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Monthly Archives: June 2008

Lightning bugs

Click on the picture for higher resolution, and you might see the lightning bugs. The photo is of my meadow, up against the edge of the woods, taken from my deck. Like a lot of wildlife, lightning bugs seem to like the boundaries between woods and meadow. I’m lucky because I have about a thousand […]

The life cycle of a storm…

A storm approaches from the west. Maybe with the right kind of lenses and filters it can be done, but there are some things that I find almost impossible to photograph. Skies, for one. Impressive trees. And views inside the woods. It would be interesting to discuss these problems with photographers with more experience and […]

Today: stalking trains, tractors and lilies

A diesel engine belonging to the Yadkin Valley Railroad stands idle on a sidetrack at Donnaha, right beside the Yadkin River. Yadkin Valley Railroad is a tiny railroad owned by Gulf and Ohio. It has two lines — one from Rural Hall to Mount Airy (48 miles), and another from Rural Hall to Elkin and […]

What's more localized than a thunderstorm?

Weather Underground So what if the Dow is down 360 points today and oil is at a new high? As I was just saying to a friend in email, when you’ve relocalized, and having a decent supper depends on it, nothing is more thrilling than a good downpour of unforecast, unexpected rain. I’m joking. But […]

Oh, are you a steampunk too? Finally, at last, I have an identity. I know what I am. I am a steampunk. I discovered this through one of the New York Times’ blogs. How do you know if you’re a steampunk? If you do your laundry (as I have been doing) with buckets and a washboard and hang it […]

Cherry preserves

I decided against making a pie out of the Levering Orchard cherries. As much fun as it would have been to finish off a cherry pie in a couple of days all by myself, I didn’t think that would be too good for me. So I ended up making cherry preserves. That way I can […]


The cherries that I bought yesterday at Levering Orchard have been washed and are out to dry while I try to figure out the best way to make a cherry pie in a little travel trailer kitchen, which isn’t well equipped for pie-making.

Road trip: Mayberry and beyond

Good farming: here swaths of tobacco are alternated with swaths of rye, a nitrogen-fixing crop. This is near Sauratown Mountain in Stokes County. By Mayberry, I mean, of course, Mount Airy, North Carolina. Mount Airy is Andy Griffith’s hometown, and they are mighty proud of that. On the other hand, they’re constantly ticked with Andy […]

Ready to be turned into supper…

I’m so excited you’d think I was the first person to ever have a little garden. By the way, when green tomatoes have some sort of blemish that makes them look like they won’t survive until they ripen, just pick ’em and cook ’em. I’m still waiting for my first fully ripe, fully proper summer […]


A friend tells me that I should clip my herbs before they bloom. Oh well. I’m learning. Here are oregano, sage, and catnip. I’ll dry the catnip and give it to some cats I know. I have a good stand of basil, and from that I had my first fresh pesto a few days ago.