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Category Archives: The land

At last, a whipporwill

When I was a young’un in North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley, I often heard whipporwills. But in the 16 years I’ve been living in the Blue Ridge foothills, I had never heard a whipporwill until last night. It was very close — in my front yard, or in the edge of the woods that adjoin the […]

But tonight, frost

Click here for high resolution version. My deciduous magnolias are stunning this year. But tonight we’re expecting frost, and they can’t take much of that. All the other early blooms should be fine. But the deciduous magnolias hate frost.

At last, daffodils

iPhone photo. Click here for high resolution version. The winter seemed long and cold, and February brought no early spring. And yet, for the first time in my 16 years here in the Appalachian foothills, I didn’t see a snowflake all winter. A few days of warmish rain in early February brought up flocks and […]

And there’s the fox…

Foxes aren’t uncommon here. But I’m flattered that a fox is now hanging out in my yard. I got my old game camera working again and got a shot of the fox last night. I’ve also seen it on my security camera, and once I’ve seen it from an upstairs window. During the past 48 […]

Nothing could be finer?

A neighbor’s horse, Pete Yep, I live in Carolina, and it was a very nice Sunday morning — the sun just above the treetops, temperature 42F with a few spots of light frost. For the past couple of weeks, the weather has been cool enough to work on re-establishing the habit of morning walks. But […]

Yep … I’m in the woods

A drone 235 feet directly above the abbey. Click here for high resolution version. I’ve been interested in photography drones for a long time. But only recently did drones become halfway affordable. Smaller and smaller computer chips, improvements in battery technology, and smaller and better cameras have made it possible to build drones that weigh […]

Into the woods, and more each year

Click here for high resolution version Fifteen years ago, after I cleared an acre of elderly pine trees for the house, the landscape looked like a huge red gash in the earth. I moved as fast as I could to restore ground cover and to start planting. Growth takes time, but nature moves fast. Though […]

The upside of summer

Dandelion pesto, made with Gorgonzola cheese Summer pesto: One of the best ideas I know for making the best of summer is: Eat more pesto. Already this season I’ve had pestos made of basil, kale, dandelions, and mixtures including parsley, dill, cilantro, and thyme. I was afraid that the dandelion pesto would be bitter, but […]

In flagrante delicto

When one lives in the sticks, it is not uncommon to come upon wild things in flagrante delicto. These are eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina). These turtles are very common here and are often seen crossing the road. Roads are very dangerous for them, because their instinct is to close up and stop. More and […]

If you were a deer, would you be scared?

It irks me that I have to uglify my day lily bank to try to keep the deer from eating the day lilies. This year, they started eating them very early, without waiting for the flower stalks and blooms. With luck and good rain, this bank will be a green jungle of day lilies by […]