than that, most likely. It has been a couple of years since the last one, so I should not whine too much. I was miserable in the wee hours as my chest ached and the in-the-dark impromptu bed clothes failed to keep my bare feet covered. In my unsleeping misery I wondered if this might be “the big one." Actuarially speaking, the odds go up each year in this time … Continue Reading ››