Category Archives: animal life

The Department of You Think You’ve Got Problems

Every once in a while, I learn something that puts my problems into perspective. There are degrees of bad. There’s too much rain in one week, for example, and there’s the Greenland ice cap melting. There’s a very dry June, and there’s the Dixie wildfire and then the Caldor wildfire. But let me take you halfway round the globe and invoke the experience of my friend R. Continue reading

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Home Sweet Home

I destroyed somebody’s home about a week back.
Actually, I probably do that a lot without even noticing it, and when I do realize that’s what I’m doing, I stop myself. Continue reading

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Exceeding Expectations

In a garden, as in life, we think we like predictability. But natural forces are not givens, and sometimes things happen that foil our efforts. And yet, the unexpected in the garden can bring zings of delight. I’ve been savoring many of those. Continue reading

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Spring, Sprang, Sprung

Whatever it is that spring does to the soul, it’s doing it bigtime this year. And even though I owe you a long overdue Post, full of facts and tips and musings (insight is accidental), all I feel capable of is an ode to joy. So here’s to spring! Continue reading

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For the birds

I was wondering whether there’s anything going on outside that you might want to hear about, and I thought: BIRDS! Who doesn’t love them and want more of them around?

So I looked into birds. That’s when it got interesting. Like a train wreck is interesting.

But hang on, because I also found some inspiration. Continue reading

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New Year’s (ir)resolutions

Not all surprises are nice surprises. Case in point: 2020.
In the midst of the year from hell’s lower reaches, in which just about everyone lost something precious—mobility, jobs, close contact, sense of security, peace of mind, and worst of all, loved ones—there were still a few sweet blossoms. Possibly more of the literal ones than usual, since so many people turned to their gardens to get through.
But after the past nine months of cascading whack-a-mole disasters, are you making new year’s resolutions this year? My main resolution is not to make them.
Here’s why. Continue reading

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A whole new world: Beyond the Thanksgiving myth

Before you sit down at the groaning board to tuck into that Thanksgiving feast, pause a moment.

If you’re going traditional, here’s what is probably on your table: Continue reading

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Reconstruction, garden variety

Here it is November, edging into the middle of the month, and for a brief and lovely week, the march of the seasons hit pause-and-rewind.

The warm spell put me back on the hook, though: things I had thought were past praying for, all of a sudden weren’t. Things I thought would just have to wait till spring, now became not only possible but even, perhaps, mandatory. After all, there were (and still are) piles of mulch and topsoil in the driveway, waiting for me to do something with them. They must be dealt with, or horrors will happen…. Continue reading

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Division and diversity: A gardener’s tale

In the garden, diversity is the way to go.

I love peonies, but a whole yard full of them? Glory-be would break out in late May, last two to three weeks, and then… nada.

… in honor of election day, I figured it was a good time to start looking at some of the diversity in our country that spans red states and blue states. When you get right down to it, we gardeners all live in green states.

So this past Friday, while two inches of wet snow fell relentlessly on my surroundings, my friend Hillary gave me a tour of her thriving garden in Charleston, South Carolina. Continue reading

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Things get squirrely

Lately, I’ve been wondering a lot about squirrels.

You know those busy bushy-tailed rodents, whether you have the gray kind, or the black or the red or some combination thereof. Hereabouts, they’re gray, they nest up in the trees (at least, I’ve been told those are squirrels’ nests up there, the big messy ones), they run up and down the trees and along fences and across porches and decks and tables.

Occasionally, if you have a bird feeder, they raid it. Continue reading

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