Skip to content

Category Archives: The land

How do the birds know that snow is coming?

Photo update: Snowmageddon arrives: A file photo taken here in March 2014 — a cardinal While looking out the upstairs windows with Lily this morning, it was apparent that the birds were unusually active and agitated. The traffic into and out of the arbor vitae trees was particularly busy, as though the birds are laying […]

Lookin’ good, Skwurlikins …

This squirrel is such a regular visitor to the house that I ought to give him or her a name. Sometimes he gets on the roof. Sometimes he peeks in an upstairs dormer window. And sometimes he tries to break through the screen of an attic vent, in which case I go out to chase […]

All too short a lease

Here in the foothills, some of the leaves are hanging on. But not far north in the Blue Ridge mountains, it’s all over for the summer of 2018. It was a good growing season, though, with more than 60 inches of rain so far this year in many areas of the mountains.

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 […]