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Category Archives: The land

La saison des camélias

The abbey’s camélias have have reached above the roof line. It’s time for pruning, I think. The bee was working the camélias at 42 degrees F. And yes, when I think of camélias I always think of La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas the younger, which, before my French started getting rusty, I read […]

The new girls come on line

The easiest time of year to acquire chickens — at least in these parts — comes in the weeks before Easter. That’s when the local mills and Tractor Supply have chicks for sale. Spring chickens can be counted on to start laying in August. The new girls are right on time — maybe even a […]

A buck — a rare sighting here

It’s apparent that I have a herd, or maybe an extended family, of deer that live in the woods just below and behind the abbey. During the day, I sometimes see them moving around just inside the woods, mostly hidden by the foliage. But at dusk and just after dawn (and no doubt during the […]

Sleek and healthy

I got a good look at the resident twins and their mama yesterday while they were snacking in the back yard. Everyone looks very sleek, healthy, and well fed. The rainy spring has been very good for all the wildlife. I have never seen so many lightning bugs.


Every Southern landscape requires mimosa. We were late in acquiring it, because such old-fashioned items are not always easy to find. Plus, the first effort to get one started failed. But this mimosa, which was planted just last fall, is blooming for the first time. It’s in a chicken-wire cage to protect it from the […]

Like sandpaper

If only I had a video camera with a nice, long lens, it would be obvious what the squirrel was up to. In ordinary photos, it requires explaining. The squirrel was sliding along the railing, scratching its tummy. From the looks of its tummy, it hasn’t been going hungry, thanks to my peach trees. The […]

The new fawns

What’s the first stop for deer-mothers introducing their fawns to the world? The abbey’s yard, apparently. This one’s legs were still wobbly.

Yesterday’s fawns

So far in May, more than 8 inches of rain has fallen. There should be plenty for the deer to eat in the woods, but there they are in the yard again. They’d just better stay away from the day lilies.

The perils of peaches

It’s year eight in the orchard, and this year I just might get my first bite of peach. Last year, the entire peach crop was wiped out by a late frost. This year, the three peach trees are loaded. One of the trees is weeks ahead of the other two trees and has dozens of […]

Eight years down, a hundred years to go