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Category Archives: The land

You can’t have too much abelia

The bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies would agree: You can’t have too much abelia. Abelia shrubs bloom almost all summer long. There are thousands of little dime-size blooms. Abelia is an old-fashioned and out-of-style relative of honeysuckle, though it’s not as fragrant, and (thank goodness) it doesn’t climb. This abelia bush, now nine years old, stands […]

If only we had more of these

My guess would be that there are very few stiles remaining in America, though I also would guess that there were never that many in the first place, except possibly in New England. Most Americans probably don’t even know the word. Even I, born and raised a country person with roots in the Appalachian Highlands, […]

Look who’s a mommie!

Watership Down

A rabbit friend stopped by this afternoon to inspect the clover and to remind me to remind you that, if you’ve never read Watership Down, then now is a good time to read it. And if you have read Watership Down, then now is a good time to read it again.

What’s blooming at the abbey

Click here for high-resolution version. A remarkably unpleasant winter (and lingering) winter has turned into a remarkably pleasant spring. Click here for high-resolution version.

Bears in the woods

I’ve always assumed that, at the very least, transient juvenile bears sometimes wander up the creek from the Dan River. That’s because I saw the tracks of a small bear in the mud six or seven years ago, down by the creek, about a quarter of a mile below the abbey. Today, a neighbor with […]

At last, lilacs

Click here for high-resolution version. I have been waiting for years for the lilac bush to bloom for the first time. This year it finally did, though only in a small way. The apple trees are looking great. There was a chance of frost on April 16, which I was afraid would ruin the apple […]

Tilling time

Nothing excites chickens like a freshly tilled garden. They’d better enjoy it now, because after it’s planted they’ll be banned for the season.

Daffodils

Click here for high-resolution version Flowers can be remarkably hard to photograph. The problem is holding the subtle range of color and texture in all the parts of the flower. A little bit of backlighting helps. And the exposure has to be just right. This is a digital photo, but I’m about to shoot the […]

Crows welcome here

A couple of days ago, a gang of crows drove off a hawk and saved the life of a chicken. Now I would like to know how to put up a big sign that says “Crows Welcome Here.” I Googled, and it seems I’m not the first person to have chickens saved by crows. There’s […]